Intellectual Property

Molly Bloom Might Have Said Yes I Said Yes I Will Yes, But Steve Jobs & The NY Times Said No


Via Alan Vanneman

[*] comes this tale of the bowdlerization of a cartoon version of a classic novel that is apparently every bit as naughty as it is generally unreadable:

James Joyce must be laughing now—as if he ever stopped. Steve Jobs has found a graphic version of Joyce's Ulysses too hot for iPad, the New York Times reports. The Times doesn't say so, but it turns out that Ulysses is also too hot for the Gray Lady, because the comics page provided by the Times features the bowdlerized version.

Well, we at Literature R Us feel our readers are ready for tits, even with their morning coffee. So enjoy, and if you want more, go to Ulysses "Seen", which will give you all the Joyce you can handle, without Steve Jobs to tell you what to look at.

The illustrator of the graphic novel, Robert Berry, tells the Times he was disappointed by the movement of a word balloon to cover the offending breastuses, but he doesn't feel "remotely censored."

"It's their rules," he said. "We're coming to their dinner party at their house."

True, true, very true, but still many kinds of sad as the endings of, well, all the stories in Dubliners. At right is the offending appendage. At left is the cleaned up, iPad-approved version.

I am genuinely surprised by how many tech-geek friends say they are finally getting fed up with various procedural and content-based hassles being imposed by Apple regarding the iPhone and iPad. They threaten regularly to move from Apple to Droid phones (none has so far said they're quitting the Mac platform), which may be mostly bluster, but is still interesting (and it's not like Google doesn't present its own issues regarding terrible, terrible freedom).

[*]: Corrected the link to Vanneman's always interesting site.

Tim Cavanaugh, the Darby O'Gill of the County Reason, wrote about how fan boys and girls were keeping Joyce alive more than his academic crypt-keepers and his jackass descendants. Read about it here.

And as long as we're talking about Joyce and restrictions on speech (including Ulysses, which has suffered from a range of copyright cases and obscenity charges throughout the decades), let's check out this video about whether obscenity should be illegal. Warning: Adults only, sez the YouTube, and yes certainly yes it's their brunch buffet, even though the segment is spectacularly free of genitals and arousement, except of the legal and libertarian outrage kind. So you'll have to sign in, to prove that you are indeed old enough to question whether a man should be given an effective life sentence for producing porn vids featuring consenting adults that are immensely popular and feature more milk than a million moo-cows (figuratively):

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Birth Control, Oysters, and Other Restricted Items

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.

  2. Hahaha – “(figuratively)”

  3. Instead of wasting time on this crap, shouldn’t Alan Vanneman be at home working on his next The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book?

  4. Molly has a nice rack.

    Is it a mere coincidence that the video accompanying this post has Nick making the universal “huge jugs” gesture?

    1. Jugs or balls? Either way, it’s in the hands of the beholder.

    2. I don’t think that’s universal, since it looks to me like he’s raising his hands to his mouth because he’s about to puke.

  5. This is what happens when corporations become publishers…

  6. I love girls with upturned chins.

  7. Wow… maybe I don’t want that iPhone 4 after all.

  8. apple is insinuating that their customers may be uncomfortable, perhaps even completely unfamiliar, with the nude human body.

    think different, indeed.

  9. Will you people stop treating Vanneman with respect already? Jesus Fucking Christ.

  10. Eh, he could also release it as an ebook. Or give purchasers of the app a chance to download an uncensored version online. Or release it as a Mac App. Or release it as a PC app. Or do his website in HTML 5 and sell it there.

    Apple’s censorship sucks, but there are enough alternatives out there that I am not worried. Eventually, Apple will change their practice or their censorship will catch up with them. As they get larger, they will suffer the same fate as so many technology companies before them. It might be taking longer than we like, but I see no reason to piss ourselves every time this happens.

  11. “Freedom from _____” will come back to bite you in the ass more than you expect.

  12. I read ulysses. I dont remember any tits.

    Actually, the only thing I remember is the guy eating his toenails in the end. Probably not the best book to spend two months reading, with an irish guest-teacher quizzing you daily. Stupid college seminars.

    Oh, and the last word. Yes. I felt the same way as Mrs Bloom. Glad it was over.

  13. I’ll believe these people are serious about protecting us with their selective censorship when I no longer have to see Helen Thomas….anywhere.

  14. I would like to see a graphic novel version of Finnegans Wake.

  15. I agree: iPad has every right to censor what they produce for their product. That’s one reason why I won’t own one.

    1. Perhaps someone will produce an alternative operating system for it. I am thinking something like an embedded Linux might work.

      1. Good luck with that. You’re not going to be able to install it via an app, since Apple will never approve. You’re not going to get it in through a port because the only one it has is that gorram 30-pin piece of crap.

        Your best bet is to wait for the various Linux-based tablets to come out later this year. Notion Ink Adam looks awesome, and it’s supposed to come out in August (but it’s been pushed back so many times it might turn out to be vaporware). Asus just moved back the release of their Linux-based EeePad to Spring 2011.

        Of course, I broke down and got an Entourage EDGE already, which runs a stunted version of Android, so I shouldn’t talk about being patient.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.