It’s remarkable what Canadians will get passionate about. The NHL takes a few months off, screwing over the fans for the umpteenth time, and maybe seven Canadians screamed, “Boycott!” There are places in Canada where the price of gasoline is 82% higher than some places in the United States, but Canadians respond with, “Well, gotta get to work, eh?”
But don’t mess with Anne of Green Gables. There, my friend, you’ve crossed a line.
It seems that an enterprising self-publisher has seized upon some shady rules in the publishing world, and has released a new edition of the L.M. Montgomery classic that replaces the image of Anne we’re used to seeing – personified by actress Megan Follows since 1985 as a red head – with an “updated” cover image that led one Toronto Star reader to suggest that Anne had been given “the porn treatment”.
Of course, one of the great things about reading a book or listening to the radio is that your mind paints detailed pictures for you. It’s why so many people are disappointed when one of their favorite books moves over to the big screen, and even why some people don’t like watching the videos for their favorite songs.
The text of the book hasn’t changed, of course. And I know we’re not supposed to make judgments based on outward appearances. But come on…the new cover image is more “Anne Does Green Gables” than “Anne of Green Gables”. Now, instead of the innocent, carefree music that would accompany the old Anne in your mind, it’s replaced with the “Bow-Chicka-BOW” that one would associate with the racy scenes in a PG-13 movie, or that Mercedes commercial from the Super Bowl.
The new Anne would make Daisy Duke blush. And that’s saying something. Goodbye, red hair, pigtails and freckles. Hello, highlights, hairspray and hell-raisin’.
Just the example we all want to set for our little girls. The good news is, like so many things that inspire righteous indignation, purchasing the book is optional. (Until someone decides to lobby politicians and treat this new edition as though it should be as illegal as a KFC Double-Down.)