Lesson Number One: If you want to prevent people from reading books or watching movies that you don't like then don't make a big fuss out of it because (duh!) it only helps market the product or work that you oppose.
Case in point 1: Al Franken's book leaped merrily from a ranking of #558 to # 1 in two days thanks to the Fox News lawsuit over the title.
Case in point 2: Mel Gibson's 'The Passion' a film about the death of Christ has many people and almost all of the media aflutter.
Personally, I am not a big fan of Franken since, like Michael Moore (and that blond haired ultra-Conservative - what's her name?), he goes for simple arguments against his adversaries. There's ultimately more finger pointing and humorous barbs than real indepth criticism.
Although to be fair, Franken is usually pretty good with the facts (and he makes me laugh) so I won't grind him too hard.
The controversy over Gibson's movie reminds me of the same thing that happened with Martin Scorsese (The Last Temptation of Christ) and Kevin Smith (Dogma). As soon as artists start dealing with people's Gods in art or mainstream entertainment they are asking for trouble.
Remember this one?
Or this one?
Of course, this time the tables have turned a bit; the same crowd that opposed Scorsese (and the examples above) are now in favor of Mel.
But the same principles apply. If you let these works come and go without the media hype most people will not make a fuss - much less protest.
Another principle – that gets lost in the swirl – also applies. And that is the nature of true debate. Scorsese’s movie was misunderstood by everyone who didn’t see it. And I can’t help but think Gibson’s movie is getting the same simple-minded treatment. But, in fact, this is a great time to have a real debate about religion, about Christ, about Jews and what all this means to people.
Anyway, I'm not convinced that a movie about Christ will suddenly make non Anti-Semites into Anti-Semites nor fuel more Anti-Semitic behavior. But the one thing that is inevitable is that more people will now go and see the movie - once it gets picked up by a distributor.