As we see censorship, it is a stupid giant traffic policeman answering ‘Yes’ to ‘Am I my brother’s copper?’ He guards a one-way street and his semaphore has four signs, all marked ‘STOP.’
Franklin P. Adams, Nods and Becks, 1944
The problem of freedom in America is that of maintaining a competition of ideas, and you do not achieve that by silencing one brand of idea.
Max Lerner, Actions and Passion, 1949
The attack by the language/thought police on Dr. Seuss represents the opening of a new and disturbing front in the culture war. Now all of children’s literature abd folklore, including Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood, is vulnerable to censorship, simply because of (i) arbitrary adult perceptions and (ii) the fact that much of it was created for and in a different time and place.
So now it’s all potentially a free-fire zone for cultural deletion or reinterpretation.
Different time, different place
Why do liberals and cancel-culture warriors fail to grasp this simple piece of reality? Different time and place. Not to be judged by our standards. Slavery was once world-wide practice. Gradually the world has gotten rid of it. But even today some 40 million people are enslaved.
Now that Dr. Seuss is cancelled, I see that there are no limits to the cancel culture.
But wait. A free society does not burn or ban books. It explains them, especially in the light of their times.
Personal note: I read almost all the Seuss books and during all those years, never had a racial thought, e.g., “Gee, that looks like a colored (or Asian) person.” I am certain I never made any connection, and no one around me, students or teachers, did, at least not out loud.
But today offense is in the eye/ear of the beholder.
So now Dr. Seuss is offensive. And the keepers of his name and brand knuckle under. This is a stupid strategy. It sets a horrible example. Is this how enlightened adults act? What atrocious role models, pretending you know what’s in other people’s minds and trying to control the way they think.
Who first thought of it?
I can’t help wondering: who hatched this moronic idea, to extend political correctness to the very icon of children’s books? If it can be done to Seuss, then anybody. Somebody had to have thought of it. Shame on you, whoever you are. You have set loose a thought-virus, a new strain of perceived offense.
Anything means anything, except when we tell you what it means
I have to laugh at these linguistic hypocrites. These are the post-modernists who make exquisite distinctions among 30 genders, to whom anything means anything, except when we tell you what it means. How about a reasoned bi-lateral discussion along the lines of, yeah, I see why you feel that way, but these are kids’ books, and can we agree that they should not be subject to adult impressions?
Practical, rational approach
Here’s a thought for the book-banners: If you find the books objectionable, let the kids enjoy them — and later, when they’re more mature, give them your subtle literary/semiotic analysis and tell them what YOU perceive to be stereotypes which were apparently acceptable in their time. Maybe they’ll agree; maybe they won’t. But don’t take away their choice.
Next target: Mickey Mouse et al.
Now that all of childhood culture is up for grabs, let’s start with Disney,
I find the whole core group of Disney characters to be offensive and problematic (liberals love that word). Many questions arise:
Just what is the relationship between Mickey and Minnie? Why do they and most of the other characters go around nude from the waist down?
Why glorify a rodent, a disease-bearing varmint which we loathe and under most conditions try to exterminate?
Can Donald’s incessant quacking be construed as mocking victims (they love that word too) of ADHD?
Also, often asked: If both Goofy and Pluto are dogs, what’s the difference? Is there some kind of trans-sexual micro-aggression there?
And let’s not forget Uncle Scrooge, the filthiest of the filthy rich, with a swimming pool full of money.
There are many more questions about this perverted bunch.
And we haven’t even begun to talk about the Seven Dwarfs.