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Today’s blacklisted great literature: Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, and Western Civilization itself

They’re coming for you next: In the past few days there has been a big uproar concerning the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the publisher of all of Dr. Seuss’s books, to cease publication of six of Seuss’s books — “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, “If I Ran the Zoo”, “McElligot’s Pool”, “On Beyond Zebra!”, “Scrambled Eggs Super!”, and “The Cat’s Quizzer” — because of imagined “racist and insensitive imagery.”

On its face this decision is ridiculous, especially because Dr. Suess, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, was an ardent defender of liberty who aggressively fought against bigots and Nazis and fascists his entire life.. As recently as a year ago the company that now manages his writing would have been laughed at and shamed so loudly and completely for this decision that it would have very quickly backed down.

No more. Rather than defy stupidity the world now embraces it, as indicated by Ebay’s decision only two days later to ban the sale of any used copies of these books on its auction website.

Nor is this attack on great literature the only example. There are others that are not getting the same coverage that are as bad if not more egregious.

Shakespeare banned

For example, there is a movement growing among leftist college professors to either ban the works of William Shakespeare or teach them solely focused on “his unwoke attitudes regarding race, sexuality, gender and class.”

The School Library Journal, which describes itself as “the premier publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens,” joined the fight this year and offered young adult novels as alternatives to Shakespeare.

The librarians also showcased an essay questioning the contemporary value of the playwright responsible for classics such as “Hamlet,” “Macbeth” and “King Lear.”

“A growing number of educators are … coming to the conclusion that it’s time for Shakespeare to be set aside or deemphasized to make room for modern, diverse, and inclusive voices,” said the essay, titled “To Teach or Not to Teach: Is Shakespeare Still Relevant to Today’s Students?”

“Educators grappling with these questions are teaching, critiquing, questioning, and abandoning Shakespeare’s work, and offering alternatives for updating and enhancing curricula,” it said.

All of these attacks on Shakespeare are clearly being done by people who either never read or saw any of his works performed, or if so looked at them with a closed-mind focused only on their own personal bigoted or deviant worldview.

In teenage literature reviews this year, the School Library Journal often features books wrapped up in race and “queer” or “lesbian” stories. Shakespeare alternatives celebrated by these liberal teachers and critics offer “something for all teen readers and fans of the Bard,” such as a “retelling of Macbeth for the #MeToo generation,” according to an article in the librarian journal.

“Educators” such as these should be fired immediately. Instead, they are now being touted as our most important literary experts.

Nor is this all. Other comparable close-minded bigots are working to eliminate the teaching of “F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Golding and other dead white male writers who long dotted high school syllabuses.” This movement of prejudiced hate-mongers is also working to discredit some of Hollywood’s greatest movies, forcing anyone who watches them to watch them solely from the perspective of race and gender and the evils of white oppression.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the WarnerMedia-owned cable channel dedicated to the loving presentation of Hollywood’s cinematic heritage right from the beginning of the medium to now, has also jumped into the fray, announcing it will be dedicating primetime programming every Thursday for the month of March beginning tonight with a new series called “Reframed: Classic Films In The Rearview Mirror.”

The network puts it this way: “All of the films in this series are legendary classics, but when we watch them today, we’re seeing them in a different cultural context. We often see problems now that we might not have seen when they were made, whether it’s about race, gender or LGBT issues. TCM’s five hosts will take turns doing roundtable introductions of each of the films where they will discuss these 20th century films with a 21st century perspective. The goal is never to censor, but simply provide rich historical context to each classic.”

No, the goal is not to provide rich historical context but to lay the groundwork for eventually making it entirely unacceptable to even present these movies, out of fear someone else will accuse the presenter of being a racist.

The real long term goal (now not so long term) is to create a new generation entirely ignorant of the greatness of Western Civilization, the first culture ever in human history to celebrate the freedom of the individual to independently follow his or her dreams to achieve greatness, regardless of his or her race, religion, creed, or background. Instead, these bigots want to create more bigots like them, focused only on race and sex and politics, thus unable to do anything out of fear that others might disapprove.

