Do I need to remind you guys about that time I went “ballistic” on Jan Beatty and may or may not have in so many words told her to take a microphone and well, ahem, shove it up her ass?

Right.  Didn’t think so.

Check it out.  Reader Mme.G. wrote:

You’ll be happy to know that when David Sedaris made his appearance yesterday (6/8) at Joseph-Beth, he deliberately chose a piece that didn’t have foul language in it because he was in a bookstore and not in a theatre.  He was about to read one piece he’d chosen and then stopped, saying, “Sometimes, when you’re in a bookstore, you can’t use the exact language you want.”  So there, Jan Beatty!  And he’s way more famous than you.

Yeah!  So THERE!


  1. In Sewickley
    June 9, 2008 9:47 am

    *roll eyes*

    It sounds like David Sedaris doesn’t care about free speech. Can someone say pansy? ;-)

    This might be the ONLY issue I disagree with you on, PittGirl.

    Oh wait. This and my hatred of Wendy Bell and her baby bumps.

  2. efw_west
    June 9, 2008 10:19 am

    Sorry, but does free speech entitle you to screem fire in a crowded movie theater as a joke? I would hardly call Mr. Sedaris a pansy since he chose to use some common decency.

  3. Mme.G
    June 9, 2008 10:41 am

    Pansy or not, I’ll bet he gets a better turnout at his readings than Jan Beatty does.

  4. unsatisfied
    June 9, 2008 10:42 am

    great to see at least one writer who has some common sense!

    when will people see that free speech really isn’t “free”? speech can come with a price and a consequence. sometimes, these “free speechers” forget about that.

  5. Christina
    June 9, 2008 10:48 am

    Nyah,nyah,nyah,nyah,nyah, Jan Beatty! A much more famous writer one-upped you at Joe Beth.

  6. Lyon Advocate
    June 9, 2008 10:52 am

    In Sewickley,

    It amazes me that people do not understand the difference between State limits on speech and business/personal decisions. Do you also think that Mark Madden’s Constitutional rights were trampled upon? If so, please read this ( Start at the top.

  7. In Sewickley
    June 9, 2008 11:04 am

    hehe. Don’t get all bent out of shape!

    While I understand that the store has the right to do whatever they want, their decision to censor her speech was wrong. That’s my opinion — agree or disagree, that’s up to you.

    What Mark Madden said doesn’t relate to this situation at all. Besides, he was a moron to say it, but it’s his right to say it. He said it and now he’s paying the consequence from his company.

    I’m all about upholding free speech. Just because someone doesn’t agree with what you have to say doesn’t mean they can’t say it. Geesh.

  8. Mrs Pitsberger
    June 9, 2008 11:07 am

    Why can’t consideration for other people be as expected as free speech?

  9. Lyon Advocate
    June 9, 2008 11:13 am

    Reread what you wrote. Again, start at the top and read s-l-o-w-l-y. I’ll help you out:

    “…he was a moron to say it, but it’s his right to say it. He said it and now he’s paying the consequence from his company.”

    No question Beatty has a right to read her writing, just not in that store or in my living room (though I’d be fine with it if she wants to stop by). There is no censorship in this instance.

  10. unsatisfied
    June 9, 2008 11:18 am

    in sewickley….

    let’s say I’m having a cookout at my house.

    and, let’s say that one of my invitees is a smoker.

    and, let’s say that I don’t enjoy having smoke in my house, so I tell my invitee that he/she can indeed smoke, but only outside?

    am I wrong for doing this?

    again, as lyon states, this a personal decision — just as joseph-bath made a business decision. it doesn’t mean that my invitee can’t smoke — it just means that he/she can’t do it in my house.

    besides, I’m sure that there is a bookstore somewhere who would love to have jan wax on about her erotic poetry.

  11. spoon
    June 9, 2008 11:19 am

    Mark was also under contract and had to adhere to the rules of the station. He knew what he was doing and that his time was done once the playoffs were over. Outside of Pittsburgh there are plenty of more talented loudmouths already in other markets. I heard Erie could use some help up there with their sports “super genius” but the public would hold a protest if he says the word “damn”.

    i do like what David Sedaris. made me snicker. good stuff.

  12. jbusch
    June 9, 2008 11:28 am

    in all fairness:

    A) sedaris probably din’t know about the jan beaty thing
    B) he did drop the eff bomb
    C) and a reference to fellatio

  13. unsatisfied
    June 9, 2008 1:18 pm

    didn’t wile e. coyote also bill himself as a “super-genius”?

    man, my 3rd post on this thread — I must be super-bored…..

  14. Jen
    June 9, 2008 1:35 pm

    Sometimes, when you’re in a bookstore, you can’t use the exact language you want.

    Sedaris & Beatty are both professional writers, with many books in the bookstores; they would both understand this concept. Know your audience & your sponsor, choose accordingly. (Beatty did have a reading in Joe-Beth prior to this whole ordeal & there were no problems reported.) The difference is that Joe-Beth tried to limit the choices that Beatty could make. There were other offers made (reading without mic/speaker system, etc), but at one point in their negotiations, they wanted to explicitly state which poems she could & could not read.

  15. Deutschtown Frau
    June 9, 2008 2:21 pm

    Time to revisit the difference between censorship and censure. Censorship is what the government does (or in America’s case, mostly never does). Censure is what we do to each other, in the marketplace of ideas or in the tangible commercial marketplace, when we don’t like someone else’s choices or fear their impact on us and therefore speak out or take some action against them (boycott, rescinded invitation, etc.). Perfectly legitimate. Necessary, even.

    Joe Beth owners were within their rights to try to protect their business from the negative impact of Beatty’s not-for-all-ears works. If they don’t balance all their potential customers’ interests, soon they won’t have a business to extend to Beatty as a money-making platform.

    She’s a big baby — or a tiresome cynical exploiter of the “cry censorship” crowd.

    David Sedaris makes me weep with laughter.

  16. Amanda
    June 9, 2008 2:39 pm

    If I may take this party off topic for one tiny second… I’d like to tell my fellow burghers that David Sedaris gave me a SunChip yesterday. My life is complete.

  17. DeutschtownFrau
    June 9, 2008 4:51 pm

    Amanda, I don’t doubt for a second that it was a very funny, special SunChip too, because it touched David Sedaris’s hand. Lucky you!

  18. Lawrence
    June 10, 2008 9:29 am

    Two points here.

    1. As a writer being invited into a bookstore, free speech is a must … but at the same time being in a bookstore like Jo-Beth which is heavily family oriented, you need to use common sense as to what your readings and discussion contains as a common courtesy to the families and children that may be there.

    2. With Jo-Beth ….. it was wrong of them to force a write making an appearance to work with only their choice of selections. If they were that worried about content, the writer should have not been invited, or scheduled during special hours appropriate for the content (Art All Night makes provisions for NC17 content, I think Jo-Beth could do that also)….. that would have been the better business decision – not censoring the writer/speaker.

  19. pittgirl
    June 10, 2008 9:31 am

    Lawrence, you’ve forgotten.

    When she said she would not only read the selections that they chose, they said that she could read ANYTHING SHE WANTED, as long as she agreed to read it privately to the group/fans assembled and not have it piped over the sound system.

    Not censorship.

  20. Lawrence
    June 10, 2008 9:43 am

    Oops, sorry Pittgirl …. my oversight