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Publisher discontinues printing of 6 books for racially insensitive themes. Dr Seuss to be rebranded as "woke".

https://apnews.com/article/dr-seuss-books-racist-images-d8ed...

intercst
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Everything has to adapt.

Movies often get edited for content.

How far can you go with classics? Its a good bet that experts have tried with Dr. Seuss. It probably depends on how much copyright holder will allow. If copyright is expired you wonder how much latitude is allowed?

If you edit N-word Jim out of Huckleberry Finn, is it still Huckleberry Finn? Mark Twain would turn over in his grave. But do his heir still have a say in the matter?
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Everything has to adapt.

In Dr. Seuss's case, I'm pretty sure the estate is being managed by professionals hired to maximize assets for the heirs. It was just a business decision, not a moral or political statement.

intercst
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If you edit N-word Jim out of Huckleberry Finn, is it still Huckleberry Finn?

No.

I remember reading Romeo and Juliet in high school and college as part of English classes. The first was so edited/sanitized that they were like 2 different stories.

History should not be sanitized nor erased. If you don't like it, learn from it so you don't repeat those mistakes. Dr Seuss is history, his contributions to children's literature and making reading fun for children is unmistakable. Ironically, many are calling him a racist while one of his books (The Sneetches) deals with racism in a way children can understand.

JLC
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History should not be sanitized nor erased.

I agree 100%.

One way of handling these books in schools is to keep them all, but preface those texts that have racist, bigoted, or other bias within them by pointing this out and also point out how society changes with new understandings over time. Just as some are doing with "Gone with the Wind", which is full of racism and historical inaccuracies, we should explain this before a showing and should do the same with those Seussian volumes that may need a little help. This could be part of the educational experience.

Pete
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They should at least be available for scholars to study. Caution notices for the public seem appropriate. Heavy editing not appropriate.
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History should not be sanitized nor erased. If you don't like it, learn from it so you don't repeat those mistakes. Dr Seuss is history, his contributions to children's literature and making reading fun for children is unmistakable. Ironically, many are calling him a racist while one of his books (The Sneetches) deals with racism in a way children can understand. -JLC

Agree in general, JLC; I am hanging onto my old copy of Little Black Sambo, but I would never read it to my grandkids.
...and Curious George has always been Curiously Stupid.

Some history is not suitable for children.

-Randy
if we simply keep running away from our past, we might turn into ghee.
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

History should not be sanitized nor erased.



Concur, that is exactly why much of the current ugliness is happening?


Tim <don't pay the ransom, I escaped from the doctor's office visit at the hospital this morning>


OT - Many of you buy Canadian Big Five banks for the dividends and safety. While not one of the big five I also own a significant to me position in Laurentian Bank (LB-T) that is also a Tier one bank that is national and based in Quebec. They did have some troubles a couple years back but for reasons I haven't had a chance to look for yet are up ~9.5% today and nearly 15% 5-Day Change with a yield of 4.38%.

Note: I do not give investment advice for a living and only a fool ... er ... not very clever person would follow me anyway!


Old army joke claimed to have been used often on young officers evaluations. "This officers men follow him out of curiosity as to what he will screw up next."
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History should not be sanitized nor erased.

It always has been.

The USian Civil War was re-imagined as being about "state's rights", and the people who took up arms against their government, instead of changing the system through the ballot box, were deified as heroes. I think I commented on the Quagmire, having recently watched "Gods And Generals", what a pile of pro-Confederate trash it is.

I'm waiting for the religious nutters to demand that "The Search For Spock" be edited, removing the part where McCoy refers to the Biblical story of Genesis as a "myth".

I noticed when "The Gallant Hours" was broadcast a few years ago, all the dialog references to "Japs" were edited out.

"Destination Tokyo" is a cracking good submarine story, but there are two or three anti-Japanese sequences that are so racist it makes my teeth hurt.

I also remember the story Daniel Inouye used to tell: returning to the states, he walked into a barber shop, in uniform, empty sleeve, chest covered with fruit salad, and the barber said "we don't cut Jap hair".

