Friday, October 15, 2004

Why I am a Tool of the Capitalist Machine And Other Stories

Bill Gibson has started blogging again. Hurrah.

Meanwhile, call me foolish and naive, but I would have thought that when an autobiographical adult book about molestation, drugs and such, is checked out of a library by an 11 year old, the correct response by the library should be to look at their policies for allowing 11 year olds to check out age-appropriate material, not for a committee of librarians to agree to permanently remove the book in question from their shelves. This might be true of prose, but it doesn't seem to be true of graphic novels, at least not for Phoebe Gloeckner's harrowing A Child's Life and Other Stories and not in the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library.

Hi Neil, I have nothing but respect for you, so please don't take offense at my question. While I certainly would never begrudge someone the chance to get paid (particularly someone who's finally managed to scrape the last bits of MacFarlane off the bottom of his shoe), I wonder if you feel any sort of ambivalence about being associated with Rupert Murdoch's notoriously partisan Fox Channel so near to the end of this divisive election cycle. While Murdoch may not be as sticky as Macfarlane, his stink is a lot bigger.

Well, I find Fox News unwatchable. Beyond that, I'm willing to work with News International/Fox -- I enjoy some Twentieth Century Fox movies, think that some of the smartest American TV shows of the last couple of decade (including The Simpsons, Futurama and Buffy) have come out of Fox TV; and have never seen any evidence of any ideological bias, other than that of wanting to publish books that they were proud of and which made money, at Harper Collins (which is ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch, and which bought Avon, my previous publisher).

I should also say that I saw no evidence of partisanship on the Fox Movie Channel, other than an occasional need to mention Twentieth Century Fox movies where a sane person with no corporate ties would normally mention other movies (the script for the "Edward Scissorhands" intro had me proudly mentioning that Tim Burton made Fox's "Planet of the Apes", rather than, well, any other Tim Burton film). (And I don't think a partisan Movie Channel would be proudly showing that cool wise and extremely pacifist film, "The Day The Earth Stood Still" in its Halloween line-up.)

(Incidentally, for whatever it's worth, the Fox people only paid to fly me in to LA and for the very nice hotel. I did the 13 Nights of Fright because it was goofy and fun, and I'd always wanted to climb out of a coffin, not for any financial inducements.)