The Polk County Sheriff Will Tell You What to Read, Citizen

And now we know the rest of the story. Given the ridiculous arrest in Colorado today of a man who wrote a book, the spontaneous, sui generis removal of many titles from Amazon’s Kindle store, along with, well, me from B&N, is explained.

The new arbiter of what adults in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and other large American cities can read is the Sheriff of Polk County, FL.

And it’s all cool. Look, people, you don’t need that many versions of Comrade Loves of the Samurai. DADT repeal or no, I just don’t think you’re ready.

It’s really a relief. I’d been puzzling over this one for weeks. Since the Justice Department got demolished by the Judge in Stagliano’s trial, there didn’t seem to be any federal agency spoiling for an obscenity fight, especially since everybody’s budget is up for cutting. But, you can always get a local cop somewhere that’s up for it.

And, sure, the folks in Polk County’s Lakeland might not be as educated as the ones in DC, or Portland, OR, or even Meridian, Mississippi. But given that their real estate collapse has been among the worst in the country, you can’t say they don’t know about despair.

Mind you, I think B&N has the right idea. Pulling any hint of questionable content is clearly the way to go. The legal implications of Amazon’s haphazard removal of gay literature, Miller-Test-For-Obscenity-Proof case histories, along with the occasional incest book (by Kathy Acker devotees or others), clearly don’t protect that company from the “threat” of prosecution. Only humiliation and an explanation to the people of Lakeland of just how this is costing them in tax dollars will do that.

Given the proliferation of ebook devices out there, maybe what we really need is some kind of “Grady Judd Approved” sticker. We can certainly put his picture on the Nook.

Meanwhile, somebody please tell Phillip R. Greaves II to, A, get a lawyer (ideally one who represented Paladin Press) and, B, refuse extradition.

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