Well, bugger that. I spent the past several hours crafting a post about general trends in American high school history studies and its application as propaganda about the American Empire, but it’s a Friday and no one wants to read over 1,000 words of serious business.
So I’ve shelved that essay – after all the hard work I put into it, no way was I going to delete the whole thing – and instead bring you the following, courtesy of Writer Beware:
HarperCollins has added a morals clause to its boilerplate contract, according to agent Richard Curtis. Curtis writes,
New language in the termination provision of the Harper’s boilerplate gives them the right to cancel a contract if “Author’s conduct evidences a lack of due regard for public conventions and morals, or if Author commits a crime or any other act that will tend to bring Author into serious contempt, and such behavior would materially damage the Work’s reputation or sales.” The consequences? Harper can terminate your book deal. Not only that, you’ll have to repay your advance. Harper may also avail itself of “other legal remedies” against you.
The comments at ereads and Writer Beware are full of digs at Rupert Murdoch, the genius who brought us Fox – and, of course, Fox News – so I won’t belabor that. Mostly I’m passing this news along so I have an excuse to share Ursula LeGuin’s response.
In conclusion, a Monty Python vid seems apropos (plus, it’s got that Middle Ages thing going for it!):