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“Cancel Culture” and “Woke”


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Red: I'm outraged that these things happen!  It's all the fault of you liberals being outraged!

Blue: Um, we're not outraged.

Red: Yes, you are!  See how outraged you're being?  You're cancelling free speech!

Blue: Isn't a corporation making a decision on its own an example of free speech in action?

Red: They're only acting because you're so outraged and they're scared of you!  Actually, they're scared of the government!

Blue: Which is it?

Red: Both!  Why are you so outraged?

Blue: Um, we're not outraged...

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That was way too long a post.  Gordon Gekko is looking at that and wondering why I couldn't tighten it up a little.

Cancelling an awards show might be the best thing ever to emerge from the woke movement.  If they cancel the Oscars, I might become pro-woke.

Right-wingers do something dumb: "Look at those right-wingers.  What a bunch of dummies." Progressives do something dumb: "Look at those right-wingers complaining about that thing we did.  What a

6 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

I don't think length of copyright protections are really related to cancel culture.  I'm open to argument otherwise, I suppose.

I think I've just been unclear. I wasn't talking about the copyright protections vis a vis cancel culture. I was addressing two different things at once. I was addressing your insistence that this pulling of the publications isn't a function of cancel culture, then lamenting the copyright issue as separate.

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3 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

Red: I'm outraged that these things happen!  It's all the fault of you liberals being outraged!

Blue: Um, we're not outraged.

Red: Yes, you are!  See how outraged you're being?  You're cancelling free speech!

Blue: Isn't a corporation making a decision on its own an example of free speech in action?

Red: They're only acting because you're so outraged and they're scared of you!  Actually, they're scared of the government!

Blue: Which is it?

Red: Both!  Why are you so outraged?

Blue: Um, we're not outraged...

Blue:  we are gonna need your social credit score.

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1 hour ago, parasaurolophus said:

This is good schtick.

Conway: obviously they did this for free publicity. (No evidence provided)

Other people: they did this out of fear of the woke mob. 

Conway: i demand evidence!!!

To follow up on this, I wrote "...it seems reasonable to at least suspect that the decisions and announcements were made in the hopes of..."  That's basically the opposite of saying "...obviously, this was..."  Specifically, others were asserting X.  I asked if they had any proof of X, suggesting that Y might also be plausible.  You then accused me of asserting Y without evidence.

You're a smart guy, and when I understand your points (I often don't), I enjoy the conversations.  But something like this, in which you've deliberately mischaracterized what I wrote as the exact opposite, makes it hard to have a real conversation.

Edited by Rich Conway
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In other news, the University of Minnesota now requires an oath of fealty...errr "diversity statement" to apply for a job.

"Submit resume and cover letter with job application, as well as a written diversity statement. The statement should outline how you value diversity and share your experience in working with diverse populations. We define “diversity” in the broadest sense of the word, describing a community comprised of different races, religions, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, genders, sexualities, and beliefs."

 

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3 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

In other news, the University of Minnesota now requires an oath of fealty...errr "diversity statement" to apply for a job.

"Submit resume and cover letter with job application, as well as a written diversity statement. The statement should outline how you value diversity and share your experience in working with diverse populations. We define “diversity” in the broadest sense of the word, describing a community comprised of different races, religions, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, genders, sexualities, and beliefs."

 

For any job or certain jobs?  If the former, this seems pretty stupid and over the top.  If the latter, I'd ask which jobs (and probably still criticize based on the answer).

Edited by Rich Conway
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So politically what is the effect of this conservative focus on “woke” and “cancel culture”? 
IMO, like the previous “War on Christmas”, political correctness discussions, Colin Kaepernick, etc. these issues are emphasized by conservative talk radio and Fox News because they garner ratings among the base who love to hear this stuff and be outraged about it. But they don’t generate new votes. Non base Republicans, moderates, independents, liberals, (in other words the majority of the electorate) don’t care. Sure they might get ticked off about a story or two, and a few of them might even be convinced enough to see a pattern that I personally don’t believe exists, but they’re not going to vote on it. 

In the end these stories are just entertainment for the conservative masses and a form of manipulation- which I suppose is OK so long as they don’t tread on me. 

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1 hour ago, Andy Dufresne said:

It seems like they're one in the same here. The decision to stop producing these specific books came from Dr. Seuss Enterprises. 

Regardless, somebody owns them. I just wonder if the option to modify them was ever on the table.

Doctor Seuss Enterprises (DSE) owns the works today. DSE was founded in 1993 by Geisel's wife Audrey Geisel. When Audrey Geisel passed away in 2018, Susan Brandt became president of DSE.

I'm not aware that any of Theodore Geisel's descendants are involved with DSE today.

