Friday, March 19, 2021

How the Grinches Killed the Cat in the Hat

Image by Clark Keng from Pixabay 

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.

Please Note: If ya click on an Amazon ad, thus opening a portal to Amazon, and buy anything, Lord Jeffrey will toss a few pence in my direction and you won't have to feel guilty about enjoying my work  well, hopefully  for free. Win/Win.  



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Please forgive me if you're tired of hearing about this tempest in a teapot but you might enjoy, or at least find my take on the crisis to be interesting/different.  

According to newspapers of record and websites of clickbait, Theodore Giesel's (Dr. Seuss) estate has awokened to the fact that six of the good doctor's books have run afoul of the Intersectional Inquisition.

For example, the following is the lengthy subheadline of a New York Times story.

"The company that oversees the children’s author’s estate said that the titles contained depictions of groups that were 'hurtful and wrong.'"

Being a slightly cynical shabby shoe-wearing SOB, whose well-worn shoes got that way from repeated trips around the block, I confess I immediately jumped to an incorrect conclusion. 

I bet myself (I'll bet that...) there's a California mansion dwelling, carbon offset buying vegan with a Tesla Model S, a well-fed trust fund, and an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing that's been writing the next great American novel for at least a decade — a relative born after the great man died — pulling levers and pushing buttons behind an artisanal, organic cotton curtain.  

But I was completely wrong. I went a-googlin' and discovered two things. 

First, some version of the "oversees the children's author's estate" line turns up here, there, and even way over there. 

Second, that in reality there is no company that carefully oversees Mr. Gisel's estate and who has suddenly discovered that the beloved children's author has been corrupting America's youth for multiple decades. 


Who apparently was a popular propagandist for the American Pasty Patriarchy that established a nation based on slavery and racism in 1619. 


There's just a large, profit-seeking company (Random House) that's owned by another large, profit-seeking company (Penguin Random House) that's owned by a hooge, privately owned, multinational conglomerate (Bertelsmann).  

[Wait-wait-wait. What about Dr. Seuss Enterprises? Many of those articles you refer to mention Dr. Seuss Enterprises.]  

Long story short, Dana:

- Mr. Geisel died in 1991. 
- Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P. was founded by Mr. Geisel's widow in 1993. The couple had no kids. 
- Ms. Geisel sold her off her rights to "Living Books" (Random House Inc. and Broderbund Software Inc.) in 1994.
- Random House bought out Broderbund in 1997.  
- Randon House, a large, profit-seeking company that... well, we already know the rest.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises is just a division of a division of of a division of Bertelsmann AG. There is no "estate" headquartered in Whoville or anywhere else. 

There is, of course, a website, If ya click on the News and Events tab, you'll find the Statement From Dr. Seuss Enterprises that was released on 3/2/21 (Geisel's birthday) that kicked off the current kerfuffle.  

A  statement from the statement, "...Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles..." does not include any information as to just who these experts are, or why they were convened in the first place.

Googlin' the phrase Dr. Seuss and panel of experts, or something like it, returns a gazillion hits. Unfortunately, they're all for sources that mention the mysterious panel of experts without identifying the members of the powerful panel. 

My research department's repeated attempts to contact Dr. Seuss Enterprises for an answer to this question provided no...

[You made that up!]

Yes, I did.  

But you'd think/hope that some reporter from a newspaper of record or a website of clickbait would've asked the obvious question. Once again I bet myself (I'll bet that...) there's likely a panel of lawyers that urged preemptively jumping on the corporate wokewagon.

I was unable to confirm my suspicions but I did find an interesting article on NPR's website, on a page titled CODE SW!TCH - RACE. IN YOUR FACE. (Your donations and tax dollars at work.) 

The article mentions that the Read Across America program of America's largest labor union and nemesis of charter schools, the awokened National Education Association, figured out that that cat in a hat was a thinly disguised caucasian cat in blackface back in 2017, and had it euthanized

Perhaps the NEA supplied some experts for the panel of experts that "included educators" and I'm wrong yet again. If so, I hope that Dr. Seuss Enterprises will forgive me.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Share this column, give me a thumb (up or in my eye), and/or access older columns below. If my work pleases you you can buy me some cheap coffee with PayPal or plastic.    

Feel free to comment/like/follow/cancel/troll me on Cranky's Facebook page.

Cranky don't tweet.     




No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't demonize, compromise

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.