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March 4, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Blinded by the slight

“It’s your thang. Do whatcha wanna do. I won’t tell you who to sock it to…” (Source)

(Important disclaimer: Not intended to encourage any sort of violence behind any gym or under stadium bleachers…)

“Different strokes for different folks…” (Source)

(Important disclaimer: Not intended as instruction for kayakers or medical technicians.)

historical riot over censorship. Satire Caricature "Résurrection de la Censure" 1832(resurrection of censorship) by the french artist J. J. Grandville, lithography.(USPD. pub.date/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

Historical, 1832, as well as hysterical. Satirical caricature “Résurrection de la Censure”(resurrection of censorship) by the French lithographer J. J. Grandville. Note the sleeping man on the left wearing “Constitution” printed on his white cap.(USPD. /Commons.wikimedia.org)

Everything old is new again?

Granted the format has altered with TV, the internet, social media, and giant tech companies.

A wee bit of déjà vu shakin’ up you?

children marching behind sharp leader following flag. Censorship."The good press (cartoon) The inscription reads "Sweet holy censorship. Let us go on your trail. Guide us by your hand like chuldren on a leash" 1847. (USPD. pub.date/reprod of PD art/commons.wikimedia.org)

“The Good Press (1847) with the inscription: “Sweet holy censorship. Let us go on your trail. Guide us by your hand like children on a leash” (USPD/commons.wikimedia.org)

“Teach your children well; their father’s…”

Oh, wait. That was pre-COVID back when critical thinking and personal responsibility were not considered threats to civilization.

When whimsical books like Dr. Seuss’s “Sneetches” (1961. 2 years before the MLK marches) featured funny looking cartoon creatures. “Dr. Seuss rarely drew people probably because he didn’t want to elevate one kind of person over any other kind of person.” Considered quite a liberal in his times, Seuss, wrote many many children’s books teaching them not to be racist. “Even a five-year-old gets the point of the story. At the deepest level, it doesn’t matter what we look like because underneath it all, we’re all the same. We’re all human beings, we’re in this together.”

“Feed them on your dreams…” (Source)

"Descente dans les ateliers de la liberté de la presse" ("Raid on the workshops of the freedom of the press"). Library of Congress description : "Print shows on the left, King Louis-Philippe in a right side profile, whiskers obscuring his face, with his hand over the mouth of a female printer, representing freedom of the press, and showing on the far left, Jean-Charles Persil holding a large pair of scissors, the typical device identifying a censor. Other government officials attempt to overturn the press and confront other printers near a press in the background. Hanging from wires above are issues of "La Caricature" and "Droits de L'Homme".1833"(USPD/LOC/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

“Descente dans les ateliers de la liberté de la presse” (“Raid on the workshops of the freedom of the press”). Library of Congress description : “Print shows on the left, King Louis-Philippe in a right side profile, whiskers obscuring his face, with his hand over the mouth of a female printer, representing freedom of the press, and showing on the far left, Jean-Charles Persil holding a large pair of scissors, the typical device identifying a censor. Other government officials attempt to overturn the press and confront other printers near a press in the background. Hanging from wires above are issues of “La Caricature” and “Droits de L’Homme”. Published in France, 1833.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Believe whatever you want to believe.

Let others do the same, please.

Forced conformity of thought is a dangerous beast.

If you don’t like what you see, hear, or read, simply shrug and Let it be.

(Important disclaimer: Chiropractors may offer relief from excessive shrugging.)

“A mature society understands that at the heart of democracy is argument.” (Salman Rushdie)

Boom shaka-laka-laka

Phil, the Philosopher of the Hedge

Man in hat silenced by razor. Censorship cartoon 1869. (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Some found wearing a top hat does not prevent being topped by a sharper accessory. Censorship cartoon 1869. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

24 Comments

  1. shoreacres / Mar 4 2021 6:33 am

    I’d leave a more extensive comment, but I’m afraid I’d stir my own juices again. One thing that came to mind when the news about The Recent Seuss Silliness was revealed was a line from the Lutheran baptismal ceremony. It’s been revised from time to time, but the essence of one question remains: “Do you renounce the devil, and all his empty promises?” Substitute “crazy, out-of-control wokeness” for the devil, and it still works.

