Showing posts with label NPR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NPR. Show all posts

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.

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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

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Saturday, July 13, 2019


Microphone, Talk, Speak, Record, Radio, Vintage, Old

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't, yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]


                   Just Who IS This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars: 
Dana -- A Gentlereader
Iggy -- A Sticky (GT*)
Marie-Louise -- My Muse (GT*)

"People who listen to NPR are forever thanking the hosts for 'sharing,' or 'initiating a dialogue,' or 'taking the time to explain this very important issue.'"                                                                                            -Tucker Carlson

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

I was listening to a local public radio station when I was out and about in the world in search of food. While I hate grocery shopping, most forms of shopping for that matter, I much prefer it to hunting and gathering.

As I've learned from my recovered/recovering friends/acquaintances/family members and some dude I was standing in line with at Five Guys Burgers and Fries: maintaining an attitude of gratitude takes the edge off of all sorts of things and it doesn't come with the inevitable side effects of substance abuse.

The practitioners of stoicism (the philosophy, not the Hollywood generated Leroy Jethro Gibbs types played by actors who often, not always, but often, seem to have feet of world-class clay version) figured this out a couple of thousand years ago.

Personally, I...

[Excuse me, special agent Mehlmauer, is this going anywhere?]

Sorry, Dana, point taken. I turned to/on the radio in Messy Momma's spiffy new SUV in a vain attempt to pacify my ruffled psyche.

Big Mistake
I was listening to a public radio show called On Point ("On Point is that now exceedingly rare public space where you hear nuanced explorations of complex topics live and in real-time."). 

They were doing a story about deepfakes: "Those doctored videos of Nancy Pelosi and Mark Zuckerberg highlight the growing threat of deepfake technology."

The bottom line was that the technology for altering video content for fun, propaganda, or fake news is making it harder and harder to tell real video from altered video and this is a RBFD (really big, um, freakin' deal).


As things stand at the moment, as far as I can tell, deepfake video is not much of a problem on established, mainstream cable/internet news/broadcast outlets --or anywhere else. In fact, just the opposite. More on that in just a sec'. I'm talking about any national/international news outlet with an audience sufficiently large enough to likely to be included with basic cable anywhere in the USA and/or with a major presence on the web.  

[By the way, Fox News and MSNBC are mainstream, no matter how hard they try to paint themselves otherwise. Pretending that they're not is purple journalism.]   

They talked about the YouTube video of Nancy Pelosi (costar of the hit reality broadcast, The Dancey & Shuckie show) that was deliberately altered to make it look like she was loaded.

Heaven forfend! The sheeple are going to be more susceptible to malignant manipulation than ever! We must get the word out because, of course, everyone assumes that video clips, particularly YouTube video clips, are as reliable a source of accurate information as, say, National Public Radio.

Why I don't see a problem is, well, this version of the disreputable video in question says it all.

It's a video clip, from YouTube, of coverage by NBC news of the crisis in question. Bottom line, they report that the video is a fake. In point of fact, if you go to YouTube and search for the invidious version of the vicious video, hit after hit turns up videos of various sundry debunkings of the original video.

I know it might be hard to believe, but it appears that the purple-tinted Infotainment Industry flogged this particular horse to an early grave.

You'll recall that I mentioned above that not only is deepfake video not much of a problem, "In fact, just the opposite," said I.

How so?

The crowded, highly competitive Infotainment Industry has to work hard to find enough stories to fill the 24x7x365 news cycle. While there's no shortage of news stories in a world that keeps getting smaller, stories that also keep people clicking/tuning in/even buying the dying dead trees formats, ain't easy. 

Our purple-tinted media must be ever vigilant and not neglect the entertainment aspect of their product. The Pelosi video is a double whammy. A deepfake video, fake news by definition, about a highly visible, highly partisan politician. Fake news and politics are both blood in the water. Fire up the Outragimatron!  

Deepfake videos are guaranteed to be scrutinized by the Infotainment Industry and this will help to neutralize the effect of all those internet videos that influence so many citizens of our naive and trusting republic. 

Also, we're blessed to be served by a highly principled, nonprofit organization like NPR, which oddly enough, is located in the Swamp.  

From the Washington Post via the Toledo Blade: "NPR’s gleaming new headquarters building in the shadow of the Capitol in Washington has soaring ceilings, a 24-hour 'wellness' center, an employee gym, and a gourmet cafe staffed by a resident chef." 

Keep those taxes and pledges coming, America. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day. 
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