You can't say that!


That’s what I was told, repeatedly, by some people back in 1994 when I was trying to find an agent for my first novel, “Stocks and Bondage”, based on the true story of a transvestite stock broker who’d murdered a client he’d defrauded. One offended agent took the trouble to call me and lisped (really) “In my thirty years in business, I have never been so offended in my life!” “Does that mean you don’t want to represent me?”, I asked, but rather than answer, he hung up.

I eventually got to a major publisher, thanks to the intervention of the late Warren Cassell of Just Books, but alas, while an editor there loved the story, publishers had by then turned all decisions over to committees, and committees have no sense of humor and certainly no taste for the off-beat. Hence my move to brain-dead career of real estate peddling.

My failure at establishing a writing career was due, at least in part — I will humbly concede that lack of skill was a perfectly plausible alternative — to the emerging political correctness movement. I regret that I didn’t start my quest to be published back in 1979, when I was wasting my time in law school. Here, for instance, is a snippet from Monty Python’s “Life of Bryan” from that year; a movie that could never be made today. Indeed, BBC’s current management has assured its audience that the Monty Python show itself would never be allowed to air today. “Six Oxford white blokes” would never pass the stern humor committee’s requirements. And so this would never has seen the light of broadcast day, even though it’s the perfect riposte to the current idiocy afflicting our world:

Judith: Why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!
Stan: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But you can’t have babies.
Stan: Don’t you oppress me.
Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan – you haven’t got a womb. Where’s the fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?… What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can’t have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality.