Monday, January 11, 2010

Harper Collins Crosses The Line

Harper Collins, the major publishing firm, has crossed the line. They're sponsoring a writing contest that:
"...would like you to write a short story or fairytale to help educate people about climate change; encourage them to take responsibility and make positive steps towards reducing their carbon footprint. The winning stories will be submitted to our panel of judges and the best ones will be published by HarperCollins in a special act on CO2 book."
[Note to my readers: The line "it would have to be a fairy tale" is already taken.]

The contest has been advertised on their authonomy website whose express purpose is stated: "We're on a mission to flush out the brightest, freshest new writing talent around."

It's no surprise, of course, that a major publishing house is dominated by Progressives. If there's a non-leftist working for one, he or she is, I can assure you, keeping very quiet for fear of losing a job, contacts, and any possible future in the business. That person is almost certainly not in the management, either.

Nevertheless, to introduce not just a highly complex and red-hot political subject there, but in the form of a children's story, is beyond the pale. Worse, they don't just solicit stories or those with a point of view; they dictate what that point of view should be. The Progressive/environmentalist one, natch.

The site to date has been focused on soliciting work from non-published authors and several have received book contracts as a result of posting there. To interject politics into a literature/publishing site in this way is revolting, even apart from the specific political views of the sponsors.

It's with no little irony — even as someone convinced that determinism is false — that I just finished watching Prof. Stephen Hicks "Nietzsche and the Nazis" documentary. (In it, he details how the fascists took over every part of German culture — movies, literature, magazines, newspapers, and on down the line.) Yet, reality has once again exhibited its capacity for serendipity.

Now, Progressives are not Nazis by a long shot. And, it's true that 'green' themes are everywhere today. (Even Wells Fargo Bank annoys its customers with viro-oriented advertising.) But, I still maintain, this politicization of a website devoted heretofore to bringing to light (chiefly) the fiction of new authors crosses a very bright line.

Harper Collins, shame on you.

[Note: I don't include any links to the site because I don't want to encourage anyone to go there and start a ruckus on the blog by expressing their right-wing views. That would be doing exactly what I criticize Harper for. But I didn't want to leave it generic and just say "a major publishing house," since I believe readers should always have the ability to fact-check anything I say.]


Ted Amadeus said...

The unspoken message of such a contest is,
"This is what we find acceptable for publication...Anything not spewing our fictitious paradigms/advancing our agenda will not receive consideration!"
These crunchies must've been on a blunt binge going the last season, because they're clearly oblivious to ClimateGate and the thousands of awakened dupes now suing "Al Gump" for his Fried Earth Club hysterics.

DirtCrashr said...

I wonder if they're working with the NEA on this "message."