Thinking through Dr Seuss and Fox News cancel culture

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Thinking through Dr Seuss and Fox News cancel culture

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:21 pm

Tucker Carlson poison and distortions are a much greater threat to America than over reaches of what he and his venal cohorts have contrived as cancel culture. There are over reaches like some of the thinking about Dr. Seuss. I found the most eggregious to be the cancel of Flannery Oconnor at one Catholic school.

I think O connor woulda been pro life and pro Planned Parenthood were she with us today. Like Dot Day of whom PBS will have a doc on Monday, both I am convinced would line up with Pope Francis political calculus which to make it simple would take Biden over Trump and Coons over McConnell.

I read the very good piece in today's NY Times, yes Thornton, the whole thing, every word.

I pretty much agree with these comments the article provoked.

The book-stealing Grinch was so terribly Woke
That the folks of the Town thought of him as a Joke!
Then the Library closed, there was no midday Song
While the Books shook in Fear that their Words were all Wrong!
"We're your Past," they all cried. "Don't let us all Burn!"
But without them, the Townsfolk no longer could Learn.

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jim commented 2 hours ago
2h ago
Times Pick
Sometimes some things deserve to be cancelled.
It's not as though any of these books won't be available somewhere, but not every book needs to be in general circulation forever. Times change. Our understanding of things change. What was once considered appropriate changes. Sometimes we come to understand that things that were once seen as benign really weren't. Humor, in particular, doesn't always age well. I'm a big fan of Dr. Seuss, but some of his stuff simply doesn't cut it in the 21st century. If these were adult books intended for adults it would be different, but the target audience here is children. Very young children. They don't need to be exposed to the casual cultural insensitivity of the pass.

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Olivia commented
2h ago
Times Pick
"And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" is one of my earliest literary memories as a child. I remember how fun and funny it was, how detailed and absorbing the hand drawings were. I remember reading it with my dad, and my two brothers. This still remains one of the most beloved books of my early childhood. I bought a copy for my niece when she was a toddler.

I am Asian (Chinese-American). My parents were immigrants. I didn't even remember the mention of the Chinese mandarin figure, until this whole issue exploded. I'm absolutely sure that it came across to five-year-old me as a quaint, silly, imaginary type of being, someone with no basis in reality and with no connection to real life, or to myself. You Dr. Seuss books in general (and many others geared towards kids of that age). Yes, even a child of five can understand when something is meant to be mean or hurtful, versus when it is not. Or that someone's attitude can be an unfortunate product of their times, not a reflection of their inner depravity. I would ask: how many of you really think that if you had been born and raised in previous generations, that you would have been as "woke" as you are today?

I am pretty liberal in most respects. But more and more nowadays, I fear that political correctness has just been taken too far.

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Marshall Doris commented 2 hours ago

Concord, CA
2h ago
Times Pick
“Banning books,” puts an intentional, and simplistic, pejorative spin on what is actually a complex issue. It is one thing to consider banning books meant for adults, and quite another to regulate access to books that are most often intended for very young children. Dr. Seuss books would clearly fall in that latter category, even though adults often enjoy their clever humor.

Cultural attitudes clearly change over time, but art often lasts past those changes. Attitudes toward other cultures have certainly changed over my lifetime. I’m 70 and I clearly remember hearing my grandfather make comments that would not pass muster today. He was born in 1896, and so grew up as a white person in a culture that was very different than the one today. Those have been needed changes, yet I have to say that I can hold two thoughts in my head: my grandfather had the ideas he had, and we have less simplistic notions about race, culture, and identity now than he did then.

Dr. Seuss didn’t grow up in the culture that prevails today, so his work reflects a different perspective on these issues. Banning shouldn’t be the solution. Yet that said, carefully controlling the ways in which children are now exposed to those works is not an evil undermining of artistic integrity. It is simply a cautious curating of an historic, as well as artistic, legacy, especially since is is being done by the owner of the content, not the government.

In Reply to Marshall Doris15 RecommendShareFlag

Times Pick
How do our future generations 'study' history accurately when it is being edited? This idea seems contradictory. Every country, including ours, has many parts of their past that are ugly, violent, racist, and unfair. The nationwide sentiment to 'shield our collective eyes' from the past is irresponsible, insecure, and dangerous.
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Stephen Fox
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