I’m Back from the Eye Doctor’s

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My pupils will be dilated like this all day, and that will be a problem. The good news is, I’m in no immediate danger of going blind and I don’t need new glasses: everything shipshape, glaucoma held at bay. I don’t have any bad news.

I was rescued from the waiting room just as I was about to dip into Treasure Planet, a hardcover children’s book version of the 2002 Disney movie. I only had time to notice two things: they’d turned Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island into a thesaurus of science fiction cliches, and transformed the character of Captain Smollet into a female.

They didn’t stand over Stevenson’s grave and make rude noises and disrespectful gestures, but only because that would have been superfluous, given the contempt they’d already shown for an immortal work of story-telling.

Look, if you want female action heroes, fine–write ’em, film ’em. But don’t trash the work of a dead author who’s not here to defend himself; and for the love of all things holy, don’t rewrite the classics! Created by a genius and modified by idiots: never a pleasing combination.

“Hey, why don’t we make an animated science fiction cartoon of The Iliad?”

“The what?”

The Iliad–the story of the Trojan War.”

“They had a war over Trojans? Couldn’t they just use another brand?”

“We could make Achilles a transwoman!”


Make that “modified by illiterate idiots.”

5 comments on “I’m Back from the Eye Doctor’s

  1. How dare anyone do such a thing to an old beloved classic? I know, nothing is sacred to them. Just shows their own lack of creativity.

  2. To stand over Stevenson’s grave they would have to go to the island of Samoa – and it is way, way out there in the Pacific Ocean.

    When I taught on “Animal Farm” yesterday, I read where “The Guardian” newspaper had an article that some Russian in the late 1890’s had written a political satire using farm animals, so Orwell wasn’t original. I see nothing wrong being inspired by other works as long as yours is not plagiarism. But to deliberately change the story and characters of a classic like “Treasure Island” is taboo in my book.

  3. I’m about up to my neck wit “reimagined” versions of classics. The “reimagined” Anne of Green Gables recently produced in Canada guts the characters of the very nature in favor of presenting a politically correct version of the story. It is to retch.

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