Who Just Got Seussed?
In the latest episode of the Boxflap podcast, we have fun with the dystopian classic 1984 and chuckle at the “canceling” of six Dr. Seuss books.
We laugh, because otherwise we would cry.
What’s the connection, funny or otherwise, between Dr. Seuss and George Orwell’s classic 1984?
Dr. Seuss books are getting memory-holed!
In the latest episode of Boxflap (Dr. Seuss and 1984), I included a Seussian-styled poem that just might curl the tips of your pointy shoes!
In the dystopian novel 1984, the main character (Winston Smith) works for the Ministry of Truth. Essentially his job is to change recorded history and news stories to align with current political thinking. He “memory-holes” the undesirable truths to replace them with approved truths, meaning the less desirable thoughts are erased in hopes they are forgotten.
Beyond Dr. Seuss, there are many living voices being cancelled right now. They are being labeled as racist, dangerous misinformation, transphobic, or pigeon-holed and marginalized in some other way.
These labels are just fancy ways of saying, “I don’t agree with that opinion” or even “the government doesn’t agree with that opinion”.
The problem with that approach is that if we don’t protect free speech for all, then there is no free speech. Just as if we don’t protect the rights of all individuals, then there can be no “greater good”.
As an author, I believe in free speech, whether I agree with the speech or not. Speech is a fundamental right for any civilized society. In fact, it is not an American issue. Freedom of speech is a basic human right.
This is not about a political party or “left versus right”. This is only about rights versus the alternative, which is Not Right.
And let me be clear, when I say WE need to protect basic human rights, I am talking about YOU and ME. I am not referring to government. We should not – we cannot – entrust the guardianship of basic human rights to an exterior agency. We must acknowledge our own responsibility and duty in this regard.
If you’re familiar with satire, you’ll know that it plays an important role in using laughter to draw attention to important issues. And I gotta tell ya, we need A LOT of satire-driven laughter right now, because there are many “games afoot” to coin a phrase from Sherlock Holmes. In these games, you and I are not meant to win. That’s why we have a lot of laughs on Boxflap. For now.