Friday, September 29, 2017

The Lessons of Dr Seuss

There is a librarian in the news right now for rejecting a set of Dr Seuss books that the Squatter in the White House's wife donated to her school. And clearly, she is making her move to be a celebrity and perhaps get a "Mover and Shaker" award from ALA.  But for the most part, she is an idiot who represents the worst in current librarianship.

I'm with her in that her district doesn't need what probably amounts to about $100 more worth of Dr Seuss books in comparison to many other, far more impoverished districts. And she could have just kept her mouth shut and donated the books accordingly.  But that's not what is truly frosting this MLS carrying twit. It's the political correctness of  it all.

Now first of all, she is talking about the wife of the man who has brought open bigotry back into fashion, who thinks there are "good people" among torch carrying neo-Nazis.  So expecting political correctness in her choice of books is, to say the least, hilarious.

But her view, that Dr Seuss is a perfect example of the Squatter's base's sort of viewpoint, is utter bullshit.

Yes, there are lots of  what would now be politically incorrect stuff in Seuss's early works. But he was a product of his times. It was 1930s America. And it wasn't for kids. It was advertising, and military training films, and other things not aimed at kids.

His kids work is NOT like that at all. Instead, it is filled with lessons like "A person's a person, no matter how small," in "Horton Hears A Who."  It's got ecological messages, like in the "Lorax."

And take a look at "The Sneetches."  It's as anti-discrimination as you can get. That's the whole point of the story:

As for those lovely alternative books that she suggested?
They're the sort that sit on the shelf here in my library full of privileged white families.
They never go anywhere.

Meanwhile, the Seuss books continue to fly off the shelves....................

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