Dr. Seuss portrayed a brilliant philosophy on many topics. I marveled the other day at his insight. His drawings of animals and people were not my favorite types of characters – no big eyes and darling smiles, NO, I surmise that he deliberately made many of his characters without 1) gender 2) race 3) beauty 4) and seemingly deliberately made them kind of “ugly”. A perfectly wonderful tactic to remove those social triggers from his books, giving the parents and kids to reflect on his philosophical statements without their own bias, feelings of discrimination, and reverse discrimination.
He used minimal colors….. not making the few people he drew as having a “color”, no big noses, no almond eyes, no curly hair, no blonds. While it was expensive to reproduce color images in the era of his books, this too was a good way to avoid his real messages from being mired in the muck of prejudice and supremacy and discrimination and religious and cultural and gender biases.
He was a gifted communicator, brilliant.
So i have redone one of his masterpieces…. ha ha.. in the vulgarities and profanities of today.
“It’s a crappy-ass world
and all the nut-cases in it
are mired in muck
every “effin” minute
I’m breathing relieved
believe it or not
for the wakos and stink holes
I’m lucky I’m not.”
When i googled early cartoons of his i was a little dismayed to learn that he worked for Standard Oil Company making adds for their Flit, chemical insecticide spray. This may have been one of the reasons that his later books had environmentally relevant topics. (formulation contained 5% DDT in the late 1940s and early 1950s, before the negative environmental impact of DDT was widely understood.) We may come to our senses, as apprently he did, later in life.
Then comes this post….. yes, we all start out somewhere.
This was indeed a time when technology was alloed to maime and kill indiscriminately (and discriminately), research was done on live human beings and nuclear power was thought to be harmeless. So here is a quote from that link —
“But Geisel, like all artists, had to start somewhere. Eric Carle, who created 1969’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” joined the children’s book world only after author Bill Martin, Jr., reached out him, impressed by a clever lobster illustration from his Chlor-Trimeton allergy tab adverting series. Shel Silverstein worked for decades as a “Playboy” magazine cartoonist before he published his beloved G-rated rhymes for children in 1974’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends.””
The bottom line, again, speaks to a man who was thoughtful, perhaps ignorant of chemical carcinogens and pollution in the beginning, began speaking agains racism, inequity, beaurocracy, and environment.
“…as time went on and these things became known, he changed…”
I see my changes in the last 75 years, similarly.