Those bits leave me conflicted. Do we edit the dialog in the movie, because it's derogatory to Japanese? Or do we leave it in, to reflect how Japanese were viewed at the time? Senator Inouye's story would not make sense outside of the backdrop of anti-Japanese sentiment that the films reflect.

Steve
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It was the publisher who removed the Dr. Seuss books. I think a publisher has the right to remove books it doesn't want to publish anymore.
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I sort of agree, except for one thing. Stereotypes are internalized.

When I was a kid, female characters never had the heroic or active role in anything I watched, so when we played, we all pretended to be boys because being the "girl" in our stores was boring. We all knew that society considered females to be the supporting role, not the star. That really affected all but the boldest of us when it came to career choices, and it affected the attitudes of the bosses who hired us later. That sort of thing is very, very difficult to undo.
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History should not be sanitized nor erased. If you don't like it, learn from it so you don't repeat those mistakes. Dr Seuss is history, his contributions to children's literature and making reading fun for children is unmistakable. Ironically, many are calling him a racist while one of his books (The Sneetches) deals with racism in a way children can understand. -JLC

Agree in general, JLC; I am hanging onto my old copy of Little Black Sambo, but I would never read it to my grandkids.
...and Curious George has always been Curiously Stupid.


There’s a bit of a difference between “Tom Sawyer”, which is read in the 6th grade, “Gone With The Wind” which is read in high school, and Dr. Seuss’s 6 extracted books (out of 60 which were written) and which are generally read by 4 to 6 year olds, and who (I hope it is obvious) lack the intellectual framework to make the kinds of distinctions were are talking about here, or even have it explained to them.

Nobody is talking about “banning” these Dr Seuss books. But the publisher has made a decision that a small part of the library reflects badly on the entire body of work, and has decided to stop publishing them. If a library = or Uncle Harry - want to keep a copy available for people to read, then that is their decision.

This is another Faux outrage, ranking right up there with the War On Christmas, stolen elections, and hoards of migrant caravans invading the border. We sit in the middle of a pandemic which has killed a half-million Americans, following an armed insurrection promoted by the President, with a recent and massive infrastructure failure in our second largest state, and while Iran lobs missiles into American bases and we do the same into Syrian cities.

So yes, by all means, let’s talk about a private company’s decision to top printing of a tiny fraction of their output because of outdated racial tropes.

Oh look. Shiny!
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The Dr. Seuss Empire Is Only Getting Bigger After Discontinued Books Send Sales Soaring
www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2021/03/03/the-dr-seuss-empi...
A day after the announcement of the cancellation, nine of the top 10 books on Amazon’s best-selling charts were by Dr. Seuss, though none were the six controversial titles. Those books are now much harder to get, and their prices on the secondary market have skyrocketed. On rare book site AbeBooks, first editions of And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street are going for up to $9,000, while If I Ran the Zoo is selling for $8,200.

DB2
Horton Hears a Hate Crime
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While we are on the subject of why we cannot rid ourselves of racist tropes without idiot mass hysteria:

Creighton's Greg McDermott Told His Team to 'Stay on the Plantation' Like That's a Normal Thing People Say and I Can't Stop Laughing About It

https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/creightons-greg-mcdermo...

EXPERIENCING NEW RACISMS IS LIKE EATING AN EDIBLE AND OF COURSE SOME WHITE PEOPLE AND THEM HERMAN CAIN Azz NIGGAS WILL DENY THE RACISM HERE BECAUSE HE’S A BASKETBALL COACH WITH BLACK PLAYERS BLACK FRIENDS A RIHANNA SCREENSAVER ON HIS IPAD BUT LETS TRY SOMETHING REAL QUICK JUST A LITTLE EXPERIMENT LETS SAY INSTEAD OF “I NEED EVERYONE TO STAY ON THE PLANTATION” HE SAID, “I NEED EVERYONE TO STAY ON THE CONCENTRATION CAMP” THAT SOUNDS WEIRD RIGHT WELL IT ONLY DOES CAUSE CONCENTRATION CAMP IS ESTABLISHED IN THE ZEITGEIST AS A SHORTHAND FOR EVIL AND TERROR AND ATROCITY WHICH IS WHAT PLANTATIONS SHOULD BE TOO BUT WHITE PEOPLE STILL HAVE WEDDINGS THERE!