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Fake outrage provides content for the news entertainment channels. For example, instead of showing yesterday's hearings on the January 6th traitorous insurrection, Fox News spent the entire day talking about "cancelling Dr. Seuss" and they are still talking about it today. Meanwhile this was a decision made by the publisher. But it gives people a reason to be "mad at the libs!". It's absurd and like many of these "gin up the base" ideologies, it's dangerous.

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2 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

For any job or certain jobs?  If the former, this seems pretty stupid and over the top.  If the latter, I'd ask which jobs (and probably still criticize based on the answer).

I dunno for sure. This accompanied an opening I was looking at for "Business/Systems Analyst 2". I work (well, worked is probably better said, I think I've rapidly become obsolete) with an ERP package called PeopleSoft which is part of Oracle. Here's the high level job duties:

Macro Responsibilities

Functions on PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (PS) team for the Office of Admissions and for the U of M system campus undergraduate Admissions offices

Participate in upgrades that impact PeopleSoft functionality

Ensure data integrity within the PeopleSoft system

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4 hours ago, Grace Under Pressure said:

Fake outrage provides content for the news entertainment channels. For example, instead of showing yesterday's hearings on the January 6th traitorous insurrection, Fox News spent the entire day talking about "cancelling Dr. Seuss" and they are still talking about it today. Meanwhile this was a decision made by the publisher. But it gives people a reason to be "mad at the libs!". It's absurd and like many of these "gin up the base" ideologies, it's dangerous.

Ultimately, it's my contention that this incessant airing of fake outrage led directly to Trump's presidency and the subsequent fealty many/most Republicans have exhibited.  In my experience and in my opinion, for many/most Fox News (et.al.) opinion show devotees, the only political value they hold is "liberals are evil".  They then support whatever politician is screaming that sentiment the loudest and with the largest platform.  We saw that in evidence in 2016 when Fox News, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, et.al. repeatedly told us how awful Trump was, until he became the favorite and presumptuous nominee, at which point they all switched gears and enthusiastically supported him and told us how great he was.  Literally, Sean Hannity did an entire segment during the primaries showing us clips of Trump and explaining that he was experiencing cognitive decline and dementia.

In summary and in my opinion, the right's fake outrage mill has created a large segment of people whose only defining value is "own the libs".

Edited by Rich Conway
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6 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

I dunno for sure. This accompanied an opening I was looking at for "Business/Systems Analyst 2". I work (well, worked is probably better said, I think I've rapidly become obsolete) with an ERP package called PeopleSoft which is part of Oracle. Here's the high level job duties:

Macro Responsibilities

Functions on PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (PS) team for the Office of Admissions and for the U of M system campus undergraduate Admissions offices

Participate in upgrades that impact PeopleSoft functionality

Ensure data integrity within the PeopleSoft system

Seems stupid and over the top for that job.  I was thinking it might be a "somewhat reasonable" ask for certain Dean positions and the like.

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20 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

In other news, the University of Minnesota now requires an oath of fealty...errr "diversity statement" to apply for a job.

"Submit resume and cover letter with job application, as well as a written diversity statement. The statement should outline how you value diversity and share your experience in working with diverse populations. We define “diversity” in the broadest sense of the word, describing a community comprised of different races, religions, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, genders, sexualities, and beliefs."

 

This sort of thing is completely ubiquitous in higher ed these days -- it's definitely not just Minnesota.  Basically any faculty position, any position in the academic affairs side of administration, any position in student affairs, and an assortment of other positions.

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Ah, yes. Loyalty oaths are back in school and session, comrades. Can we all now sit and talk about next year's iteration of the five-year plan?

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2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Ah, yes. Loyalty oaths are back in school and session, comrades. Can we all now sit and talk about next year's iteration of the five-year plan?

Have you considered trying out for the Olympic trials? With that long jump score you ought to be a shoo in! 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Have you considered trying out for the Olympic trials? With that long jump score you ought to be a shoo in! 

I was simply riffing on what Andy and Ivan were saying. I just gave it a name. It's called a bunch of commies on campus have decided that we should pen what will wind up being really stilted and artificial-sounding essays praising fealty to an abstract concept that nobody really understands fully but all swear to. It reeks of commie love of the subjugation of the individual for the collective, now doesn't it?

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2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I was simply riffing on what Andy and Ivan were saying. I just gave it a name. It's called a bunch of commies on campus have decided that we should pen what will wind up being really stilted and artificial-sounding essays praising fealty to an abstract concept that nobody really understands fully but all swear to. It reeks of commie love of the subjugation of the individual for the collective, now doesn't it?

