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November 17, 2005

Revisionist Goodnight Moon

Moon450

This is such bullshit. HarperCollins photoshopped the cigarette out of the illustrator's hand for their 50th anniversary edition of the children's book Goodnight Moon:

In the great green room, there is a telephone, and a red balloon, but no ashtray. "Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke free.

In a newly revised edition of the book, which has lulled children to sleep for nearly 60 years, the publisher, HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand. [NYT permalnk]

Don't smoke, kids. You might end up frozen in an incomprehensible pose for posterity.


Addendum: Check out this unhealthy but artistically faithful Goodnight Moon cake, with commentary.

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» Because, you know, it's for the children from dustbury.com
And, after all, that's all that matters, right? In the great green room, there is a telephone, and a red balloon, but no ashtray. Goodnight Moon, the children's classic by... [Read More]

» First They Went After That Cartoon Camel, And I Said Nothing... from Pandagon
I agree with Lindsay on this. In the great green room, there is a telephone, and a red balloon, but no ashtray. "Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke free. In a newly revised edition... [Read More]

» The Anti-Smoking Idiocy Continues from Bloodless Coup
Majikthise has one of the most recent stupid events in the war on smoking - HarperCollins creating a fictious pose for an illustrator of classic fiction. Will someone stop this insanity? Anyone? I was listening to a commentary track on... [Read More]

Comments

I'm sort of disappointed they didn't photoshop in a nice big glass of milk. Would have explained the pose, and sent a lovely message to the kiddies. Sadly, deadlines...

That is nothing compared to the vile things that those fuckers in pubishing have done to Dr. Suess. I have (in my office, far away from any children who might be damaged by its blasphemy) a version of Cat in the Hat that is based on the Mike Myers movie that was based on the original book. It is like reading a book that has been translated into a foreign language and back again, only suckier.

Other things happen to Suess books. In order to sell in the popular "board book" format many Suess books have been hacked up in ways that shouldn't be talked about in polite company. It's just ghastly.

I've been meaning to blog about this, but to do it right I need to scan a bunch of pages, and my access to scanners at work is limited to work related things.

heh. Lindsay is utterly outraged. It must be one of her fav. book.

------

This remains me of shivaree's song. 'goodnight moon' with same theme. It's the closing song in kill bill movie.

goodnight moon by shivaree
http://www.makura.org/media/4u/

That's _way_ wrong. Also, when my friends had kids, I got them Richard Scarry's "What Do People Do All Day?", my favorite book when I was 5 (something about Lowly Worm having an apple-shaped car, and the breadmaker having a baguette-shaped car--I just loved that).

But it's expurgated! Or something. I mean, I don't know why they deleted several pages of it, because what could be bad about "What Do People Do All Day?"?

_I'm_ outraged!

And right on, rob helpy-chalk. Finally, an issue we can picket about together.

Made it look like he just picked his nose - great fun for the kiddies.

Hell, yeah! I love Goodnight Moon. It's the sort of book that makes me wish my brother would hurry up and have kids so that I could read it to them.

I'm with you, 1984; which means I'm also with helpy-chalk and therefore also with Lindsay. I believe it was last year when I took my son to see the movie "The Cat In The Hat." He thought it was okay, but he was just six. I hated it. Same thing with "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." The half-hour made-for-TV cartoons were great, because Dr. Seuss was alive then and therefore made sure they weren't turned into pieces of shit, unlike the movies. I wasn't aware of how the books themselves were being butchered. I suppose that's also happened since he died. Is nothing sacred? What's next? Product placement?

I will not eat green eggs and ham
Lest it's
Hormel, Sam I am

I feel old when I say this, but they don't make 'em like they used to, at least with regards to children's stories.

:D God, I was just discussing product placement with my friends. Blucch. The Economist was wondering whether Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice would have had a plug for Jaguar stuck in, were it written today. But the Writer's Guild is trying to make it so that clear disclaimers are put up, when a script has been afflicted enhanced with product placement. Whew.

I was deeply, deeply affected by The Lorax, though apparently, lumbermen have lobbied against the book and cartoon, because it casts them as villains. All honor to Dr. Seuss, especially for guarding his vision.

Should read, "afflicted strike enhanced..."

