I hope you will speak about the terrible acts of censorship in the cartoon world today. You now doubt have many insights. We see only the tip of the iceberg in your notes in your books.
The most recent is Bruce Tinsley, whose strip “Mallard Fillmore” is being murdered by the US Cancel Culture. The sin was mocking President Biden’s glorification of allowing men to compete in women’s sports because they “feel like it”. Two strikes and you are out in this game of baseball.
His works join those of Ted Geisel (AKA Dr Seuss) whose posthumous foundation survives him in the management of his literary estate. They have pulled half a dozen of his children’s books in a blatant surrender to PC whims.
“I think it’s the most natural thing in the world is to make fun of stuff, because things are really stupid.”
— Frank Zappa
A lot of people are going along with the Seuss stuff because they believe the criticism is legitimate and “some” of his “older” books are problematic. All we got to do then is get rid of those, perfectly fine right, and that will be the end of it and we can read what people assume are the non-problematic ones like Cat in the Hat and Sneetches.
Before jumping on that “compromise” bandwagon I strongly suggest everyone read the actual 2019 paper that is the basis of “research based findings” written in order to indoctrinate impressionable children into toxic and harmful ideologies. The paper is called “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti- Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books” and was published in the academic journal “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature”. The paper is freely available to read on the web. Read pages 22 through 27. There you will find their harshest criticism and condemnation for The Cat in the Hat, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, and The Sneetches. Each of these is described as not incidentally but profoundly and at their very core extremist manifestos of White Supremacy. Have these books at hand and compare them. Ask yourself and your children (if you want to traumatize them, but discussing racism and alleged white supremacy advocacy in Seuss with your 3-7 yr olds is being recommended by some) if that is really what these stories are about.
I find the explanations in the article to be amusing sophomoric exercises in reading something in that clearly isn’t there. It can be fun in college to write papers like that. Argue something absurd for the fun of it and make it seem plausible. There isn’t though an expectation that the claims would be taken seriously or would be used as part of a movement to stop book sales, remove them from shelves, or insist anyone take the claims seriously lest they be labelled in a way that would ruin their lives.
People need to know that these six books are the first six books that are to be removed from sale. They “discovered” through “research” problems with nearly every book in Seuss’ canon, and the problems in the six removed books had far less worse anaylses than either The Cat in the Hat or The Sneetches which are presented as if they are comparably problematic as that book by the head of the Third Reich. One must ask themselves, are The Cat in the Hat and these books really about these things? Or if not, would any child ever actually internalize the messages it allegedly is secretly transmitting to them? And if not, how should that paper and its advocates be regarded.
typo edit: “research based findings” *which propose that these stories were* written in order to indoctrinate impressionable children into toxic and harmful ideologies.
I appreciate your thoughtful writing, Scott. But I won’t be around in a couple decades to see how babies raised “Seussless” and on woke-approved doctrines think once they reach the age of reasoning.
My point in writing was to decry censorship in general, no matter how well-meaning. I’m challenged to think of an instance, present or historically, when it has had a positive effect, in terms of logic, reason and enlightenment. I’m still hoping to hear Bud speak. as a man who has had to walk a narrow line.
My thoughts on the discussion of Seuss: It’s difficult to judge a person of times past by today’s mores. George Washington owned slaves. Look at the allied propaganda during WWII. Japanese were depicted as wearing thick glasses, having buck teeth and saying “So Solly”. When I was a boy, people told Polish jokes. I saw a Skippy comic strip from the 1920’s that made stereotypical fun of a black boy. In the strip I’m posting today, you might think I’m making fun of the Germans. (Well, Nazis, but that’s ok)
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