Saturday, August 08, 2009

Define irony

Of all the books in all the world, Amazon chooses George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" to peremptorily delete from people's Kindle devices? You're kidding me, right?

This is the kind of thing that if I put it in my screenplay some reader would comment in the margin, and rightfully so, "Too spot on. Choose another book."

Yet, it did so happen that on the 17th of July, in the year of the Omnipotent and Everpresent, 2009, did in fact reach its eerie electronic tentacles out into the ether and remove every instance of "1984" and "Animal Farm" from every Kindle owner who had purchased the books. Just like that. Gone in an instant. Poof.

Big Brother comes to life and its name is Jeff Bezos. This is not a drill.

The irony of this situation is so incredible that you can't help but feel that some poor misguided PR peon is sitting in an office somewhere, cowering under his desk, muttering to himself over and over, "it wasn't supposed to happen like this."

To be scrupulously honest, I don't why, but why not, let's let Amazon 'splain. Or at least, sum up.

First, the books' publisher changed its mind about offering electronic versions of the books. Let me be clear, the publisher decided it wanted to rescind previously granted permission. Post-facto.
Next, Amazon crumpled under publisher pressure. Again, let me be absolutely clear. Amazon crumpled, surrendered, folded, caved like Kirstie Alley saying yes to a cupcake.
Finally, like the fog on little cat feet, Amazon snuck in like a thief in the night and absconded with its customers' books.

Well, that does clear everything up.

I hear that Amazon is promising never to do anything like this again. Promises, promises.

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