So what does risking the suggestion to impressionable small minds that cigarettes are all right have to do with loyalty to the truth, bearing witness against Stalinism, or Ecrasez l'Infame? This isn't falsifying photojournalism, it's changing the packaging of a commercial product. Who mourns for Aunt Jemima's headcovering?
As for you are defensive about it because you insist on giving money to one of the vilest corners of big business by smoking cigarettes, quit. If you have trouble, remember Gary Snyder's Smokey the Bear Sutra:

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR'S WAR SPELL:

DROWN THEIR BUTTS

CRUSH THEIR BUTTS

DROWN THEIR BUTTS

CRUSH THEIR BUTTS

And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.

So what does risking the suggestion to impressionable small minds that cigarettes are all right have to do with loyalty to the truth, bearing witness aginst Stalinism, or Ecrasez l'Infame? This isn't falsifying photojournalism, it's changing the packaging of a commercial product. Who mourns for Aunt Jemima's headcovering?
As for you are defensive about it because you insist on giving money to one of the vilest corners of big business by smoking cigarettes, quit. If you have trouble, remember Gary Snyder's Smokey the Bear Sutra:

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR'S WAR SPELL:

DROWN THEIR BUTTS

CRUSH THEIR BUTTS

DROWN THEIR BUTTS

CRUSH THEIR BUTTS

And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.

Sorry about the double posting^, but typepad timed out.

I mostly agree with Dabodius, but I don't think it's right to change an artist's work, even in the pursuit of a lofty goal like enhancing the packaging of a commercial product.

If you don't want to show the cigarette, crop the picture, find a substitute, or leave the photo out altogether. Otherwise, you may as well photoshop that glass of milk into his hand...or a frosty, refreshing Coke!

As for the ashtray being removed from Hurd's illustration, that's just wrong. It's the equivalent, in my opinion, of deleting the n-word and references to slavery from Huckleberry Finn.

Well, at least they didn't change the title this time.

More Memory Hole moments ...

here here people. I write you the best story ever that is save for all product in the future.

'Once upon a time'
'everybody live happily ever after'

I suppose the book design would be in antiseptic white.

Ya know, they could at have least airbrushed something back in like a pen or a cigar or a corndog!

Like your blog :)

Cheers,
Billy Boy

Dabodius: I do think this revision is like Stalinism, because it is altering our view of the past.

I'm sympathetic to the desire to shield our children from images that promote bad, or even vicious, habits, but I also think we need to be models of dedication to the truth, including being honest about history.

I sing my chindren to sleep with the folk song "In the Pines" weaving together lyrics from versions by Bill Monroe, Leadbelly, and Tennesse Ernie Ford. The song implies an act of brutal violence. Although I am a pacifist, I sing it anyway, because it is a great song. I want my children to know great music more than I am concerned about sheltering them from knowledge of evil.

Hurd didn't smoke cigarettes.

He smoked Nat Shermans dipped in formaldehyde, a drug known on the street as "Sherms."

We must protect our children from Sherms.

>Ya know, they could at have least airbrushed something back in like a pen or a cigar or a corndog!

>Like your blog :)

Spent a few seconds thinking, "where are the airbrushed cigars and corndogs on the blog?", before realizing you meant, "I like your blog."

>dedication to the truth

And hear, hear. As a kid, I _hated_ the idea of being sheltered, or having my reading truncated. Give it to me straight--if it's something I couldn't handle, well then, maybe life should include some things that are hard to handle. The parents I know are always concerned that "you have to talk to kids in a way they can understand." But when I was 7, some of my favorite things to read were Peanuts and Mad Magazine. Linus from Peanuts taught me words like "Opthalmologist" and "Myopia." Mad Magazine, "Obsolescence." Also, Mad Magazine taught me about New York muggings. I didn't suffer from it.

Surely a photograph of Hurd sans cigarette exists. Why didn't HC try to find one if they are so concerned with the children?

Surely a photograph of Hurd sans cigarette exists. Why didn't HC try to find one if they are so concerned with the children?
Posted by: C. JoDI | November 18, 2005 at 11:46 AM


what and pay another whole royalty fee? haa haa...

Ya know, they could at have least airbrushed something back in like a pen or a cigar or a corndog!

Like your blog :)

Posted by: Billy Boy | November 18, 2005 at 10:58 AM

This blog is a corndog? yummm....

Ha! No, I meant I like your Blog!

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