eumelia: (Default)
The saga continues.

The bloody Guardian.
Neil posted about Amazon!Fail on his own blog. It has earned a mention on Feministing, in which an Amazon rep specifically says it was not a glitch.

I'm crossing my fingers for The Daily Show.

The issue has moved to Meta as can be read in a fascinating article on the super fantastic website AfterEllen, which I found via [ profile] rm who herself wrote about the glitch, and I quote:
Computers do what you tell them to. This is a glitch that involved human error, homophobic human error. Amazon needs to issue a clear statement that what happened was against policy, is being corrected, is being investigated and that they enjoy serving a broad spectrum of customers, including those interested in gay and lesbian topics.

Which ties in with the Amazon Rep told Feministing.
Human error.
Not everything can be blamed on the HAL 9000.

The AfterEllen article, titled What Amazon's "Glitch" Says About American Pop Culture.
American Pop Culture, is everyone's pop culture. Despite being Israeli and writing with English spelling and using British slang, my first and foremost frame of reference is Americana.
This is especially true when it comes to LGBT representation and Queer liberation - because despite the British teevee that I watch being very gay-friendly, most of what we watch is written, produced, made by the USA.

And in the USA (and the rest of the world of course), Queers are defined by sex, the having of.
Now it's been a while since behaviour dictated identity, but still you have to admit on teevee, if the character isn't "doing it" with someone of the same sex... how are you going to know... unless they come out.
Which is another issue, of course, the coming out, the declaration, the need to affirm that no, they are not "sisters" and why, yes that is the leading man with that other guy.

At the same time, the double standard is maintained. Straight characters get to have depth and more to them than sex.
Queer characters... not so much as a general rule, certainly on regular network television.

I think it all boils down to visibility and invisibility.
Queer visibility is important, crucial and yeah, I think it's safe to say affirming. At the same time, when the only visibility we get is either as fetish items or "single issue" characters... that says something about how the Queer persona is regarded by pop culture and by default everyone.
eumelia: (Default)
Over this holiday weekend (Yes, the debacle happened over Easter and Passover) concerned patrons of were made aware of the new sales ranking policy of which I've already spoken about.

Because the internet is going berserk over this, with good reason, Amazon has put forth a statement claiming it was all a glitch.

Amazon responds to queries, blames a 'glitch':
Responding to our initial post, Amazon Director of Corporate Communications Patty Smith e-mailed Jacket Copy. "There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed," she wrote. "We're working to correct the problem as quickly as possible."

I'm sure they are.

I don't have any new links, I unfortunately live in a Time Zone that isn't on the up an' up with everything, so once again I tell you, go to the Link List on Meta Writer, comprehensive and steadily growing.

I think perhaps now is a good time to talk about what this all actually means.
Because it is not just LGBT themed books.
The books targeted are non-fiction history books, biographies and autobiographies written by queer folk, self help books (including a suicide prevention book written by Transwoman Kate Bornstein), guides to BDSM (which is not LGBT specific), various feminist books and non-fiction books.
Need I say more?

Obviously any book that had the word "gay", "lesbian", "queer" etc was put in the adult filter. Because them dirty queers are all about the sex - unlike the hetero explicit erotica books and Playboy centrefold books.
Quite innocent, I'm sure.

I mentioned, in a previous post that I considered this move a reactionary response to the social change going on the US. Proposition 8 aside, more and more States are giving same-sex couples the right to marry and other domestic partner rights, like in Iowa and Vermont.

I don't think you have to think too hard to consider that the majority of's share holders are White Heterosexual Middle Class (and above) Men, who most likely listen to "Family Values" centred associations and NGO's.
Maybe that is a bit of a generalisation, but I don't think it's too far fetched.
Edited To Add: I stand corrected, see comments.

The double standard is glaring.
The assumption is, of course, that we must protect the innocents from this sort of thing - it's okay for the kiddies to find a dildo, but not a guide for the gay youth entering college.
Well, once again the assumption of heterosexuality plays a part of this whole mess.
You don't have to explain sex between "He" and "She", that's normal, that's natural, that's what we know to be True.
In order to explain how Heather has Two Mommies, you need to explain to your child that a baby from a stalk to the cabbage patch is on one way of baby making.
In order to understand what a Lesbian is, you ave to explain what a vagina is... and we can't have that, no siree Bob.

In any event, this shit cannot fly.
And most likely Amazon will find that it shot itself in the leg due to the fact that a large amount of their customer base are in fact, LGBT and lest we forget the Authors who will very likely crackdown on this nonsense.

Looking forward to the fall out.
eumelia: (bollocks)
Here is a funny usage of Amazon Rank, I shall be using it as much as I can.

And a whole bunch of links about the issue to be found here at meta_writer.

If you find more info or interesting posts on the subject you can and should comment to the post linked above at [ profile] meta_writer.


Also: Amazon: What Does the Amazon Sales Rank Mean and is It Significant?.
eumelia: (Default), the great book, music, dvd and other assortment of commodities has revamped their sales ranking system.
They're in fact, removed the sales ranking from what they deem "adult" material.
What does this actually mean, you ask?

An author of a young adult book with an m/m relationship at the centre noticed that the sales of his book disappeared and he wrote to Amazon, this is the reply he received:
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D

Member Services Advantage

Here is a list of the books that have been "purged" - It is long and they are all GAY!.
Please note that children's books like Heather has Two Mommies and Am I Blue? are included in this list.
The Playboy Centrefold, however, is not.

Books containing LGBT material of any kind are no longer ranked in sales and are not part of best seller searches.

So much for targeting "adult" content.

This is blatant homophobia and I urge you, if you care about the representation and treatment of queers in real life and the media write letters and boycott them.
In Protest of Amazon's New "Adult" Policy - Petition.

If you want to buy books online might I suggest Better World Books?

I'm off to remove my Wish list from Amazon and create an independent one.

I'm more boggled than pissed off to tell you the truth, as just today I added things of they consider "adult" content to my shopping cart and must say I'm so very disappointed in their (what I feel is) a reactionary response to the changing social climate on the US.

Screw them.

Yeah... I am a bit pissed.

Edited to Add: Means of directly contacting

Jeffrey Bezos, CEO
1200 12th Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98144-2734
United States
Phone: 206-266-1000
Fax: 206-622-2405

Edited to Add again: I love you Neil!!!


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.


-"V for Vendetta"


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