Recap: those who have been reading snichael.com since its inception about 5 weeks ago know that the MAD editors have literally turned me into persona non grata over my blogging about the magazine here. (How dare I decide to blog on my own about something I did for fully 2/3 of my life, namely writing for MAD!). I’m still not sure exactly what has their panties in a wad (the Official Silent Treatment of me remains in effect); maybe they’re afraid I’m going to divulge the magazine’s secret nuclear launch codes or something.
Anyway, the latest interesting development: apparently the mere existence of comments about me and this blog on their own message boards at madmag.com was too much for them — they just deleted the entire comment-thread (with 10+ posts, the last time I looked)! Gone. Vanished. Like it was never there. (Hat tip to “MADferMAD,” who started the original thread on their site, then clued me in about its disappearance…as well as posting another comment on madmag.com asking them, basically, “WTF?” [see above; it may be the only copy soon; I'm betting they delete that, too])
So, how do I feel about their actively removing even the mention of my name from their public forums? Well, on one hand, I’m really very flattered: I’ve never been the “personal object” of censorship before! Makes me feel, gosh…SPECIAL! At the same time, I’m seriously kind of astounded (and a little alarmed at their mental state!) that they think my humble blog and I are somehow a “threat” to them dire enough to justify crossing an ethical line into Big Brother/thought-control territory. (Granted, it’s not that consequential an act of censorship, but they have now decreed that there’s a topic, and a person’s name, which are “verboten!” Though I’m sure they’d use a word other than the German one…)
But on a side note, it’s undeniable that their own petty-Orwellian actions here have further cemented my claim to being “MAD’s Most Ostracized Writer!” So I think I’m keeping that nickname for good, and using it everywhere. Has a nice ring to it.
P.S. to the MAD staff: Really, guys — censoring your own message boards!!! Very nice lesson for the kids! (This, from a magazine whose name used to be proudly associated — directly or indirectly — with Free Speech/First Amendment cases all the way up to the Supreme Court.)
UPDATE: There’s been a response to MADferMAD’s new post on the madmag.com message boards, from long-time MAD writer Dick DeBartolo. In fairness, I’m just going to link to Dick’s post without any commentary on it from me. (It’s the second one from the top)