If you were a Millennial child in the mid-to-late 1990s like me, then you read R.L. Stine's Goosebumps.
Like, a lot of Goosebumps. Like dozens upon dozens of the books.
You collected them obsessively. You read each one to tatters. That one aisle of Goosebumps in Barnes & Noble was like the Library of Alexandria to you.
So to see these books getting censored to appeal to pathetic woke sensibilities is, well, a big downer:
Publisher Scholastic has made more than 100 amendments [to Gooseumps], changing words such as 'plump' to 'cheerful', and replacing 'crazy' with 'silly'.
The edits go well beyond that:
Scholastic's changes, first reported by The Times, included removing a reference to fat people with 'at least six chins' who were abducted by aliens.
The revised version now says the people are 'at least six feet six.'
In a reissue of the 1998 title Bride of the Living Dummy, the ventriloquist dummy Slappy knocks out a girl unconscious with a 'love tap' but the villain now uses a magic spell.
In the 1996 book Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, a character is described as 'tall and good-looking, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. Lee is African-American, and he sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool, like the rappers on MTV videos.'
The revised version now calls the character 'tall and good-looking, with brown skin, dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. He sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool.'
And they get even dumber than that. too:
In The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, from 1997, the boys of summer camp 'whistled loudly', instead of having given 'a loud wolf-whistle'.
Another book, I Live In Your Basement, originally features the main character asking: 'Did he really expect me to be his slave – forever?'
The protagonist now asks: 'Did he really expect me to do this – forever?'
Yeah, um, no thanks.
Now, you might be tempted to blame R.L. Stine himself for these changes. But Stine says he never signed off on these ridiculous edits:
Scholastic insisted the changes were necessary to protect young people's mental health, but Stine said he was not consulted.
'The stories aren't true,' the Ohio-born author tweeted, in response to a reader complaining about the modifications.
'I've never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me.'
So how does Scholastic justify making needless, stupid changes to a beloved author's work without the author's permission?
'For more than 30 years, the Goosebumps series has brought millions of kids to reading through humor with just the right amount of scary,' read the statement.
'Scholastic takes its responsibility seriously to continue bringing this classic adolescent brand to each new generation.
'When re-issuing titles several years ago, Scholastic reviewed the text to keep the language current and avoid imagery that could negatively impact a young person's view of themselves today, with a particular focus on mental health.'
Excuse me while I burst out in derisive laughter: