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(Collector's Weekly)   Everyone's a little bit racist and a sell-out, even good ole Dr. Seuss   (collectorsweekly.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, Dr. Seuss, Moto, Theodor Geisel, Chuck Jones, graduate studies, Shel Silverstein, dragonflies, insecticides  
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22070 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2012 at 6:05 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-21 07:38:35 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Does a guy have to be completely without taint before any of the good he does can be appreciated?


That would just be weird.

/But if that's your thing, there's probably a website devoted to it.
 
2012-08-21 07:40:29 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: Jaws_Victim: This just in: People in the past often said/did racist things because it was acceptable at the time.

Are you saying that means it is okay to be racist as long as other people are?



I think the idea is that actions, words, and deeds must be taken in context of the time and place. For example, it wasn't wrong or "racist" for Woodrow Wilson to discuss the needs negro citizens in 1913. Such language today would be considered racist and offensive.
 
2012-08-21 07:43:19 PM  

justGreg: Drawing whom? What if he was drawing cannibals? Would it still be racist to draw them as cannibals?


well considering that historically cannibal societies were generally south pacific islanders, some south american cultures and only rarely (especially in the timeframe Seuss was drawing) african, it would be far more fair to potray the people as some sort of maori stereotype. at least it would be accurate.
 
2012-08-21 07:45:08 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: No more "racist" than parodies of American culture portraying exaggerated stereotypes of Americans - which abound in popular media. But do it about a Japanese person, and it's "racist". I'm just not buying it. The people who see the racism, focus too much on skin color.


i hate to be the guy to have to tell you but.... americans aren't a race.
 
2012-08-21 07:46:04 PM  
stereotypes, racism and many other things you PC puffs like to get bent about exist for reasons. other people don't have to think and act as you do. keep pretending the world isn't filled with people who are living walking talking examples of every type of offensive character you can imagine. smug PC folks crack me up because they have their pet hates too, but for some reason it's okay to hate their (your) way. keep pointing at others and telling yourself you're above it all. ignore that you've gone out of your way to live where you do with who you do so you don't have to be around those you hate, fear and make fun of deep down inside. racists bad, hypocrites good.
 
2012-08-21 07:46:18 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: Jaws_Victim: This just in: People in the past often said/did racist things because it was acceptable at the time.

Ignore his civil rights and hippie tree, get outraged! DO WHAT SUBBY COMMANDS YOU

That's not what subby said at all. You sound like you came in pre-butthurt. How about you tell us all how persecuted you are?


Terribly persecuted, just the mere THOUGHT of outrage is enough to send me sputtering.
 
2012-08-21 07:49:17 PM  
Dr. Seuss was racist against tuffs who cuff as they pluff the duff.
 
2012-08-21 07:50:03 PM  

tlchwi02: i hate to be the guy to have to tell you but.... americans aren't a race.


Neither are "mexicans" but try telling people that those stereotypes aren't "racist."

Again, getting worked up over things like that just shows that you pay more attention to skin color than most and are more racist than the people who miss these things altogether. And that sucks, because there is actual racism in the world that you take attention away from when you do that.

/not you personally. Just couldn't find a better pronoun
 
2012-08-21 07:50:14 PM  

JosephFinn: There's a fascinating book about his World War II art, Dr. Seuss Goes To War. Some racist stuff in the vein of how Superman and Bugs Bunny cartoons of the era would have awful German and Japanese stereotypes


I have that book. Great stuff. I have no idea who thinks Dr. Seuss was a saint. He was an artist with deep flaws. He wasn't that great of a husband (he cheated on his first wife who later committed suicide) and grew rather bitter in his old years that he was never taken as a serious artist.
 
2012-08-21 07:51:00 PM  

tlchwi02: i hate to be the guy to have to tell you but.... americans aren't a race.


Hate to have to break it to you but....neither are Africans.
 
2012-08-21 07:51:41 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: tlchwi02: i hate to be the guy to have to tell you but.... americans aren't a race.

Hate to have to break it to you but....neither are Africans.


Duh. They're both countries.
 
2012-08-21 07:52:18 PM  

TV's Vinnie: A little background trivia: Ted Geisel could have just sat back and been another rich heir (his Grandfather founded the Kalmbach and Geisel Brewery), but Prohibition ended the family business, so Ted had to make a living doing cartoons for everything from Punch (a 1930's predecessor to Mad Magazine) to Flit adverts.


TV's Vinnie: Correction: The magazine he worked for was called Judge, not Punch.

Two things: 1) Punch goes back to the 1880s, and 2) the 1930s humor magazine that heavily influenced Mad was Ballyhoo (which also printed Geisel's cartoons), not Judge.

