Chances are you've heard about an Alabama publisher's NewSouth Books plans to release an edition of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that replaces Twain's many uses of the N-word with the word "slave." To protest NewSouth's revision, Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine started a satirical Kickstarter project devoted to publishing an edition of Huck Finn that substitutes the N-word with "robot." Here's their rationale:
Critics are calling [NewSouth's edition] "censorship" and "whitewashing of history." We call it "not far enough." [...] Why robots? Well, there's no denying it: robots are "in" right now. The film "Transformers" made over $708 million around the world. The film "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" made over $800 million dollars. The last film version of Huckleberry Finn only brought in $24 million dollars. Even accounting for inflation (which we frankly don't know how to do), it's clear that robots are more popular than Huckleberry Finn.
And that's a MOVIE, not a book.
But why not vampires? They're "in" too, aren't they? Good point, hypothetical question asker. Vampires are "in." But replacing the word "n-word" with vampire would be silly. Robots have a long history in literature and popular culture of being used as a metaphor for slavery and oppression. Replacing the black characters with robots in the book will maintain the integrity of MOST of Mark Twain's themes. It will also make the book more attractive to racists who wouldn't ordinarily read a book sympathetic to the plight of African Americans in the Antebellum South. And this is really about getting more people to read the book.
Here's their Kickstarter page. They've already raised $15,325 of their $6,000 budget (with three weeks left), and $50 donors will receive a Robot Jim action figure in addition to their own bowdlerized, roboticized book. And if you donate $1000 to the project, your own name will be added to the book ("Become an additional mentioned townie or river rat, wherever we think you belong in the text"). It's all part of a "movement to alter classic literature!" Click on the box below to watch their tongue-in-cheek pitch.