Yeap.


David fb
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Gee, I guess that once a piece of property has been used for a certain purpose it can never ever be used for any other purpose?

Does that mean we have to tear down all the buildings on Manhattan Island, reforest it, and re-establish a deer population? After all, it was once use for hunting deer...
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Nobody is talking about “banning” these Dr Seuss books. But the publisher has made a decision that a small part of the library reflects badly on the entire body of work, and has decided to stop publishing them. If a library = or Uncle Harry - want to keep a copy available for people to read, then that is their decision.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with Dr. Seuss.

In light of the possible "cancellation" of some of his increasingly controversial imaginings, I just ordered one of the last available copies of "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," which seemed such a horror to me as a child that its images have forever been burned into my psyche.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_5,000_Fingers_of_Dr._T.

Just watching the brief excerpts shown on YouTube have the ability to return me to my 6 year old self.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=5000+fingers+of...

Although it flopped at the box office, it's become a cult classic.

;-)
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Publisher discontinues printing of 6 books for racially insensitive themes. Dr Seuss to be rebranded as "woke".

This is the lamest attempt at emotional manipulation that I have seen from conservatives. How can you cancel yourself? They want to stop publishing six books because of old racial stereotypes in the pictures like Chinese people with pigtails and Africans with exaggerated features. BFD.

And for the record, I hate Dr. Seuss books. Every time I read them to my kids, because you have to as a parent in US, I died a little inside. He was a pusher who got kids hooked on mindless alliteration. I mean, nupboards in the cupboards? Really?
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Wait till you find out what Disney did with Song of the South.

That has been out of publication for years.
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"The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," which seemed such a horror to me as a child that its images have forever been burned into my psyche.

Even worse for me. I had piano lessons in the early 60s.

Steve
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DB2 says:

Those books are now much harder to get, and their prices on the secondary market have skyrocketed. On rare book site AbeBooks, first editions of And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street are going for up to $9,000, while If I Ran the Zoo is selling for $8,200.

Looks like DW and I will have to go for a trip up to the attic to see if we have these books still. If we do, this could be the largest ROI that we've ever received from investment advice that we have gotten from TMF!!!!

Cheers!
'38Packard
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"Those books are now much harder to get, and their prices on the secondary market have skyrocketed. On rare book site AbeBooks, first editions of And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street are going for up to $9,000, while If I Ran the Zoo is selling for $8,200."

Another silly 'beanie baby' spike and craze that will crater.

t
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In 20 years or so the copyright should expire, and then I guess we'll get facsimile editions for students of history.
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I have always had a love/hate relationship with Dr. Seuss.

I always loved Dr. Seuss. It was my motivation to read, the silly rhymes, funny animals, alien landscapes, and crazy stories. The old style "See Spot Run" not so much.

JLC
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When I was a kid, female characters never had the heroic or active role in anything I watched, so when we played, we all pretended to be boys because being the "girl" in our stores was boring.

Ah, but when you read ...

Andre Norton
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Norton

Robert A. Heinlein
Heinlein's Women:
Role Model Characters in the Heinlein Juveniles
https://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/works/articles/heinleins...

Here are a few of my favorites:

Have Space Suit Will Travel (1958)
PeeWee, young girl but solidly resolute ...
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Have+Space+Suit+Will+Travel&i...

Podkayne of Mars (1963)
https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&channel=mac_...

There's also:
Emergence
Candidia Maria Smith-Foster, an eleven-year-old girl...
https://www.amazon.com/Emergence-David-R-Palmer/dp/055324501...

Also:
fantasy book with female heroine:
https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&channel=mac_...
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When I was a kid, female characters never had the heroic or active role in anything I watched, so when we played, we all pretended to be boys because being the "girl" in our stores was boring.
---
Ah, but when you read ...
Andre Norton
Robert A. Heinlein....


And don't forget Nancy Drew!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Drew
Nancy Drew is a fictional character, a sleuth in an American mystery series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as the female counterpart to his Hardy Boys series. The character first appeared in 1930....In the revision process, the heroine's original character was changed to be less unruly and violent. In the 1980s, an older and more professional Nancy emerged in a new series.

DB2
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