Huckleberry Finn Censorship

Last night Stephen Colbert mentioned that a new edition of Huckleberry Finn was released. This one will have all the occurrences of a certain ethnic slur replaced with the word "slave."

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Huckleberry Finn Censorship
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My favorite bit was when Colbert said, "He dropped the n-word over 200 times. That proves that 'Mark Twain' wasn't just his pen name; it was his rap name."

I've seen support for both sides of the issue. Some say that the story should be left alone; a masterpiece should not be tarnished. Some say that the changes are good; schoolchildren shouldn't be forced to read offensive language. I understand both sides' opinions, but to me, this is just marketing.

Warning: Conspiracy theory starts here

Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain wrote an autobiography. He said that he didn't want it to be published until a century after his death. The public was reminded of this back in July 2010. People started to speculate about what Clemens had written that he would specify such a long time. The news report also gave corporations free publicity and plenty of time to capitalize on it.

This new edition of Huckleberry Finn was announced yesterday: mere months after the first volume of the autobiography was released. If these changes were so offensive, why wait until now to change them? Why weren't they changed last year or the year before that?

Whenever something new appears in the media, everything old that it references is "modernized" and sold again in hopes of capitalizing on it. This is especially true in the novel industry. For example, back in 2004 an atrocity to the world of science fiction occurred. This of course led to a re-release of the story collection that shared the same title (NOT "based on"). Of course, the novel had been released multiple times due to its age and popularity, but the cover was much different this time.

I Robot Covers
The difference is subtle, but it's there if you look hard enough.

Now, Huckleberry Finn is going through the same torture. First, the dialog is "modernized." Next, there will be a movie adaptation, possibly in multiple parts. After that, there will be a "gritty reboot" movie of the Huckleberry Finn franchise, now called H-Berry 2.0 or H-Finn. It'll attempt to say the slur more times in one film than State Property to "keep it real." Personally, I'm going to hold out until they put the final nail in coffin and go with the latest (read: recycled) gimmick to date: HF3D.

Huck Finn 3D
The words seem like they're literally jumping off the page, and this time, it's personal...