After taking power in 1979, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein summoned 400 Baath Party members to a pavilion, locking the doors behind them. As a video reveals, 68 of them were called forward, one by one, and marched out, either to be imprisoned or executed as “traitors” for opposing Saddam’s rise to power. Those in the audience nervously awaited their fate.
Events of the past few weeks bring that video to mind as cancel culture activists, apparently having toppled enough statues for now, go after cartoon characters. In place of Saddam, a cancel culture community (CCC) judge passes sentence. He calls out the names of characters in the fantasy world who have sinned against the culture and are to be terminated.
The first name called is that diabolical children’s author, Dr. Seuss. While Dr. Suess wrote over 60 children’s books, six of the evil ones are to be retired, lest their racial hatred impact innocent minds.
“Dr. Seuss, not a racist bone had he;
But, nonetheless, ‘Be gone,’ says the CCC! ”
Interestingly, the judge’s condemnation of the six books triggered1.2 million book sales during the first week of March 2021.
As Dr. Seuss’s “Cat in the Hat” sits nervously, he is assured by the judge he is safe for the book bearing his name is less racist than the other six.
“Cat in the Hat, do not worry,” the judge blurted;
“Only those six books are racist,” he asserted.
But the judge then calls out a real stinker, the French skunk Pepe Le Pew. Of what possible crime could this lovable cartoon character, appearing on television and movie screens for decades, stand accused? All the amorous Looney Tunes favorite did was to look for love. But, the judge now charges him with the sinister crime of perpetuating the rape culture. Pepe, too, is hauled away.
Next is Speedy Gonzales who, for almost 70 years, has brought laughter to kids on television and in movies. However, because the fastest mouse in Mexico has been cast speaking English with an exaggerated accent, he is deemed toxic – guilty of portraying a “corrosive stereotype.” Alas, not even his tremendous speed can save Gonzales from termination.
Another cartoon character called out is Curious George – a monkey popular in children’s books since 1939. Today he is criticized for the very premise of his existence: a white man bringing him home from Africa. (Doesn’t this kind of undermine the storyline for “King Kong,” too?)
Called up next are Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. They are told, to ensure no child is offended by their genders, the two will have to become gender-neutral. Despite this being an era in which individuals are encouraged to seek out their true gender identities, the Potato Heads will be denied the right to do so. Saddened by the realization there now will be no more Tater Tots, they accept their sentence.
A shocked Cinderella is called out, standing accused that a planned production in Minnesota about her has a cast that, at 98%, is too white. Despite Cinderella’s attempt to justify it – hers is a fairytale hundreds of years old, created by white people based on their experiences, dreams and fantasies, suggesting larger black representation would be cultural appropriation – fails.
Two other well-known cartoon characters are seen shaking their heads in disbelief. They had been marginalized earlier.
Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam were stripped of their trademark guns in 2020, so they knew they were safe from this recent call out. While relieving Fudd of his shotgun might have delighted Bugs Bunny, it failed to sit well with cartoon fans. Animators explained although gun violence is now verboten for these two, “cartoony” violence is all right, leaving animators with an arsenal of acceptable weaponry including dynamite, booby traps, anvils and bank safes dropping on top of unsuspecting characters.
Strangely, Fudd’s shotgun has been replaced with a scythe, which seems more terrifying, especially since it is the Grim Reaper’s weapon of choice. But, since there are few recorded acts of violence involving scythes, Fudd gets the OK.
Feeling the heat and before being called, Disney stands up to announce it took the initiative on its own to make several children’s animated movies unavailable for those under age 7, including “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “Swiss Family Robinson” and “The Aristocats,” due to “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.” For children older than 7, the movies have content warnings. Additionally, Disney boasts, warnings appear on 18 episodes of “The Muppet Show,” for reasons unexplained.
The name Disney has long been associated with children’s entertainment. Snowflakes should be offended by the fact the company’s founder, Walt Disney, was an early supporter of the Nazis. Either the CCC has failed to research this or it finds Disney’s real-life support for Nazi hatred unoffensive but the perceived hatred of animated cartoon characters offensive.
It is interesting the CCC chose to condemn Dr. Seuss. Several years earlier, then-President Barack Obama sung the man’s praises and first lady Michelle Obama selected a Dr. Seuss book to read to public school children as part of “Read Across America Day.” In 2015, President Obama told his interns, “pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” An avid reader, he went on to explain to them that reading teaches one the vital skills of empathy which Dr. Seuss taught him particularly well. He credited the author with helping him, as a child, understand the nature of responsibility and that “we’re all the same, so why would we treat somebody differently?”
While losing the lineup of cartoon characters above is a loss for children, we now see the classics being targeted as well. Shakespeare stands accused of teaching white supremacy and dehumanization. Some school districts have already canceled Chaucer, Homer and Beowulf.
Among the children’s books as yet not targeted, but time will tell, are “The Tuttle Twins” series. While the CCC will be hard-pressed to find cause to the terminate characters, undoubtedly it will find cause with the series’ focus, teaching kids about liberty, free market capitalism, individual responsibility and American history – all concepts given little attention in today’s education system.
Liberal snowflakes have long been attracted to the CCC’s clarion call. Giving their approval during its early days, they allowed it to grow to the point some of them now say enough is enough. Surprisingly, these include far-left looney advocates like Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Maher, whose opinions usually leave conservative heads shaking in disbelief. And a recent Zogby poll of 500 decision makers indicated 61% believe that cancel culture undermines society.
Despite this, with the CCC now targeting the classics, one wonders how much lower these looney-tune activists will sink in their self-declared war against Western civilization.
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