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Salvo 03.09.2021

Seuss in a Noose

Mary Poppins dances at Disneyland

How the Grinch Stole Kid’s Lit.

Dr. Seuss got cancelled? Finally! We’re free, my fellow parents! Who else is thrilled not to spend half an hour on a Bataan death march through the endless bore that is Horton Hears a Who? (Wish you’d stepped on that dandelion flower, big boy.) The Lorax is twice as long as it needs to be, and the main character is a creepy hermit trapped for eternity in an abandoned sweater factory.

Who else dreads Green Eggs and Ham and reading page after page of the same “I would not” lines? By the time I got to kid #5 I would shorten 20 “would not could nots” down to two, just so we could get through it before dawn. “One Fish Two Fish” is great, at least the first half. It bogs down a bit when you start boxing with Goxes and singing with Yings and drinking ink with Yinks….

Frankly, I never enjoyed that agent of chaos, the Cat in the Hat. Don’t particularly like the idea of an adult-sized stranger in a raver hat waltzing in when the kids are home alone. He’s doing minstrel, you say? He’s a cat, what did you expect? No dog would embody archaic racist tropes like that.

And whose bright idea was it to popularize green eggs? My poor mother was forced to cave to our demand many times and attempt to serve us green scrambled eggs, with a side of ham. Green eggs look like snot, and I would not eat them in a box or with a Gox in yellow Gox box sox…

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is marvelous and perfect, but, let’s face it—mostly because of Chuck Jones. I don’t know much about Jones but I’m sure he’s on the chopping block next! Hundo p that guy said some off-color remarks to the ink-and-paint girls over at Warner Bros….

Let Them Cancel Their Own

I’m kidding, of course. But you must remember that Dr. Seuss was a liberal Democrat who supported the New Deal and mocked the fear of Communism. He also supported internment camps for his fellow Americans who were deemed “dangerous” during World War Two. He and his first wife Helen didn’t like children and he had none of his own. “I’ll entertain ’em, you have ’em” was his stock riposte about his underage audience. When the line “a person’s a person no matter how small” from Horton Hears a Who became a popular slogan for pro-life groups, in typical Seuss fashion he objected and even threatened to sue an anti-abortion group. 

Ever the charmer, Seuss likely contributed to his first wife’s untimely demise. Helen, his loyal wife of 40 years, the one responsible for him becoming an author instead of a professor, killed herself after suffering from a chronic illness. Her not-so-devoted husband had been having an affair with his best friend’s wife, a slightly younger woman. A few months after the first wife died, he married the second. She took over Seuss Inc. and began minting the real Seuss loot. We have her to thank for the nightmarish contemporary Hollywood movie versions of The Grinch and The Lorax

Every time you buy a Seuss book, you are sending more money to something called Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which seems to be mainly involved in greedy deals with Netflix and J. J. Abrams to ruin more of the dwindling supply of happy memories you have of your favorite childhood books. 

Look for them to capitalize on the Anti-Racist Baby board book fad. One Fish Two Fish, Don’t Act White-ish and The 500 Microaggressions of Bartholomew Cubbins should be here any day now. 

Horton Hears a Racist Dog Whistle, coming soon to a Drag Queen Story Hour near you!

My take on this: If you’re going to burn books, do it because the author was a liberal, Commie-loving a-hole, not because he triggers the tone police.

Because if we’re vetting every artist who came of age over 100 years ago for every non-woke utterance and action, then we’ll have to burn all the Roald Dahl books next (over my dead body).

Forget defending Mark Twain under the guise of free speech—he liked to surround himself with very, very young girls who doted on him and to whom he wrote numerous love letters, so he’s a goner. Richard Adams, author of much-loved Watership Down, had plenty of things to say about “the blacks” and “the Japanese,” too.

Best not to even mention Rudyard Kipling or the Ram Dass character in A Little Princess

I learned recently that English spelling and grammar are symbols of white supremacy. Books are white culture and therefore bad. Literacy in general is a waste of time, since tests and grades and homework no longer exist because they perpetuate systemic racism. The only allowable books are the ones that have Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the cover. Just stick to those and you’ll be okay. You might even avoid arrest. 

In the bookstore, linger longest in the transgender children section, just to be safe. If you must dart over to the Classics section, do it when the cashier isn’t looking. For every classic children’s book you buy, get at least two books about toddlers named Julia describing their penises and anything with a kid wearing kente cloth on the cover. Antiracist Baby is a real board book by Ibram X. Kendi and they’re making a real TV series about it. Viewing will be mandatory by government edict. These are the books and cartoons kids love! Or else!

Be smart. Don’t read. Get all the books out of your home now. Delete your Kindle library; download the wrong book and a trap door under your bed opens and you slide into Amazon Prime Prison. 

Yu hav bin warnd!

A Grimm Future

We know where this is going. Disneyland delenda est, am I right?

I might not mind too much—have you seen what the new ticket prices are going to be when it reopens? You’ll need trucks filled with bucks! Sacks stuffed with stacks! Trash bags brimming with cash!

Walt Disney, of course, had certain problematic views. Nearly every single other American alive in 1940 had the same views, but sorry Grandpa, no mercy! Perhaps emboldened by the bold self-cancellation of outdated Seuss book, Disney just moved Peter Pan and Dumbo from the children’s section of its streaming service to the taboo adult section, because these movies involve “negative depictions” of other cultures. You can predict where this will go from here. 

Disneyland reopens April 1 after an unprecedented 13-month closure. When it closed down last March, pre-riot America was still fairly normal. I’m curious to see what the newly wokified hordes do when they “confront” the white supremacy of Peter Pan rescuing helpless Tiger Lily on the most popular ride at the park. What will the woke hordes think of gleeful toddlers on the Dumbo ride whirling through the sky, ignorant of the deep-seated racism embedded in each plastic pachyderm? They finally “fixed” the Pirates ride a few years ago by getting rid of the #metoo Wench Auction. But how can you fix an entire ethos rooted in an American popular culture now hopelessly out of date, archaic, toxic? The teacups ride mocks the mentally ill! Ho ho, ho ho, it all has to go.

Meanwhile at the center of the park is that great towering edifice to hegemonic European patriarchy: Sleeping Beauty Castle. 

Fairy tale’s over, folks. Fantasyland’s cancelled. Tomorrowland is here, and it’s way too scary for kids.

Suggested reading from the editors

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