Roy Exum: It’s Dr. Seuss’ Turn

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

There is no question in my mind that evil people are intent and relentless in their ever-emboldened efforts to destroy the United States. According to a myriad of experts, there are various and determined methods the Communists and the Chinese, in particular, intend to do that. The endless effort is to turn us against one another and, man, the far-left and far-right are falling all over the silent majority trying to help the Legion of the Miserable. The instruction book calls for the removal of anything historic, from the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Tennessee capitol to almost 200 statues of men and women who earned such an honor. “Kill history, kill allegiance,” it’s that kind of thing.

By the end of the summer every statue of anybody was fair game to those who never finished high school.

Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others – all with human flaws but nothing to equal the trash that crashed them down – and it became America’s newest pastime. Destroy anything you possibly can that might evoke emotion.  In San Francisco, any school bearing the name of a white person is being re-labeled. In Washington, D.C., they are still stymied over the city’s name and once that gets started, it will be a mad race with the state of Washington to become the first affronted, and only the map printers will like it.

You see, the game plan is to constantly have a ruckus and yesterday belonged to Dr. Seuss. Unbelievably, the “keeper of the keys” played right into the crazies’ hands. Every March 2nd is “National Read Across America Day” as the most beloved children’s books of all time are read by school guests to millions of kids. I’ve been invited twice and I'm not a good enunciator but, both times, my bigger speech problem was trying to choke back tears in front of those children. I was that overcome by simply watching their faces.

But no, some ghastly hyena issued a statement from Dr. Seuss Enterprises to say that six of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s books would be removed from print because “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

No, what is “hurtful and wrong” is what is perpetrated against the people of our nation, most especially those who read their children to sleep. Quickly, what do these ten Dr. Seuss books have in common? …

* -- The Cat in the Hat (10)

* -- Green Eggs and Ham (32)

* -- Hop On Pop (40)

* -- Horton Hatches The Egg (41)

* -- How The Grinch Stole Christmas (42)

* -- The Lorax (59)

* -- The Many Colored Days (69)

* -- Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (74)

* -- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (76)

* -- The Sneeches And Other Stories (83)

 

In 2007, the National Education Association, which meant so much more than that now, came out with a timeless list of the "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" after intense polling on the Internet. The number you see behind each title was its standing on the eventual Top 100 list and, while the incomparable Dr. Seuss died in 1991, he remains the best-selling children’s author of all time. Yes, this in the entire world.  At the time of his death, he had written and illustrated 60 books, and had sold 600 million copies that were translated into more than 20 languages.

 

In 1990, when the “Oh The Places You Will Go!” was released it immediately became the No 1 New York Times best seller. It was also on USA Today’s Best Selling Book list in 1997, was No. 2 in 2015, and in 2017. Personally, I have given hundreds of them as graduation presents down through the years.

* * *

HERE IS TUESDAY’S STATEMENT FROM DR. SEUSS ENTERPRISES

“Today, on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.

“We are committed to action.  To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles:  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.  These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”

* * *

HOW DO YOU PROPERLY PR0NOUNCE “DR. SEUSS?”

Geisel's most famous pen name is regularly pronounced /su?s/, an anglicized pronunciation inconsistent with his German surname (the standard German pronunciation is German pronunciation: ['z???s]). He himself noted that it rhymed with "voice" (his own pronunciation being /s??s/). Alexander Laing, one of his collaborators on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, wrote of it:

You're wrong as the deuce

And you shouldn't rejoice

If you're calling him Seuss.

He pronounces it Soice (or Zoice)

(from: Wikipedia.)

 

* * *

THE LEGEND BEHIND ‘THE CAT IN THE HAT’

In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. William Ellsworth Spaulding was the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin (he later became its chairman), and he compiled a list of 348 words that he felt were important for first graders to recognize. He asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and to write a book using only those words. Spaulding challenged Geisel to "bring back a book child can't put down". Nine months later, Geisel completed The Cat in the Hat, using 236 of the words given to him. It retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel's earlier works but, because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers. The Cat in the Hat and subsequent books written for young children achieved significant international success and they remain very popular today. For example, in 2009 [Please, this 18 years after his death], Green Eggs and Ham sold 540,000 copies, The Cat in the Hat sold 452,000 copies, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960) sold 409,000 copies — all outselling the majority of newly published children's books. (Wikipedia)

* * *

TEN OF DR. SEUSS’S BEST

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

“Only you can control your future.”

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

“Kid, you’ll move mountains!”

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

“Everything stinks till it’s finished.”

“Only you can control your future.”

* * *

WHEN DR. SEUSS GOT CAUGHT DRINKING

While at Dartmouth, he was caught drinking gin with nine friends in his room. At the time, the possession and consumption of alcohol was illegal under Prohibition laws, which remained in place between 1920 and 1933. As a result of this infraction, Dean Craven Laycock insisted that Geisel resign from all extracurricular activities, including the Jack-O-Lantern. To continue working on the magazine without the administration's knowledge, Geisel began signing his work with the pen name "Seuss". He was encouraged in his writing by professor of rhetoric W. Benfield Pressey, whom he described as his "big inspiration for writing" at Dartmouth. Upon graduating from Dartmouth, he entered Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a D.Phil. in English literature. At Oxford, he met Helen Palmer, who encouraged him to give up becoming an English teacher in favor of pursuing drawing as a career. She later recalled that "Ted's notebooks were always filled with these fabulous animals. So, I set to work diverting him; here was a man who could draw such pictures; he should be earning a living doing that." (Wikipedia)

* * *

SO, WHAT ARE KIDS GOING TO READ WITHOUT DR. SEUSS?

This is the hottest viral video on the Internet today. CAUTION: This is a ‘Woke’ Toddler Learning His "gAyBCs" CLICK HERE.

* * *

SO, WHAT ARE WE OLDER AMERICANS TO BELIEVE?

We stay the course. Hold onto to your values and what matters. Not long ago, the University of Alabama wanted to do a video to show incoming athletes and thousands of other students how to face adversity. The only voice you will hear on this tape is that of legendary football coach Bear Bryant, who begins with his favorite prayer, and adds upon it. Paul Bryant died in 1983 -- Lordy, that’s 38 years ago -- but these words will live forever. CLICK HERE.

royexum@aol.com


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