> But then some good angel puts it into the head of a Boston preacher to read your book and take it to the Boston police, and the police go and arrest a bookclerk for selling your book, which is obscene. Instantly the press agencies flash the name of your book to every town and village in the United States, and your publishers get orders by telegraph from Podunk and Kalamazoo.

This reminds me of Harrison Butker’s commencement speech at Benedictine College a couple of weeks ago.

This was a speech by a fairly obscure guy (he is a place kicker) at a fairly obscure college. But because he said something our culture considers obscene, his speech was on the front page of all the news sites and talked about on Twitter.

Normally, maybe a few hundred people would have heard his speech. Now likely millions of people have at least heard a portion of his speech.

Similar tactics were used by the YIP and Situationist International some decades later. Abbie Hoffmann's Steal This Book had a rather long reach, for example both the hip-hop act Coup (1998) and the rock orchestra System of a Down (2002) released records called something like Steal this Album.



I have a feeling this advice still works pretty well, albeit probably not centered on Boston in the current age
It bugs me that I can read New Yorker articles using the Apple News app but I can’t read it on its own website.
I think the problem with this is that the things that would be offensive enough to enough people to get attention are exactly the sort of things that publishers would refuse to publish.

The world has changed and its not obscenity that offends anymore, its racial slurs and the like that would get the most attention. Its also harder for most people to do honestly because its not the subjects you cover, but what you say about them that will offend. That kills the " deal with the facts of life frankly and honestly" idea - it would only work if your honest view is one that people will find objectionable - but then so will most publishers.