‘THE GOOD WIFE’
“SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS DISCONTENTS”
In a recent episode about drafting new terms of service for a major client who is basically the Toobworld version of Google, the following dialogue came up:
They're working to get around your racist N-word ban.
Whenever they mean N-word they instead type ‘Neil Gross’.
I can print up the posts, but there are a lot.
All racist jokes with Neil Gross as the punchline….
That's not gonna go over well.
Later, Diane meets with the client, one Neil Gross…..
They're using my name?
I-I don't understand. How?
As a replacement for the N-word.
- They know you can't censor it.
- Oh, my God.
That idea of substituting a person’s name for what could be an obscene word was very familiar to me. And while I didn’t read it at the time, I remember the reviews for “Myron”, Gore Vidal’s prequel to “Myra Breckinridge”.
In his introduction to the novel, Vidal mentions the Supreme Court decision Miller v. California, which in his words "leaves to each community the right to decide what is pornography." Saying that the decision has "alarmed and confused peddlers of smut" by eliminating guidelines, Vidal says he has decided to substitute the names of the five Justices who voted for the decision, plus the names of anti-pornography crusaders Charles Keating of Citizens for Decent Literature and Father Morton A. Hill, S.J. of Morality in Media (whom Vidal had debated on ‘The David Susskind Show’ in 1968), for the "dirty words". He has done this to conform to the Supreme Court's imposition of the "community standards" test, as he wants "to conform with the letter and spirit of the Court's decision."
These are the words and their substitutions:
father hills: tits
whizzer white: cunt
Later editions of the novel do not use these substitutions.
The young gay, racist, neo-Nazi in this episode who was spearheading this online attack against the search engine ChumHum was no dummy. He was intelligent and more than likely had come up with this campaign inspired by the same source I was thinking of – he knew about Vidal’s literary technique of name substitution to get around a problem. He may have even read the televersion of the book “Myron”.
And of course there would be a televersion of “Myron”. It was written by Gore Vidal, after all, and there is a televersion of the author in the main Toobworld as well as in the Tooniverse.
In Toobworld, Vidal’s fictional televersion is best known for his visit to a little town called Fernwood, Ohio in 1976….
- Episode #2.08 (1976) ... (credit only)
- Episode #2.10 (1976) ... (uncredited)
- Episode #2.18 (1976) ... (uncredited)
- Episode #2.20 (1976) ... (uncredited)
- Episode #2.21 (1976) ... (credited)
- Episode #2.22 (1976) ... (uncredited)
- Episode #2.23 (1976) ... (credit only)
- Episode #2.25 (1976) ... (uncredited)
As for the Tooniverse:
- “Moe'N'a Lisa” (2006)
- “Mother Tucker” (2006)
These three appearances make Gore Vidal eligible for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as a multi-dimensional, even without a definitive link to ‘The Good Fight’.
Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Vidal…..
When I began the research on this post and learned that only the first edition of the novel had the substitute words, I decided to get a copy for myself, if only for the crass reasoning that it would be worth money - more money than I paid for it anyway.
I'm probably screwed..... LOL