A friendly warning: After I die, no matter how many centuries have passed, I will return to earth in the form of a bloody whirlwind to rain lava down on any imbecile who dares to remove sentences from any of my 11 books because they have suddenly been deemed inadmissible — and, if necessary, on any of the morons who request it. I will admit modifications only after they have spent at least a couple of years in a psychiatric institution, restrained within a straitjacket and receiving periodic electroshock treatment. If I have to choose, I prefer to see my books burn on a pyre than contemplate a modern editor taking scissors to my works, which I have no desire to see last into posterity, and thus avoid temptation for those in charge of the total amendment of Universal History. I have spoken.
Roald Dahl was first, and now it’s James Bond’s turn and, what I find even more irritating, my dear Uncle Scrooge McDuck’s. Ian Fleming Publications has excused itself by assuring that the changes have been made “following Ian’s approach,” one about which the author has not had an opinion since 1964, and maybe the fact that he is dead has something to do with it. I wonder how long it will take for them to completely rewrite Hamlet “following William’s approach.”
They have added the following disclaimer to each Bond book: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.” But the truth is that the note should have read like so: “We are off our bloody rockers and have decided to spoil the book without asking Ian’s permission, as he sadly lost his life last century; if he were alive, he would have kicked our asses for doing this.”
If we followed the same crazy rule of thumb as Disney — and if I had skin as fine as they do — there would be a lot more stories that would disappear.
Now Disney, the company that once was a light for children all over the planet and today is nothing more than a dung heap of madmen, has decided to ban forever two wonderful Scrooge McDuck stories, “The Richest Duck in the World” and “The Dream of a Lifetime.” The great sin committed by the brilliant author Don Rosa is the creation of the character Bombie the Zombie, a poor man bewitched by the African voodoo villain Foola Zoola to become his slave. Sorcery gave Bombie superhuman strength and made him resistant to cold and hunger. So, in trying to get into the minds of these lunatic censors, I am unable to guess whether they have banned the stories because Bombie the Zombie appears somehow enslaved by an African but in the end becomes a kind of Superman, or whether it’s because Foola Zoola can’t come across as evil as he’s not a Westerner — Disney believing, of course, that there is not a single bad African in the world.
Maybe it’s time we all play by the same rules. If we followed the same crazy rule of thumb as Disney — and if I had skin as fine as they do — there would be a lot more stories that would disappear. They should burn all the Scrooge McDuck stories because it is obvious that they stigmatize and ridicule in a terrible and gratuitous way the wealthy and, in general, the whole capitalist world. Nor should Donald Duck stories continue to circulate freely; personally, they give me the impression that all ducks are clumsy and lazy and should urgently go to a speech therapist. The mice in my house are preparing a letter to condemn the Mickey Mouse stories for having made mankind believe that all rodents have huge ears, making this the number one reason for rat bullying at school. And my dog is not at all happy with the role of idiot that Disney set aside for Goofy.
But there’s more. Pinocchio is incredibly stigmatizing for anyone prone to developing a large nose and for those of us with wood between the ears; Beauty and the Beast makes me feel that it’s wrong for men to be handsome; Aladdin might incite children to throw themselves from windows to try to float on clouds; and I don’t exactly care what Victor Hugo wrote, but Quasimodo’s character in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame is simply unacceptable and overtly hunch-a-phobic.
You’ve still a long way to go, folks at Disney. You can still do so much more to kill culture and fun.
Translated by Joel Dalmau.
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