The July 1937 issue:

www.drseussart.com 

/cartoon art buff
 
2012-08-21 07:57:07 PM  

jonny_q: Neither are "mexicans" but try telling people that those stereotypes aren't "racist."

Again, getting worked up over things like that just shows that you pay more attention to skin color than most and are more racist than the people who miss these things altogether. And that sucks, because there is actual racism in the world that you take attention away from when you do that.


well come on, when people complain about the "messicans" they're really just applying it to any person of latin/south american extract who happens to be on the brown side of the spanish/indian mix. heck, if anything its even worse. they can't even be bothered to at aknowledge the real target so they pick the "easiest" to remember nation. but in any case its hardly fair to equate the very real racism that many people face with the occasional stereotypes of "buffoonish" americans.

and seriously, people are looking at the cartoon Seuss did up there and saying its perfectly acceptable, would be ok today, and has absolutely no racist overtones? really?
 
2012-08-21 08:04:04 PM  
After having RTFA it appears that Seuss's later works are in part to atone for his racist cartoons of the past.
 
2012-08-21 08:06:05 PM  
If you could pay the bills with children's books alone, half of the unemployed college students in the US would live comfortably.
 
2012-08-21 08:16:00 PM  
You guys are making the mistake of judging history by modern standards instead of contemporary ones. What kind of teachers did you have?
 
2012-08-21 08:16:21 PM  
I don't know if that's really "selling out". When I think of sell outs, I think of someone like the members of Rage Against the Machine that take a certain political stance and then willfully sign to a global corporation that will use the profits from their records to fund evil and other terrible bands. It's a no-win game that just makes the band members rich selling rebellion.
 
2012-08-21 08:19:12 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Hey, ya know what? He was a man - a human being. Like all of us, with some good, some bad, and to a large extent a product of his times.

Does a guy have to be completely without taint before any of the good he does can be appreciated?

Remember, before the ads and the books, he got started doing cartoon scripts for Warner Bros., back in the heyday of Termite Terrace - including a whole lot of wartime 'toons for the military. (Anyone remember Private Snafu?)

So, yeah, some of his stuff included stereotypes that we regard as incorrect today. Were they done with malice? Or were they just there because society was marinading in them?

Not sayin' they're OK - just that it's nice to see that people growing up in an imperfect society (Oh! Look! Like the one we're living in today!) can occasionally rise above the problems with their cultures and produce things of lasting worth - like most if not all of the Dr. Seuss books.

/Judge not, lest ye be judged, by people from the future who are *Offended* that we didn't have the smarts to live the way *their* Perfect Society(tm) is organized./

-- just sayin'


I agree, I don't think people have to be "completely free of all tain t."I think I'm a pretty decent guy, but I don't at all aspire to be taintless. If I was taintless, It would be way too easy to shiat all over my balls.
 
2012-08-21 08:19:30 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: Jaws_Victim: This just in: People in the past often said/did racist things because it was acceptable at the time.

Are you saying that means it is okay to be racist as long as other people are?


Why not? Most people are dumb as shiat, and politicians and the media seems to have no problem exploiting and catering to that.
 
2012-08-21 08:21:38 PM  

tlchwi02: jonny_q: That cartoon was no more "racist" than the scene from Pirates 2 where Jack Sparrow is taken by the native tribe. Like in most cases, the people who see "racism" in such things are more racist than the people who don't notice anything at all.

good point, drawing them as big lipped, grass skirt wearing jungle cannibles would totally not be considered racist in this day and age. In fact, i just got tickets to a minstrel show and i ended up with an extra if you're interested?


Awesome! Are they gonna do "Camptown Races"?
 
2012-08-21 08:25:34 PM  

Captain_Ballbeard: [www.collectorsweekly.com image 772x611]
Oh my.


To be fair, he does look a lot like Idi Amin.
 
2012-08-21 08:27:59 PM  
www.toonhound.com

Racially he's pretty cool according to his cartoon.
 
2012-08-21 08:32:19 PM  

Canned Tamales: Awesome! Are they gonna do "Camptown Races"?


all of the doo da day, as i understand the bochure
 
2012-08-21 08:34:10 PM  
Minear didn't "uncover a cache" of the political cartoons; they were sitting there in archival or microfilmed copies of those early 1940s PM newspapers (imagine, BTW, the novelty of a populist/consumer-minded NYC paper that didn't have advertising!). If he "licensed their reprinting in his 1999 book," fine--but don't make more of it than it is, OK?
 
