The media monopolies have a way of skewing perception and turning reality on its head, so that any attempt to stall their totalitarian dominance becomes viewed, bizarrely, as censorship.
This is the impulse behind the in-your-face title of PEN American Center's new collection of essays, Burn This Book. The contributors include bonded members of the literary establishment like John Updike. Even though Updike is dead, his words still never fail to find outlets. He's hardly a writer who's been in any way ostracized or restricted. (As some dissident writers in this country are.)
Who, you ask, is the publisher of Burn This Book? WHO?
Harper-Collins, a giant book conglomerate which is part of the Brontasaurian-sized Rupert Murdoch media empire.
Or: A gigantic media monopoly is co-opting dissent, with PEN's assistance. The book monopolies, akin to Starbucks or McDonald's, want not just most of the market. They want ALL of it. They want every streetcorner; every shelf of every library and bookstore; every corner of the globe. PEN eagerly offers their help.
Opposition is steamrolled.
Join the movement for literary change at
(p.s. In response to requests to cover "popular" conglomerate authors, I'll soon be presenting a review of neocon novelist Vince Flynn. Stay tuned.)