Did you know that Popular Online Vendor X bans “distasteful content” from honest reviews of the very books they’d be happy to sell you? That’s right: reviews of books full of obscenities sold on their site won’t be posted if those reviews contain the same profane, immoral, or distasteful content as the product they want you to buy.

I tried for two weeks to post my review of Robert Bruce Cormack’s hilarious (and not at all distasteful) You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive) only to have it rejected time and again. Finally last night, after five attempts, I found the magic formula. Boy did I have to censor the shit out of it.

Horse

First, I took out references to pot brownies and weed-smoking security guards. Next, I removed all the “stiffies” (also known as boners, woodies, chubbies, hard ons, etc). Finally, on the advice of industry insiders, I removed a reference to Zack Galifianakus, Catch-22, and A Confederacy of Dunces. Why these last? Because I’d learned that (REDACTED) might consider their inclusion to be a promotion of other products, including celebrities, and I was done taking chances.

I shouldn’t complain too much. (REDACTED) has a good track record of accepting my returns without question. And they did publish my review, despite a barb directed at them. They even allowed a promotional link to my blog. But I’m left with a sour taste in my mouth after swallowing certain words that a dumbass like me enjoys using when writing about certain intelligent, funny, colorful books.

One thought, though, for the robot censors at (REDACTED): you might catch the easy shit like “Show me some titty-action”, but you’ll never tell the difference between sarcasm and your asshole. Nor will you understand the hypocrisy of blocking my best reviews while peddling material like this (which is a f*ckin’ hoot, by the way):

457800

(REDACTED) reserves the right to remove reviews that include:

  • Obscene or distasteful content (Bye-bye, mynah repeating “Gimme some titty action!”)
  • Profanity or spiteful remarks (So long, “shitcanned”)
  • Promotion of illegal or immoral conduct (Sayonara, pot brownies and weed-smoking security guard)
  • Promotional content such as Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (so, really?, no references to an actor who might play the role of a protagonist, or similar type of book?)

Posted to (REDACTED)–self-censorship in red

Robert Bruce Cormack’s You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive) is a picaro’s tale with brilliant dialogue miscues straight out of (a satire about bombardiers during World War Two) and an unsung genius—Muller—who might have wandered in from (another hilarious picaresque set in New Orleans with a protagonist named Ignatius J. Reilly). Cormack’s story centers on Sam’s reintegration into a world that’s passed him by during 30 years writing advertising copy and which, to his understandable dismay, requires that he coach his live-in son-in-law on (his bedside manner) while simultaneously wanting to (teach him a lesson) about (breaking one of the ten commandments).

Original–the funny shit’s in blue

With little more plot than that Robert Bruce Cormack’s You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive) is a picaro’s tale with dialogue miscues straight out of Catch-22 and an unsung genius—Muller—who might have wandered in from A Confederacy of Dunces. Cormack’s story centers on Sam’s reintegration into a world that’s passed him by during 30 years writing advertising copy and which, to his understandable dismay, requires that he coach his live-in son-in-law on working up a stiffy while simultaneously wanting to choke him dead for coveting another man’s wife.

Full Review (uncensored!)

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