I agree that the U. Minnesota example above seems stupid and over the top, but your jump from stupid to commies and collective seems just as absurd to me.  Diversity is a good thing.  Requiring all job applicants (or, job applicants for Business Analyst) to include an essay on the benefits of diversity is stupid.  Similarly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. are good things, while requiring job applicants to include an essay on the benefits of those would also be stupid, but in no way an expression of communism.

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3 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I was simply riffing on what Andy and Ivan were saying. I just gave it a name. It's called a bunch of commies on campus have decided that we should pen what will wind up being really stilted and artificial-sounding essays praising fealty to an abstract concept that nobody really understands fully but all swear to. It reeks of commie love of the subjugation of the individual for the collective, now doesn't it?

No. Not really. And you use the term Commie way too much. 
You may disagree with diversity as a concept and a desired result in society, but there’s nothing necessarily collectivist about it. 

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

And you use the term Commie way too much.

It's overcompensation. How's that?

Pardon me. I call communism when I see it in bloom. 

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

but there’s nothing necessarily collectivist about it. 

It's collectivist. No doubt about that. No reason to have to submit an essay to an organization about how you'll value their diversity in the workplace to further achieve whatever aim it is the employer seeks. Anything that places cohesion of the group over the individual's true emphasis or expression is a collectivist one by its very nature.

And this is another thing that worries me about cancel culture. Is how this sort of requirement is going to play in the HR departments. I wrote extensively on it earlier in the thread. No surprise it comes up in actuality.

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7 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

This is a neat nugget from the friends at Amazon, classified under Woke - https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56266514

Man, everything is a Nazi symbol these days.

-----

Speaking of woke, why isn't Farrakhan canceled yet?  Dude is on the news talking about the vaccines being vials of death (i.e. pure fake news).  Yet he seems to be lauded and revered by a large crowd of folks. I remain confused on his status.

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3 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

Again, how does this have anything to do with cancel culture or "woke"?

I guess you have to look for the reason to me offended.  I don’t pay enough attention to my surroundings to somehow think that was Hitler.  

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2 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Seems a good change. The little mustache one was dumb...of couse so is the new one.

Not sure why they have to change the shopping cart logo in the first place.

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David Doel @daviddoel

Is cancel culture when Tesla fires a worker for union organizing? Or when MSNBC fires Phil Donahue for being against the Iraq war? Or when Texas fires a teacher for supporting Palestinians?

Or is cancel culture only for important stuff like children’s books and a plastic potato?

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7 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Not sure why they have to change the shopping cart logo in the first place.

They don't have to.  But, corporations change logos and branding all the time.  They almost always focus group it first.  Sometimes the focus groups give negative feedback, which usually causes the corporations to make additional changes.  There's typically nothing insidious, cancel culture-esque, or woke about a logo change.

Edit: Although, now that I think about it, maybe New Coke really was a pinko-commie plot of some sort...

Edited by Rich Conway
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4 minutes ago, ShamrockPride said:

David Doel @daviddoel

Is cancel culture when Tesla fires a worker for union organizing? Or when MSNBC fires Phil Donahue for being against the Iraq war? Or when Texas fires a teacher for supporting Palestinians?

Or is cancel culture only for important stuff like children’s books and a plastic potato?

Yes, we're all aware you have really big third party issues to get off of your chest. Hint: There's a reason why about 20% of the country supports, if that, the positions that you take. Get used to it. I was used to being in the one percent. All that anger's gonna get you. 

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8 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Seems a good change. The little mustache one was dumb...of couse so is the new one.

Seems like it was an appropriate logo for a big tech company.  

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7 minutes ago, Sand said:

Man, everything is a Nazi symbol these days.

-----

Speaking of woke, why isn't Farrakhan canceled yet?  Dude is on the news talking about the vaccines being vials of death (i.e. pure fake news).  Yet he seems to be lauded and revered by a large crowd of folks. I remain confused on his status.

Farrakhan is actually all over the new Jay Electronica album that I believe got nominated for a Grammy and has Jay-Z as guest emcee all throughout the album. Jay-Z is very down with the Five Percenter movement and Farrakhan, too.

I specifically wouldn't pick Electronica for the music draft we're in even though his production is dope as hell. Farrahkhan is a toxin and a stain on our society. That he hasn't been canceled yet speaks to the kid gloves we treat black people in this country with when it comes to grievance politics. We don't change the system ever to actually address what they're saying, we just keep accommodating reverse filth and odious prejudices.

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6 minutes ago, ShamrockPride said:

David Doel @daviddoel

Is cancel culture when Tesla fires a worker for union organizing? Or when MSNBC fires Phil Donahue for being against the Iraq war? Or when Texas fires a teacher for supporting Palestinians?

Or is cancel culture only for important stuff like children’s books and a plastic potato?

