"Simon & Schuster says it has decided not to publish a forthcoming book by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, citing the lawmaker’s role in fomenting this week’s ‘disturbing [and] deadly insurrection’ at the U.S. Capitol. Hawley quickly fired back at the publisher, calling the move ‘Orwellian’ and an “assault on the First Amendment.’” – NPR, 1/7/21
This could not be more Orwellian. Simon & Schuster is refusing to publish my unsolicited submission of CSI Miami erotic fan fiction. It’s a direct assault on the First Amendment.
The publisher returned my manuscript, noting that it was “amateurish” and “barely intelligible drivel.” They said that my writing was “filled with unnecessary scientific jargon and sexual innuendo,” adding, “we must once again insist, please stop.” It’s their right to think what they think, but they need to respect my First Amendment right to free speech. Who do they think they are, an independent company that can just print the works they want? I thought America was a free market capitalist state, not a totalitarian dystopia.
My novel, Horatio ‘Hornblower’ Caine: Criminally Sexy Investigator, tells the story that network television was afraid to tell. It’s 1,300 pages of graphic sexual encounters and witty one-liners. Is it art? I don’t know. Pornography? Perhaps. A blatant violation of CBS’s intellectual property rights? Most certainly. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that by refusing to stand behind me, by refusing to invest in the publication and distribution of my work, Simon & Schuster is denying my constitutional right to free speech and denying the public their constitutional right to a sexual reimagining of the greatest Miami-based cop show of the 2000s.
We are now living in an Orwellian world in which only approved speech can be published. I mean, sure, I could just self-publish my book. Heck, I could reach out to my thousands of Twitter followers to deliver my message. And well, I guess you’re reading this right now. But freedom of speech isn’t just the freedom to say what I want. It’s an entitlement to a platform. A respected platform! A big-five national publisher! Hardcover editions! Prestige!
The framers of the constitution didn’t envision people self-publishing BDSM-themed police procedural novels. They expected every American to have access to a major publisher who would distribute the erotic adventures of Miami’s sexiest science cop. They wouldn’t expect me to release an ebook. Can you imagine Benjamin Franklin doing the 18th-century equivalent, just printing pamphlets without government interference? Of course not. He was entitled to have his words published by a major publisher. I’m sure that a lot of his works were erotic too. He worked to ensure that a contract with a large publishing house was a constitutional right of every American (well, every white, property-owning male American at least).
The Left will cancel anything they disapprove of. CSI Miami., Regular CSI. The New York one. The Ted Danson one. Not Becker. I’m talking about CSI. The one about cybercrimes. James Van Der Beek was in it as well. But Becker too. Liberals hate Ted Danson’s remarkable staying power in television. Well, I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have — namely, a lengthy manuscript in need of copyediting about a Miami cop by night who transforms into a leather daddy a little later on in the night.
I’ll see you in court, Simon & Schuster! And when I do, you better believe I’m going to address the court personally. I’ll look down, pausing for dramatic effect before saying, “If my legal arguments are wrong — I don’t wanna be right.” Sunglasses on. That song by The Who kicks in. “Yeeeeeeeeeeah!” Case closed. Freedom of speech is protected. “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”