The danger with banning Shakespeare however remains the same as it is with banning Dr. Seuss or any great Hollywood movie of the past. It isn’t that these demands for censorship are foolish and wrong, it is that our present society seems unable, unwilling, or too timid to boldly say so. Instead, it bows in fear and acquiesces eagerly to the foolishness.

For years I have written about a coming dark age, trying in vain to get Americans to recognize the trend and do something to stop it. That work was all in vain. The dark age has arrived, and can only get worse in the coming years, since there appears few who have the education or courage to withstand it.

Instead, the population is gung-ho for it. Bring on the book burnings! Ignorance is knowledge!

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

17 comments

  • Blackwing1

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    In addition to the often quoted “this is referred to as ‘bad luck’” quotation from Robert Heinlein, you may wish to remind your readers of another one, this time from “…If This Goes On” (aka, “Revolt in 2100”):

    “For the first time in my life, I was reading things which had not been approved by the Prophet’s censors, and the impact on my mind was devastating. Sometimes I would glance over my shoulder to see who was watching me, frightened in spite of myself. I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy…censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to it’s subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked, contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”

    It’s very often shortened by eliminating the first two sentences, but I personally feel those add substantively to the quotation, but that may be merely because I’ve been reading that book for almost 60 years and am very familiar with its context.

    With all of the large tech companies (Google, Apple and Amazon) conspiring to shut down free speech and to censor anything that dares to disagree with the collectivist narrative this is more timely than ever.

  • Chris

    Who controls the past controls the future
    Who controls the present controls the past.

  • Ian C.

    “The dark age has arrived”

    It’s 1941. You’re in the Warsaw Ghetto. Some elders tell you not to make a fuss, because it could make the Nazis angry. Who knows what that could lead to? Don’t make it worse for all of us, they say. Will you listen to the elders?

  • Cotour

    Stupid and getting more stupider:

    https://youtu.be/nZfWpY9ktNE

    I think this 38 seconds is all you need to know about what the future of America and the world will be like.

    38 seconds.

    Remember, in “Political Correctness” everyone dies.

  • wayne

    Fahrenheit 451 –
    “We must burn the books, Montag. All the books”.
    https://youtu.be/ZaLJ10v4xUA
    3:38

  • Cotour

    Long term, Trump is vindicated, the likes of Gavin Newsome and Andrew Cuomo are taken down, Joe Biden is clearly on his way out and is clearly just a figure head and run by the party, the border has been opened and Covid 19 infected illegal immigrants fill American hospitals and re infect America, and then we have something like this that may well also become apparent:

    https://youtu.be/aiB–X8K-3I

    The Lefts agendas are all fraudulent lies and the opposite from what they promote is the truth. Do you like truth?

    Destiny in this universe is a funny thing.

  • wayne

    I was looking at the Dr. Suess display earlier today at our local (regional) large box retailer; –it’s practically sold out. (they have like’ 200 stores and each received 1 pallet about 2 weeks ago, ahead of World Book Day) And sadly, they are all printed in communist china.

  • James Street

    Jimmy Kimmel says “canceling” Dr. Seuss is “how Trump gets reelected,” cancel culture is “his path to victory”
    https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1367620091198734338

  • Michael G. Gallagher

    People posting here should take heart from what happened during Mad Mao’s Cultural Revolution circa 1966-1976. Back then there was a a concerted effort by the CCP, acting through Mao’s Red Guards, to crush traditional Chinese culture under the Destroy the Four Olds campaign. The Four olds were old ideas, old customs, old habits, and old culture. Yet, despite an assault by a regime far more ruthless than the modern American Left, the original culture was never completely suppressed. People held readings of forbidden books, old artworks were hidden, the old folk religions persisted, students built clandestine radio sets, and even set up pirate radio stations, and farmers and traders set up illegal markets, some of which operated across large areas of China. Even today, with Xi Jinping’s continuing crackdown on Chinese society, there’s been no new new attempt to eradicate the original culture. So there’s definitely hope for the USA.

  • Cotour

    Michael G. Gallagher:

    Stephan Molyneux: Cancel Culture is a Dress Rehearsal for Mass Murder : https://youtu.be/9L0dPKpfHRA

    Whether symbolic or real to be murdered virtually or actually murdered is but a matter of degrees. If these cancel culture “Politically Correct”, “Woke”, Leftist, Liberal Democrat warriors can make you live like a dog and ineffective at a masters feet, or for them to accomplish your extermination from their existence is a matter of details and degrees.

