Noni Hazlehurst Lays Waste to Our Collective Childhood



It was bad enough when Werner Herzog, professional hippy and filmmaker, read aloud the children’s-book-for-adults Go the F*** to Sleep and destroyed documentaries for me forever. But things just got worse and worse.

Even though I had heard Samuel L. Jackson, beloved star of such children’s classics as Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, drop the occasional cuss word, I wasn’t prepared for the aural onslaught of him reading Go the F*** to Sleep. University students the world over wept in their sleep as Pulp Fiction posters mysteriously dropped from dorm-room walls.


But then things got really bad. Noni Hazlehurst’s reading has literally destroyed my childhood. No seriously, don’t laugh or condemn my misuse of the word ‘literally’. It’s been several years since I watched Playschool, but I’m pretty sure it stopped existing when I stopped watching it. That’s how beloved children’s television shows work, right? At any rate, it was only right and proper that the boys at YouTube pulled the video off the site when they saw Noni destroying their childhoods as well. If you haven’t already seen it, and let’s face it, it happened a week ago now so you probably have, then just try to watch the video above and not cringe every time Noni’s gentle motherly lips frame the F-bomb.

What is next, I ask you? Barney the Dinosaur? The Teletubbies? Dame Judi Dench? Will the madness never stop? I think it would be best for everyone if we bring this evil to the surface now and then move on from the whole sorry business. So if you’ve come across any other readings of this vile piece of not-quite-children’s literature, please sound off in the comments below. And be sure to include a link.

News Round-up: The Go the F**k to Sleep Edition

Lots happening around the ebook traps this week and last. You’d have to be living in a ditch not to have at least heard someone mention Go the Fuck to Sleep, a humorous children’s book that has gone viral on the internet. What’s interesting about this particular development is that the full colour, full text PDF of the book has been circulating via email and is freely available on the internet, yet that has not stopped the book from going to number one on Amazon. Now seems to be the perfect time to re-link to this post and re-iterate the argument I made therein: if your book has been pirated 500,000 times, you are not in danger of never making any money from it.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon has basically come out and said that the company will be making a tablet this year, and rumours are flying that they’re not making one tablet but several (or at least two), with different screen sizes and processor speeds. Their product codenames are “Coyote” and “Hollywood”, proving that no matter how cool the news gets, codenames will always be cooler. And if that news didn’t convince you that Amazon is trying to take over the world, then check this out. If they don’t own your soul yet, they soon will.

More news on the Apple 30% vig stories. The app (and store) iFlow Reader has decided to close its doors due to Apple’s policy. In case you don’t remember me writing about this earlier, Apple has introduced a policy (or, more accurately, begun enforcing an old policy) whereby digital content apps, including all book reading apps, must go through Apple’s in-app purchasing system in order to on-sell their content. Apple’s in-app system skims 30% off the top of all sales, making it impossible for smaller businesses (like iFlow) to make the numbers work. Apple will begin enforcing this policy from June 1, so there’s likely to be a bit of news about this in the coming week.

Despite this, other rumours have emerged that there is a loophole to this rule – companies that would like to allow their content to be read on iOS devices but not purchased need only remove any link to their store. So, for example, those of you who have used the Kindle app on their iPhone or iPad will likely see a little “Kindle Store” icon in the top-right hand corner of the main screen. Using the new loophole, Amazon would only need to remove this link in order to make the app compliant. I guess you could argue this is a good thing, but you have to wonder who this is really hurting. Are Kindle shoppers really going to stop buying Kindle books because the link is no longer inside the app? No, probably not. But smaller indie publishers and retailers with extremely low margins and non-existent brand recognition will likely close down or labour in obscurity until they fail. This move by Apple is anti-competitive, anti-user and ultimately bad for everyone except Apple. If you’d like to complain, you can do so here.