2012-08-21 08:37:04 PM  
Oh good, 'Vilify peoples pasts with today's sensibilities' is one of my favorite games.
 
2012-08-21 08:39:42 PM  
He was human...

Personally, I think his balance is firmly on the positive side of the tally sheet.

And ps, anybody who didn't know about his work as an ad man, followed by his work in the signal corps, knows NOTHING about the man.

A fun history of him you can watch with the kiddos is "In Search of Dr Seuss"
 
2012-08-21 09:00:11 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: Draw thousands of cartoons of white guys with goofy exaggerated features - okay. Draw one cartoon of a black guy with goofy exaggerated features - racist.


Yes, exactly. Because whites have historically held the majority in population and power. They can apply this discrimination into actions that unfairly penalize the out group.

Is it so hard to understand?
 
2012-08-21 09:00:55 PM  

Mean Daddy: Link

Speaking of bogus hate crimes.


Replying because there are a number of farkers who owe the rest of us an apology and I didn't see a follow-up on the main page.

No male DNA was found on a pair of white knit gloves Rogers said one of the attackers was wearing. Rogers' DNA, however, was found on the inside of the gloves.

No blood was found on the covers of the bed where Rogers said the men held her while they carved the epithets into her body using a box cutter.

Rogers purchased zip ties, a box cutter, box cutter blades and white gloves from a local hardware store five days before the alleged attack. A store clerk picked Roger's photo out of a lineup as the person who made the purchase
 
2012-08-21 09:04:42 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: tlchwi02: good point, drawing them as big lipped, grass skirt wearing jungle cannibles would totally not be considered racist in this day and age.

No more "racist" than parodies of American culture portraying exaggerated stereotypes of Americans - which abound in popular media. But do it about a Japanese person, and it's "racist". I'm just not buying it. The people who see the racism, focus too much on skin color.


Says the middle aged white guy...
 
2012-08-21 09:07:37 PM  

cygnusx13: ThrobblefootSpectre: Draw thousands of cartoons of white guys with goofy exaggerated features - okay. Draw one cartoon of a black guy with goofy exaggerated features - racist.

Yes, exactly. Because whites have historically held the majority in population and power. They can apply this discrimination into actions that unfairly penalize the out group.

Is it so hard to understand?


Ah, the old, "blacks can't be racist" angle. A classic.
 
2012-08-21 09:08:28 PM  
www.orderofbooks.com
Disapproves of this headline.
 
2012-08-21 09:10:41 PM  
That was quite a fun article.
 
2012-08-21 09:13:41 PM  

Quaker: [www.orderofbooks.com image 500x200]
Disapproves of this headline.


Darn tootin'. To this day he's stuck to his principles and refused to cash in.
 
2012-08-21 09:16:58 PM  

Lanadapter: I would not use oil in my car
I would not use oil on lamarr


That's Hedley!!
 
2012-08-21 09:20:02 PM  
I'm not racist, I don't care what color your coochie its.
 
2012-08-21 09:29:12 PM  
This thread just went around and around, just like those tigers underneath the tree, and someone we can't mention sat up there and watched them do it. But Dr. Seuss would have illustrated a great book about it.
 
2012-08-21 09:29:40 PM  

stuffy: I'm not racist, I don't care what color your coochie its.


I do not like a greenish clam.
 
Biv
2012-08-21 09:34:27 PM  

eudemonist: stuffy: I'm not racist, I don't care what color your coochie its.

I do not like a greenish clam.


But I'll still eat it, Sam I Am
 
2012-08-21 09:37:30 PM  

HeartBurnKid: [www.collectorsweekly.com image 445x743]

It's kind of interesting (and sad) that he was able to do both those cartoons without a trace of irony.


I know it's been said a million times when it comes to the people of that generation, but... it was what it was. That's the way they were. At the end of the day, it could be argued it worked out for the better in the end.
 
2012-08-21 09:41:53 PM  
FTFA:

By 1954, Geisel had a change of heart, writing "Horton Hears a Who!" as an allegory for the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the U.S. occupation of Japan after the war. He concludes that "a person's a person," and even dedicated the book to a Japanese friend.

People can change. If you read, yes, read all the way through Burgess' 'A Clockwork Orange', you find out that Alex was crippled with guilt from his crappy rapey/stabby/killy life. The wave of antisemitism, anti-catholic, anti-everything during that period of time was rampant, and stereotypes were everywhere from Tex Avery to Chuck Jones to Tom and Jerry.

Now, that doesn't make it right or acceptable. However, if Chuck Jones and friends can later admit that 'wow, that sucked', and then dedicate their life to fighting such things, and bring a good jolt of awesome along the way, that helps.

