Monkeying around with compromise

Barnes and Noble keeps getting in trouble with people who want to boycott the store -- not so much for selling the wrong books, but for improper placement of them. So I thought that in the interest of helping all parties laugh at themselves, I would try to come up with new and improved suggestions for improper product placement. I apologize in advance to the many sensitivities and sensibilities that I might offend.

Anyway, last year Barnes and Noble found itself in hot water (perhaps that would be deep doodoo) over the fact that a window display had inexplicably included a book on monkeys in the middle of a display of books about our new president.


Barnes and Noble claimed they couldn't figure out what happened, and blamed a mischievous customer.

"We believe that a customer played a cruel joke and placed an inappropriate title in the front window of our store," said Barnes & Noble spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating in a public statement. "We are looking into it and are taking the steps necessary so that it does not happen again.
I'm wondering, though. Would they have been as apologetic had the same monkey book been featured amidst a display of books on President Bush? We will never know, because I'm sure no Barnes and Noble has ever had a window display of books on Bush, and if they did, I doubt the books would all be glowing tributes like the Obama collection.

Moreover, if you google Bush chimpanzee in images, you get over 100,000 hits -- mostly to stuff like this:

Bush Chimp.jpg

That stuff was just standard fare for years, and I think that had someone stuck a monkey book among Bush books at a Barnes and Noble, nary an eyebrow would have been raised -- much less a boycott threat.

More recently, someone (Barnes and Noble says it was a patron) left a copy of the book "Ultimate Gay Sex" on a table at a Barnes and Noble, where it was found by an eleven year old son of an anti-porn activist.


The man said that the above caused his son to be robbed of his innocence.

The same man also has written a book which claims that a sinister group of 21 people -- including Aldous Huxley, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, Benjamin Bloom, B.F. Skinner, and Soren Kierkegaard -- are all ruling America from beyond the grave. Isn't a conspiracy of sinister people ruling America from the grave worse than gay sex? So wouldn't their books be even more dangerous if left on tables? What is worse? The loss of innocence or the loss of America?

Without getting into whether a book can cause innocence to be lost (which would seem to mean that unintentional viewing of dirty pictures instills guilt), I'm wondering whether the same gay sex book would have caused a similar loss of innocence to the president and his supporters (who follow many of the 21 dead rulers of America) had it been improperly placed.

So what about this?


Hmmm... perhaps I should be more inclusive with my PhotoShopping.


Is that, um, better?

In the spirit of compromise, I'm willing to monkey around with principles.

posted by Eric on 01.20.10 at 12:45 PM


The worst thing about the monkey book in all the Obama books.

The ape is a bonobo, thus an observation on the hyper sexed nature of all black men.

The ape is young, thus an observation on Barack Obama's inexperience.

The ape is pink skinned; that is, white.

Our young, white, randy little bonobo has big ears; an observation on Obama's. And since ear size matches penis size this is an observation on Barack's endowment.

It's a wonder the store manager isn't doing time for blaspheming the Prophet.

Alan Kellogg   ·  January 20, 2010 11:17 PM

Geez, I didn't know it was a bonobo!

As usual, things really are worse than I thought.

Eric Scheie   ·  January 21, 2010 11:14 AM

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