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 6:19 pm

      Oh, I got on the soap box with another commenter, but your comment is just hysterically wonderful.
      It all started without Dr Seuss’s connection – something is odd when large private companies like Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook are telling citizens what to think, what they can read, and what they can buy. Private companies. It used to be just governments…who representatives we elected. Guess they found a way around that?
      Thanks for hopping on this spot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. easyweimaraner / Mar 4 2021 6:37 am

    yes… if I don’t like it I’ll let it be.. that’s the key…it rhymes!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 4 2021 7:23 am

      Truth flies like a butterfly and stings like a “be”. (“Thee” and “free” also rhyme but not everyone understands those…)
      Thanks for pawsing to chat!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Littlesundog / Mar 4 2021 6:38 am

    We no longer watch any news on TV. We get everything online from what we feel are reliable sources. I can’t even make it through commercials anymore – they’re ridiculous. If what we see on TV these days is acceptable, I’m deeply concerned about the mentality of our nation – maybe even the world. It’s all an evil progression of things. Sadly, many people don’t question it at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 16 2021 9:35 am

      It is just bonkers – like living in a movie script…a bad one.
      I watch “Varney” on the business channel and that’s about it.
      Despite all the hysteria in the decade of 80’s about serious instruction in critical thinking skills, none of it seems to have stuck..or social media/Facebook/Twitter/mainstream media has succeeded in making mush heads ( who wouldn’t recognize the scientific method, logical progression of thought, or persuasive devices in either speech and written).
      Quite concerning.Far too much baaaaaa and right over the ledge.
      Thanks for running wild and free and commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kate Crimmins / Mar 4 2021 8:56 am

    I found the music accompaniment (in my head) delightful. I always just let it be. Moving on down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 6:21 pm

      Maybe if we had more music like that now? Easy to sing along. Singing makes people happy. I think we need more happy people – so circling back…
      Thanks for joining the dance party

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sustainabilitea / Mar 4 2021 7:31 pm

    Don’t even get me started on the Dr. S ridiculousness! A few aphorisms spring to mind, one having to do with glass houses and stones and Jesus’ “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.” I read those books both when I was a child and more recently and I don’t remember any feelings of racism (but of course I’m white so I’m an automatic racist anyway, right?) and how about taking the opportunity to talk about something you feel uncomfortable about. How many of these people are perfect, have never told a joke about any race/group…oh, wait. They’re too busy being intolerant and trying to shut up and down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Is that the definition of tolerance? Can’t find that on any online dictionary. I’d also love to know what all these “woke” and “cancel” people are doing to improve society other than their idea of attacking everyone who doesn’t agree with them and trying to ruin their lives. Yeah, I’m mad and also quite concerned about the direction of this country.

    Ok, I’m done.

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 6:25 pm

      They’ll come after “One fish, Two Fish. Red fish. Blue Fish” next…well actually they did a few years ago.
      Loved your comment – can’t improve on that perfection.
      Thanks for shouting out such a finely tuned comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • sustainabilitea / Mar 6 2021 9:54 am

        And here’s another thought I had this morning. Who’s all up in arms about Banned Book Week? And who’s literally banning books now? Can we spell HYPOCRISY?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Anne Mehrling / Mar 4 2021 9:13 pm

    If Dr. Seuss is silenced, who will be next?

    Dr. Seuss, what’s the use??

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 6:15 pm

      Finally a little boy laughed and pointed out reality: the King had on no clothes.
      Sigh.
      Meanwhile, support your local library …American Library Association says “we don’t ban books.” Someone has to stand up and say, “hey, use your own judgement and choose for yourself.”(and “you’re not the boss of me” as the preschoolers says. HAHA) Thanks for being bemused.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anne Mehrling / Mar 5 2021 9:14 pm

        I would be in the library if I could browse there. I’m not organized enough to plan ahead and be at the curb at the proper time.

