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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 32
    More: Scary, Dr. Seuss, Moto, Theodor Geisel, Chuck Jones, graduate studies, Shel Silverstein, dragonflies, insecticides  
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22053 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2012 at 6:05 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-08-21 06:58:56 PM
9 votes:
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'
2012-08-21 06:24:50 PM
4 votes:
In fairness, he started in advertising and *then* went into books... which is sort of the reverse of selling out, subs.
2012-08-21 07:37:48 PM
3 votes:

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.
2012-08-21 07:01:11 PM
3 votes:
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
2012-08-21 08:37:04 PM
2 votes:
Oh good, 'Vilify peoples pasts with today's sensibilities' is one of my favorite games.
2012-08-21 07:40:29 PM
2 votes:

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 07:23:26 PM
2 votes:

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.


Racism and nationalism don't always line up precisely.
2012-08-21 07:19:11 PM
2 votes:
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.
2012-08-21 07:07:33 PM
2 votes:
"Commercial artists try to eek out a living wherever they can," says illustrator and children's book author Wendell Minor.

It's because they can't spell.

The word is "eke."

/pet peeve
//along with sneetches.
2012-08-21 06:18:39 PM
2 votes:
Yep, but I still read his stories to the kids at bedtime.

/in other words: Not a fark was given that day.
2012-08-22 07:23:59 AM
1 votes:

Bathia_Mapes: In his youth Harry S Truman was quite racist, especially towards Chinese and black people. After serving in the military during WWI he began to learn that despite differences in skin color and culture, people were pretty much the same the world over.

He grew up during a time when such attitude were quite common. I'm not saying his early prejudices were acceptable, but they were quite common in some parts of the U.S.


The reason that people are bigoted is because they don't get out enough Link
2012-08-21 11:04:30 PM
1 votes:

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 09:13:41 PM
1 votes:

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 09:08:28 PM
1 votes:
www.orderofbooks.com
Disapproves of this headline.
2012-08-21 09:07:37 PM
1 votes:

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 08:39:42 PM
1 votes:
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 08:19:12 PM
1 votes:

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 07:52:18 PM
1 votes:

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 07:50:03 PM
1 votes:

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 07:49:17 PM
1 votes:
Dr. Seuss was racist against tuffs who cuff as they pluff the duff.
2012-08-21 07:46:04 PM
1 votes:
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 07:34:26 PM
1 votes:
By the way, if you're a Suess fan, you should get over to the UCSD campus library and check out their displays of his classic work, original drawings, and sculptures. I dropped in with the wife & kids a few weeks back, and it was farking AWESOME. Original sketches, manuscripts, etc...some of his advertising work like what you see in TFA...plus, if you go on the weekend, parking is free.
2012-08-21 07:23:25 PM
1 votes:

tlchwi02: 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.

because those "goofy" images of black people are associated with a systematic system of racism that oppressed an entire class of people for centuries and still shapes our public discourse today. not true with the white people

not to say i necessarily condem Dr. Seuss for his drawings. as much as i hate to use the "it was a different time" trope, its quite probable that in the time when he did them, he wouldn't have understood the impact they had in the same way that we can appreciate looking back.


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.
2012-08-21 07:21:00 PM
1 votes:
Wait'll they get a load of Herge
2012-08-21 07:15:57 PM
1 votes:

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.


because those "goofy" images of black people are associated with a systematic system of racism that oppressed an entire class of people for centuries and still shapes our public discourse today. not true with the white people

not to say i necessarily condem Dr. Seuss for his drawings. as much as i hate to use the "it was a different time" trope, its quite probable that in the time when he did them, he wouldn't have understood the impact they had in the same way that we can appreciate looking back.
2012-08-21 07:10:24 PM
1 votes:
Draw thousands of cartoons of white guys with goofy exaggerated features - okay. Draw one cartoon of a black guy with goofy exaggerated features - racist.
2012-08-21 07:01:49 PM
1 votes:

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. IO9 had a feature on some of them back in May./


seconded. really interesting stuff. i would say that Dr. Seuss's subsequent writing and works and the good they did ultimately balanced out any negativity of his war propoganda, or at the least proved he wasn't a hateful man
2012-08-21 06:57:39 PM
1 votes:

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
2012-08-21 06:44:47 PM
1 votes:
www.collectorsweekly.com

It's kind of interesting (and sad) that he was able to do both those cartoons without a trace of irony.
2012-08-21 06:37:56 PM
1 votes:
Correction: The magazine he worked for was called Judge, not Punch.

www.drseussart.com
2012-08-21 06:33:38 PM
1 votes:
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.

www.narragansettbeer.com
2012-08-21 06:25:50 PM
1 votes:

Random Bastage: Farkin star-bellied sneeches. Fark 'em all.


I bet those star-bellies pal around with people who are known to butter their bread butter-side down, if you know what I mean.
 
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