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Posted by on Apr 4, 2007 in At TMV | 7 comments

The Very Un-P.C. ‘Cat In the Hat’ Turns 50

Cat_Hat_Stamp.jpg

“The Cat in the Hat,” the classic children’s book by Dr. Seuss, turns 50 this year. The opening lines . . .

The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day . . .

. . . are just as fresh in my mind as when my mother read “The Cat in the Hat” to me and I read it to my own children.

But sad to say, the book is so politically incorrect that it probably could never be published today.

As Peter Mandel writes in a Philadelphia Inquirer commentary:

For starters, anyone need a reminder on the basic premise here? Two little kids of maybe 6 or 7 are being harassed by a large, threatening animal and its accomplices. Worse, the two have been left for an entire day without adult supervision. . . . Get the cops. Bring in a social worker and quick.

Ahem.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • Lynx

    OK, I’m anything from an expert on childrens literature, but do modern childrens books adhere to such silly standards of PC? Seriously now, it’s fun and all to pretend that PC has taken over 1984 style, and there are certainly examples of such silliness (a book with the word “scrotum” comes to mind) but I wonder whether it’s more isolated incidents than a widespread problem. Can any parent tell me whether modern childrens literature is PC pablum? I certainly hope not; all of the best childrens stories (or rather stories adapted for children) cinderella, snow white, Puss in Boots, little red riding hood, Peter Pan, Hansel and Gretle etc. have very dark themes and are certainly not PC, but they are amazing stories, and by being told from generation to generation, form a common thread through the generations. I’d hate to think PC would destroy that too.

  • Sam

    PC is dead and has been for some time. I find it amusing when people think they are cutting edge by being “UN-PC”.

  • Pyst

    I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the good Dr.s alma mater (Dartmouth), and was there for Winter Carnival a few years back when the student body built a 25-30ft snow sculpture of The Cat in the Hat. Absouloutely amazing job they did, and great institution as well.

  • Lynx

    Sam, unfortunately PC is anything but dead, pass by any public school in the San Francisco Bay Area and you will realize that PC is alive and well, though not so much the education of the children that are submitted to it. Oh PC is there alright, I just don’t think it’s completely taken over, that’s all.

  • Sam

    Well children always get treated with kid gloves. Its why they are called that. No swearing, be nice, always share, the typical BS we feed kids before we shock them with the real world. But when I think of PC I don’t think of the rules we apply to kids which as far as I’m concerned do little to prepare them for being adults, I mean around the way where the big people live. Thats where PC is a fossil.

  • DLS

    The PC “liberal” totalitarians should be forced to attend theater showings of…

    *gasp*

    Racist and Patriotic Fun!

    Horrible, frighteningly poliitically incorrect cartoons

    http://www.headinjurytheater.com/article27.htm

    The “Censored 11”

    http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/ltcuts11.html

  • Entropy

    I have two toddlers, ages 2 & 3. They LOVE Dr. Seuss, particularly Cat in the Hat. Actually, they like the sequel better while I prefer the original. The sequel is even more un-PC than the original.

    With two toddlers, I have a lot of kid’s books. Some of them are very PC. For example, on I have on going potty has little asterisks next to each instance of “Mommy” or “Daddy” with the helpful suggestion to replace those terms with different ones if I’d like to. Gee, it’s really nice they put that in there. If I was in a non-traditional family I’m sure I’d need to be reminded to be reminded of that.

    I still prefer the classics. There is a lot of Dr. Seuss in my house. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” is probably the best manual on life ever written.

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