        Like

  7. disperser / Mar 5 2021 2:34 pm

    Gosh, I almost feel like a jerk for saying this (and I’m sure I will regret posting this, but what the heck, what have I got to lose?) . . . it’s six books out of sixty, and they were pulled out of print by the Dr. Seuss Foundation, who, by the way, has been enjoying record years in sales, so, you know, hardly silenced. Here is their statement:

    https://www.seussville.com/statement-from-dr-seuss-enterprises/

    Now, I’m a bit weird . . . I take what they say at face value, but then, I have no horse in the race.

    It might, however, help people who are freaking out if they look at the pictures that people thought might be insensitive under modern sensibilities. And while some might say “it was different seventy years ago”, consider this . . .

    . . . you could once utter the N-word in social circumstances because it was in common use. We’ve gone away from doing that. Same for other words describing people of different descents (I’m Italian . . . I could tell you a number of monikers referring to me having immigrated here).

    Strangely, no one calls me those names anymore, and certainly not by claiming “that was just what we called you back then”.

    The point is, as humans who are hopefully on an upward movement toward a more civilized, respectful, and considerate species, we have changed drastically from what we were 20, 40, 100 years ago. Some say it’s for the worse, but I don’t agree, mostly because people have selective memories when it comes to what they don’t want to remember.

    Heck, when was the last time you heard a “Polish” joke. Some of us are old enough to remember many of them . . . is anyone still comfortable voicing them? …except in private and among other people lacking respect for Polish nationals and for anyone not like themselves.

    Here are a couple of the Dr. Seuss drawings (there are more, obviously) some people thought might be insensitive for a population that prides itself in multiculturalism and living in a multinational world . . .

    The interesting thing about those is that of all the places that decried the apparent censorship, none actually posted (or even described) the images that prompted the Dr. Seuss Foundation to stop their publication; you know, the details of the “why”.

    They just cried “censorship”.

    And yes, maybe many people are not offended by those pictures (likely, they’re not the ones being depicted) and think their and other people’s children will not be affected by seeing them and that, in fact, children have a right to see them. Don’t worry, plenty of places where one can still buy the books.

    Note: I have all this material and arguments at the ready because a few incensed individuals assaulted me yesterday with arguments saying this was just the beginning of eventual book burning and the thought police coming for all books and that lib-tards will ruin life as we know it. It took me close to two hours of research to look into the matter (it had escaped my attention because, you know, I don’t care) and to satisfy myself that 1) this is not the end of the world, and 2) the owners of the copyright can do whatever they want and are not subject to me (or anyone) passing judgment on them, and 3) that I don’t see it as a big deal, and 4) that I can see where they’re coming from (hint: I don’t think their aim is to destroy “our” way of life).

    BUT . . . I could be wrong (I often am, I’m told), so, anyone objecting to the Foundation pulling those books can just boycott them; books, audio, and videos, and everything Dr. Seuss-related. That will show them!

    P. S. I still think posting this is a bad idea . . . but, strangely, I think I have to. For me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 4:21 pm

