Amazon – My Struggle.

There is a point at which tragedy can become the stuff of humour without offending good taste. It is a narrow line to walk for a comedian. It is an even narrower line for a romantic novelist in high heels. The death of Casanova from a love borne disease is part of history rather than accessible sorrow. Even football (soccer) players are unlikely to cry in public at the thought.  It is an irony rather than a work related disease and a claim for compensation. 

The six wives of King Henry VIII became the subjects of music hall songs under Queen Victoria. The thousands who died from the ambitions of Napoleon receive a fraction of the interest lavished on his love for Josephine. 

So it was that I opened my e mail inbox this morning to find a message from Amazon inviting me to trade in Adolf Hitler for a gift voucher. I laughed – I must admit I sat here laughing. Was there someone with a sense of humour at the Amazon time horizon of the universe? All the indications so far had been to the contrary. But there it was – I could hand in my copy of Mein Kampf and spend my reward on other goods. I had always smiled when Amazon had asked me to review this work of Hitler. I read some reviews in which serious types had taken issue with Hitler’s grasp of genetics. A few had criticised his prose style. So – these were the same guys who dish out my one star because of a misplaced hyphen on page 23. 

It is true. I do have a copy of Mein Kampf. It rests on a shelf among The Bible, The Koran, Einstein’s Theory of surviving Christmas with relatives, The Communist Manifesto and a Harlequin romance novel “The Billionaire’s Secret Love Child”. Ironically, to one side of Hitler is a workshop manual for the Volkswagen Beetle and on the other the poetic works of Wordsworth. 

Just imagine the fate of anyone in Nazi Germany sending back their copy of Mein Kampf. My guess is that their gift voucher would have been delivered by armed men in uniform and included a one way train ticket. 

Comrades – we have come a long way. We are free to laugh. We are free to mock. We are free to know.  Beyond the fragile walls of our society we know there are no gift vouchers for liberty. I’m gonna be keeping the words of the enemy on the shelf so that I’m sure to know them. The worry is what Amazon knows about me…..and who else might like to know in the future.


Emma Thinx: There’s no trade in on your conscience. It’s yours. 







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7 thoughts on “Amazon – My Struggle.

  1. I kept saying as I read your blog, “I must be misunderstanding this. Surely she isn't meaning Amazon knows she has Mein Kampf. They are into a lot of areas. Are they also selling information? As they say down here in the South, “Well lawsy me!”

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  2. Astounding, Emma, I'm floored! I also happen to have a copy of Mein Kampf (in French) that my father owned (he bought it before the war). When I asked him why he had it, he told me: “you need to know your enemy”…But so far, Amazon doesn't seem to be aware that I have it. Now that I've commented on your blog here, maybe they'll catch on? It will be interesting to see…Shall let you know!

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  3. Yes, They do know what's on my shelf….When France fell under Nazi rule, one of their early moves was to seize police and university records to see who was involved or interested in what. Nowadays it's all there at a blink of an algorithm.

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  4. We shall see. I think I bought it on Amazon some years ago when the kids were doing history. This intrusive total recall of what you have ever read is a concern. The British legal system is occasionally enthusiastic for witch hunts. We all know the spectacle of McCArthyism brought us. Next book I buy is gonna be for cash at a street stall and I'll have my hood pulled over my face.

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