  • wayne

    Cotour-
    Nicely stated!

  • Cotour

    Wayne, its ALL a psyops, all an emotional push button manipulation.

  • Cotour

    IT WONT BE TOO MUCH LONGER NOW

    It won’t be too much longer until the Democrat party installed president, Joe Biden joins his dog Major at his country home and Kamala takes her rightful position:

    https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1369050996039680000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1369050996039680000%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnationalfile.com%2Fvideo-biden-says-military-will-focus-on-making-maternity-flight-suits-forgets-secdef-lloyd-austins-name%2F

    Nope, no too much longer.

  • Cotour

    One minute of reality from someone who sounds like she knows the difference between freedom and Socialism:

    https://youtu.be/04mLaSg-Uqo

  • Edward

    Robert quoted from a link:

    In teenage literature reviews this year, the School Library Journal often features books wrapped up in race and “queer” or “lesbian” stories. Shakespeare alternatives celebrated by these liberal teachers and critics offer “something for all teen readers and fans of the Bard,” such as a “retelling of Macbeth for the #MeToo generation,” according to an article in the librarian journal.

    Interestingly, our modern cancel-culture judges the past on today’s Social Justice Warriors’s values. What happens when tomorrow’s Warriors reject today’s culture and today’s authors? Considering that Dr. Seuss was celebrated under the Obama administration, we can see that what is valued today may quickly be rejected.

    Rather than being inclusive of other cultures, such as the cultures of the past, they are being exclusive, pretending that these cultures do not exist, because they are so different from what these people feel the world should be. The quest for diversity is limited to that which is approved by them. Only certain diverse people or cultures are accepted, and the rest are rejected. Diversity only goes so far, because the desired end is uniformity (the end justifies the means). We all must be uniform in what we accept and uniform in our own diversity and willingness to accept the approved diversity.

    Google proved that, a few years ago, when it fired someone who dared to point out in a long memo that the company cannot be diverse if it considers everyone to be exactly the same, to be uniform. His essay was right, but his diverse viewpoint was not acceptable to the company, so they cancelled him as a lesson to the rest of the workforce that they can only be diverse in the uniform way that is acceptable to the company. No wonder Google is a leader in the cancel culture — cancellation has long been part of their corporate culture.

    Michael G. Gallagher’s comparison to the Mao’s Cultural Revolution hits the nail on its head. Welcome to Obama’s communist America, land of the formerly free.

  • Cotour

    I saw a friend this evening. He WAS an on board middle of the road Democrat, his father he told me is a big time Trump hating Liberal Democrat. I ask him tonight, and he has been listening to me for several years now and he always asks me questions about politics and what’s going on:

    Me: So what do you think about what is going on? (Referring to the abusive un American antics that the Democrat Congress and Senate passed and will be signed by Potemkin, installed, president by proxy, Joe Biden.)

    Him: I am totally with you now, 100 percent. These Democrats are crazy they are un American. They are destroying the country. (Referring to the Democrats and their mania in Congress as was obvious if they attained the majority in government as they have. All predicted and predictable.)

    ME: What about your father?

    Him: Im not talking to him.

    Me: Your not talking to your father !? (Now that honestly took me by surprise. Not talking to your father over politics is a big deal, and his family is very close.)

    Him: I cant talk to him, he is still supporting them. No more, no more.

    The transformation can happen. There are a significant number of rational middle Left Democrats in America, and they are watching what is going on. And now that Trump is out of the picture for the moment, they are being forged into at least Independents. That and give them someone in Congressional and Senate races and in a president that they can stomach and what has to be done can be done. It must be done.

    The Democrats will put as much destruction behind them that they possibly can to back door and ensure their cash flow in the next two years, and they will leave it to others to some how rectify it all. And the only solution is to win, then win again, then win again and take the power away from the Democrats for a long, long, long time. That is the only way. But is it too late now? Unknown.

    And they and their Leftist “Social Justice” Warriors will fight to the death at least figuratively and maybe literally in order to retain their power.

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