Not thrilled about the racism, not thrilled at all. Seuss' work later is a monument to being able to change, and illustrates throughout his work the reasons why one should.
 
2012-08-21 09:49:44 PM  

cygnusx13: ThrobblefootSpectre: Draw thousands of cartoons of white guys with goofy exaggerated features - okay. Draw one cartoon of a black guy with goofy exaggerated features - racist.

Yes, exactly. Because whites have historically held the majority in population and power. They can apply this discrimination into actions that unfairly penalize the out group.

Is it so hard to understand?


That argument is bollocks.

However, there is a difference between giving a cartoon arbitrary goofy exaggerated features which make it distinctive and giving it a very specific set of exaggerated features associated with an insulting racial stereotype.

Basically, having a white character with a big nose and oddly-shaped ears is cool, giving a white character exaggerated buck teeth and having him wear nothing but overalls with no shirt while he chews a stalk of wheat is racist. Or I guess bigoted more generally, whatever.
 
2012-08-21 09:55:31 PM  

GilRuiz1: Quaker: [www.orderofbooks.com image 500x200]
Disapproves of this headline.

Darn tootin'. To this day he's stuck to his principles and refused to cash in.


Indeed. Although I also can't help but think that it's easier to stick to your principles when you're still making boatloads of cash like Calvin & Hobbes has and still is. I can understand why a more flash in the pan artist would decide to get while the getting's good.
 
2012-08-21 10:28:27 PM  
So vote Republican.
 
2012-08-21 10:30:38 PM  
No, he's dead.
 
2012-08-21 10:32:53 PM  

tlchwi02: jonny_q: That cartoon was no more "racist" than the scene from Pirates 2 where Jack Sparrow is taken by the native tribe. Like in most cases, the people who see "racism" in such things are more racist than the people who don't notice anything at all.

good point, drawing them as big lipped, grass skirt wearing jungle cannibles would totally not be considered racist in this day and age. In fact, i just got tickets to a minstrel show and i ended up with an extra if you're interested?


I'm up for it if he isn't.

Remember, you bought the tickets, not us.
 
2012-08-21 11:02:50 PM  

justGreg: Yes, because when you are at war with other nations, you know trying to kill them while they try and kill you, it is very important that you not disrespect them in cartoons, because that would be wrong.


LOL. As though it would have to be for other's people's sake that you'd want to avoid being a racist. The normal human impulse against self-destructive behavior is ten times enough motivation in and of itself, before you start weighing abstract concepts like wanting to be fair or just or good.

Then again, not everyone is so good at making smart choices for themselves, and of that bunch, not all of them can be reached by morality.
 
2012-08-21 11:04:30 PM  

tlchwi02: and seriously, people are looking at the cartoon Seuss did up there and saying its perfectly acceptable, would be ok today, and has absolutely no racist overtones? really?


Acceptable? I dunno..

Racist? Not really. Culturist... maybe... But not racist against the American black community. If you would consider a small cannibalistic tribe in an obscure hypothetical jungle a "race," then okay, but otherwise, it's just making fun of a specific culture.

"Race" isn't defined very concretely. People are difficult to firmly divide based on race as it is.

But yeah, if that's racist, then like I said, so it Pirates of the Caribbean and a whole bunch of other modern movies that don't cause even a whiff of controversy because, frankly, we have bigger shiat to worry about.
 
2012-08-21 11:26:00 PM  
"Quick Henry, the FLIT!" was the "Get away from her, you B*TCH" of its day.
 
2012-08-21 11:31:18 PM  

Kurmudgeon: Coelacanth: Dr. Seuss got a lot of credit for putting Japanese-Americans into internment camps, although he was working for William Randolph Hearst at the time.

Well, at the time people had vivid memories of Pearl Harbor. No one seems to complain about the anti-German anti-Nazi cartoons.
The internment camps were a mistake though.
Note: Not all German Americans have pointy noses and chins either.
[www.chicagonow.com image 385x550]


Only the Japanese-Americans living on the west coast were sent to internment camps, which almost turned into a tragedy because they were the heart and soul of the agricultural community, and when the Nisei were gone, their businesses were given over to some incompetent fat white businessmen who caused some food shortages nonetheless.

Outside of San Francisco, strawberry farms once owned by Nisei were bought up for chump change by business associates of Hearst and some of FDR's cabinet members. Today, those farms are all businesses and upper class homes.

Nobody knew how to work the public like Hearst.

My German war bride grandma had a pointy nose and chin ;)
 
2012-08-22 12:52:23 AM  
 
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