Right now I’m at the Metropolitan Opera House doing stuff for my Nixon in China internship David Kane so eloquently described here, but I wanted to post something from my made-of-awesome trip to Hartford, so here’s this.
My first stop yesterday was to the Mark Twain House, where I took a disappointingly-kinda-short-relative-to-the-price-of-admission tour of where the great author lived (it’s a really funky house – more on that in a later post) and saw the exhibits in the ornate visitors center. Now, this was a day after it was announced that a new edition of the classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be published, changing all of the 219 utterances (are they really utterances if they’re written?) of the word “nigger” (sorry, LeRoy Comrie) to that of the word “slave.” Now, I agree with most of the people in the country that the n-word shouldn’t be used in common conversation, ever. But I’m against this – there should be a discussion on the word itself (there was a great documentary on the topic not too long ago) and racism on the whole when teaching the text, not a total sanitization of most of the historical value of the book. You might as well replace the n-word with “zombie.” (Oh, wait, they’ve done that. And are re-publishing it.)
Now, in probably my most fortuitous visit to a museum ever, I got to talk about the topic and my views on camera for NBC Connecticut. Since the embedding is impossible, here’s the link. I’m at around the 30-second mark in my Townsend Harris track jacket and mental_floss Beethoven shirt.