Brent Bozell
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The mass-marketing of profanity just won't stop. Now it's topping the best-selling book list -- in children's picture books. You might have heard by now that there's a "subversive" little bedtime book for adults. It should not be read to children. It's called "Go the F-- to Sleep."

Anyone who's ever been up at 2 in the morning with a baby or toddler knows exactly the feeling that is being exploited here. "Total genius," says the blurb on the front cover. Genius it is not. Anybody could have written this book in 90 minutes, tops. It's just having the "bright idea" of a naughty nighty-night book that might make the get-rich-quick schemers jealous.

The book could not be smaller (32 pages, seven ounces, and less than nine inches by six inches), but it retails for $14.95. This could be called getting your cursing bang for the buck. There are 428 words in this stupid thing, and 24 are curse words. That's about one profanity out of every 18 words. Shakespearean.

But wait! There's more! Barnes and Noble is even helpful to the buyer of this epic work of "genius" in recommending other tomes in this genre. On the sales slip, they insist that if you like this, of course you'll enjoy other literary works of high art like "S-- My Dad Says," "Farts" and "(A-Words) Finish First."

The publisher of "Go" is Akashic Books, a small purveyor of "urban literary fiction," which is a fancy way of saying "junk." The imprint's founder, Johnny Temple, told the U.K Guardian he was a little reluctant to buy it at first, but "it was definitely an interesting idea, and being the father of two little kids, I immediately sent it to my wife and other parents to gauge their reaction." The feedback he received was unanimous, he reported: "They were all vehement in encouraging me to publish it. My wife's e-mail response was just two words: 'I'm weeping.'"

The author of this tiny product, Adam Mansbach, usually writes novels, but he started writing these dirty little poems when his daughter wouldn't go to sleep. The poems went viral online, and then people insisted it be a book. The book was supposed to be out in October, but was selling like crazy online in March, so publication was moved up to June.

Now the book is not only an American phenomenon; it's been picked up by Canongate in the UK, and Fox bought the film rights. A (SET ITAL) film (SET ITAL)? This book literally takes two minutes to read. (In fact, you can -- and should -- read it in the store and put it back on the shelf.)

Canongate's Francis Bickmore says the book is so clever and "resonant" with "such a strong sense of voice." What idiocy. It "strikes a note of solidarity for all parents" and "might just become the ultimate gift book."

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Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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