      What a perfect comment. Well grounded.
      This post actually started a while back (I’m sure I’ll wander around to what it was actually about eventually) the Seuss book just slipped in – because, well, why not.
      Few realize that these books have been under fire by some/reaching the end of profit shelf life for years. Certain groups have gone after Peanuts series (Racist, bullying), Tarzan (stereotype, women’s rights), Curious George (White dominance,Racist, offensive images), we won’t even approach Tin-Tin series, or Little Black Sambo (Critics didn’t realize it was actually about India, not US Southerners), Jungle Book, Little House on the Prairie, and Uncle Remus (folk stories in dialect but still available with “warning” on it). There are lots and lots of titles protested…depending on location (Some hate the “devil worship” of Harry Potter and satanic messages of stories with Halloween witches and ghosts. Tastes – and fears about something – change over time and place.
      Some like Gone with the Wind and Giant (movie) can be viewed “in context of times” or ignored completely
      Upon hearing of the Seuss controversy (big deal over nothing), I was first concerned all the titles were blackballed. Investigation showed ones were and were not, and the 6 titles can beastly be lived without without damage to literacy. The Seuss books are crafted with skill and hit all the big criteria for gold standard for language development and promote early reading skills. (research into how the brain acquires language/reading skills – what works and why – but we can get into that another time) Important titles safe, so moving on…sort of..they went after “One fish, two fish, red Fish, Blue fish” about 5 years ago…hints of racism…
      1. One man driving this is a Colombia U. prof. who doesn’t like the drawings and doesn’t want his daughter seeing the weird space aliens in grass skirts. Sounds like it’s his problem, kids generally are unfazed by weird space alien cartoons, but whatever. It’s his choice to read/buy the book or not for his child – If I were him, I’d probably skip that one. Not sure why he feels he has to mandate that choice for all other parents and all children….Victimhood can be taught as well as hate, prejudice, hope, and equality. (do you wonder how he feels about Hawaiian grass skirted dancers? hmmm.)
      2. The major complaints seems to be from the Southern Poverty Law Center. They issued a statement recently and here’s one of their analysis of “Sneetches” (a book about how we area ll the same no matter what we look like). Hmmm
      “The solution to the story’s conflict is that the Plain-Belly Sneetches and Star-Bellied Sneetches simply get confused as to who is oppressed. As a result, they accept one another. This message of “acceptance” does not acknowledge structural power imbalances. It doesn’t address the idea that historical narratives impact present-day power structures. And instead of encouraging young readers to recognize and take action against injustice, the story promotes a race-neutral approach.” (Learning for Justice website – the educational branch of SLPC
      Sooooo, being color blind and race-neutral is not enough for them..the real goal now is equity. Oh. So Bye, bye, Seuss, (you who were one time considered far too left a liberal preaching equality) – for sociology studies anyway.
      If you don’t feel his series tainted, the books are still solid for emerging literacy. Pick ones with better illustrations. (No, they shouldn’t re-illustrate the original 6 books -I do not like modifying any artists’ authors’ work. Leave them be and just walk away.
      Annoying as heck is that a few can decide what others can read, buy, listen to, search, watch on YouTube. Who knew private companies like Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebooks, Microsoft (Eat fake food – Gates says, you’ll like it.,..although the ingredients may not be healthy for some with health issues or allergies..sweeping generalizations ignore all….) who knew they would have as much or more power controlling than the government. Gosh darn.
      If Amazon pulls books, Ebay pulls books…they are followed by Walmart, Target, and schools worried, avoid titles. It’s a snowball rolling downhill and gathering speed and size. Those big companies have so little competition – few other outlets to buy from. So there is a concern. At least the ALA and librarians so far are saying the books stay. We’ll see if those are stolen off shelves.
      Book burning never goes well for any country that tries…and it has been tried. (You know how I’m been reading plague and revolution of Russia. Been there and done that with the French. Gads never knew how much Poland suffered in the Peter the Great era…Ukraine, too. )
      About the N-word? It is still used but modernized. Older African Americans are outraged but the younger ones ( at least in our minority majority area and in the rap culture) use it constantly without shame. Of course as one of my friends laughed “Do not think you gurl can ever use it. It’s ours.” There’s also a modern distiction linguistically: the old version ended in “–er”. The Updated version ends in “–ah” or “–ar”. My young colleagues who know say that makes all the difference…but don’t try it yourself… HAHA. Their grandparents are too not amused though…and do not like to hear it in music/films. Language morphs with the times, no?
      We grew up in a very rich multicultural environment – with corny jokes about everyone. Since everyone got slammed, nobody took it seriously. But most people grew out of all that before high school here. What do you think about Blazing Saddles film? Producers say it probably couldn’t be produce now even with SNL attitude – too many corny cultural stereotypes and silly offensive jokes. It is pretty funny if you can laugh at yourself. Few can these days.
      So circling back, actually this post, I’m concerned people are not allowed to think/act for themselves with mandates given by a few….And the the crowd is silent while it happens. Baaaa.
      That situation has not turned out well in the past – historically all over the world – over and over again.
      Figure it out, people. Do what is best for you personally and let others to do the same. And leave them alone. Works for me.(And I go back to the songs featured in the post….exit stage left….)
      Greatly appreciate the conversation.

      Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 4:25 pm

      Not sure why your comment went in spam…are they after you? HAHAHAHA
      Sorry some rabid people foolishly tried attacking you.
      That’s the problem. No civil debate anymore. Only emotional shallow storming of the fort. No real fun in that.

      Like

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 5:24 pm

        OH wait – it’s got to be the picture, right? They zapped you – decided who should see what…
        despite the illustrations were part of the analysis…Too bad. One size quick glance shallow censorship fits all…

        Like

      • disperser / Mar 5 2021 8:07 pm

        No, it’s the links; links in general.

        Usually, more than two links (the default unless you changed it in your settings) will put the comment in moderation (which should be different than spam) and notified you to either trash it or approve it. That’s because it’s assumed spammers will pepper a comment with links.

        The link to the foundation’s statement counts as one link, but the photos are also links, so that’s three links in one comment, hence, moderationville.

        So, the photos, yes, but not because of the content specifically.

        As for foolish people attacking me . . . no. What happens is that I tend to criticize both far left and far right oversimplification of complex ideas and subjects. Because of it, some people I know are often eager to send a headline my way as “proof” for their conspiratorial conjectures.

        Any more, I tend to ignore them but this tickled my curiosity.

        By the way, if one cares to do research, there are some seriously racist cartoons drawn by Dr. Seuss dating back to the 1920s (I mean, seriously racist) when he was doing Illustrations for a few publications.

        I don’t know the intent behind them (could be ignorance of the offensive nature or could be intentional) but they could be what he was referencing in later years when he said he regretted drawing caricatures of people. I think he also mentioned going to non-human subjects specifically to avoid the same issues in latter works.

        I’m still unsure of his views on race (but I don’t much care), but then it’s difficult to summarize one’s position on something when one’s life spans multiple decades. Another problem with taking a sliver of something and trying to build a house from it.

        Regardless, people can rest assured copies of these books will be around for years to come. Certainly in physical form, but since they are already available in digital form, they are practically immortal.

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2021 7:16 am

          I like you “build a house/sliver” comparison. That applies to so much.
          There is no question about his early works. There are interviews by his children that might provide some insight for those interested…but as you say, if anyone cares to spend time researching before ranting. As those works(and the author’s intent) were not involved/considered during research literature reviews, I know little about them other than they exist. (Boy is he lucky there was no internet and cloud storage at that time…Twitter would be flaming)(Wonder if those are on Gutenberg literature project. Most likely now that you mention it. If anyone cares)
          In theater there were many old plays that were produced/taught as “period pieces” that , as the knowledgable would say, should be viewed with a bit of suspended belief and seen in the context of the times not judged by modern standards. That concept seems to be AWOL now.(Along with the ability to discuss without extreme hyperbole emotion.)
          The concern is not really about books. “Suddenly” very large private companies are determining what the public is allowed to see, read, or buy. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, even bill Gates. Private companies – seeming to operate cooperatively/in tandem. Private companies having as much if not more power over people than elected representatives in government. Guess they found a way to get around that.
          Laws are really struggling with social media, internet, and human behavior. Not print, but it is the modern “print” so if selecting content, is that editing and putting media into that basket of rules? You also have the right to face your accusers, right? We’ll see. It’s gonna be fun.(Oh, gotta include this headline HAHAHAH) https://www.oann.com/texas-gov-abbott-joins-anti-censorship-push-against-social-media-giants/
          Personally as a kid I never liked Dr. Seuss books: weird silly illustrations, and not much story in the books…and what there was was pretty preachy. A little boring. As an adult I did come to respect the structure and language of the books for supporting learning to read. But other books – some pretty old – had so much richer language and more elevated concepts. And the art work. Kids are as dumb as many believe. Set the bar high – like with teaching jumping to horses – they both will surprise you
          Enjoyed the chat. Thanks

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Spinster / Mar 5 2021 6:31 pm

    So clearly because I refuse to consume 99% of any media, I missed all of this. I’m glad I did. Back into my hole…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 5 2021 7:16 pm

      We found the lack of electricity, (therefore no internet, media) during the winter storm not so bad….soothing sort of with all the naps…if the heater had just stayed on.
      Thanks for lobbing a bit of sense from your fortress.

      Liked by 1 person

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