1. Not really.  That's bad and I think illegal in some situations, but it's not cancel culture.

2. Kind of.  Generally speaking, we shouldn't include pundits and public intellectuals in this discussion.  They're in the take-producing business and they know the rules when they sign up.  (It's easy to come up with exceptions to this rule that we can talk about on a case by case basis).

3. Of course.

4. Of course not.

I hope the answers to these totally good-faith questions help.

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3 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

They don't have to.  But, corporations change logos and branding all the time.  They almost always focus group it first.  Sometimes the focus groups give negative feedback, which usually causes the corporations to make additional changes.  There's typically nothing insidious, cancel culture-esque, or woke about a logo change.

Edit: Although, now that I think about it, maybe New Coke really was a pinko-commie plot of some sort...

I find it amazing how a multi billion dollar company comes up with that logo and didn’t catch it.  
 

Commie moves - New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, and removing Orange Coke.  

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3 hours ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater, can't they just change the offending images & words? I know it wouldn't be Seuss' original work then, but at least it's not completely lost.

This just seems like more Zero Tolerance thinking - which really means zero thinking, IMO.

If the goal is to avoid the appearance of fealty to the left, or to avoid the [faux] outrage from the culture war crusaders on the right.....then changing the book will have zero effect.

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In one of the books "To think I Saw it on Mulberry St" one point that is under fire is a depiction of an asian man. Its not the 1st time the image has been in the news. It was 1st brought to attention b/c it was part of mural at the Seuss Museum

The image just shows a cartoon man with Asian features, running in a very asian styled hat and holding a bowl of rice and chopsticks. It gives no other description of the man other than to say "A Chinaman, who eats with sticks" In some editions of the book, his face is white while others it is yellow, but it is important to point out that all of Suess' art used solid primary colors. 

The question I have is where do we separate "Stereotype" from "Racism" 

Are stereotypes inherently bad? Is drawing an Asian person with slanted eyes bad, bc it is a predominant trait of people from that region? Is it lying or hurtful to say they often eat with chopsticks? I cant think of any other culture that does.

I think this is where my challenge is with these complaints. They are reaching and looking for ways to play the "offended card" 

 

That said, if that particular image is offensive, why ban the book outright, just change it. The publisher owns the copyright, why ban the work all together, just modify it. 

Edited by glvsav37
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5 minutes ago, Sea Duck said:

If the goal is to avoid the appearance of fealty to the left, or to avoid the [faux] outrage from the culture war crusaders on the right.....then changing the book will have zero effect.

If you're saying there's a lot of unhappy no matter what busy bodies out there...I can't disagree with that.

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You know who they can't get at? Particle Man. Because he lives in a song.

Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows. Particle Man.

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33 minutes ago, rockaction said:

You know who they can't get at? Particle Man. Because he lives in a song.

Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows. Particle Man.

Yeah, but just wait until they try and rename Istanbul.

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1 minute ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Yeah, but just wait until they try and rename Istanbul.

Once knew a German foreign exchange student who decided to enlighten the whole class about what he thought about the Turks. Wooo baby.

Not woke. No little birdhouse in his soul for them. 

 

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23 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

Just remember folks, Dr Seuss, Potato Head, etc countless others.....these are all far more important than ending the bombing of thousands upon thousands of middle eastern children and civilians, closing the wealth gap, and making sure everyone here has health insurance. All backseat, trivial issues in comparison tbh.

It's the new "Abortion" or "Gun Control" shell game we are forced to play.  

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

 

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3 hours ago, rockaction said:

Yes, we're all aware you have really big third party issues to get off of your chest. Hint: There's a reason why about 20% of the country supports, if that, the positions that you take. Get used to it. I was used to being in the one percent. All that anger's gonna get you. 

I'm curious about this 20% claim. Care to expand?

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3 hours ago, glvsav37 said:

In one of the books "To think I Saw it on Mulberry St" one point that is under fire is a depiction of an asian man. Its not the 1st time the image has been in the news. It was 1st brought to attention b/c it was part of mural at the Seuss Museum

The image just shows a cartoon man with Asian features, running in a very asian styled hat and holding a bowl of rice and chopsticks. It gives no other description of the man other than to say "A Chinaman, who eats with sticks" In some editions of the book, his face is white while others it is yellow, but it is important to point out that all of Suess' art used solid primary colors. 

The question I have is where do we separate "Stereotype" from "Racism" 

Are stereotypes inherently bad? Is drawing an Asian person with slanted eyes bad, bc it is a predominant trait of people from that region? Is it lying or hurtful to say they often eat with chopsticks? I cant think of any other culture that does.

I think this is where my challenge is with these complaints. They are reaching and looking for ways to play the "offended card" 

 

That said, if that particular image is offensive, why ban the book outright, just change it. The publisher owns the copyright, why ban the work all together, just modify it. 

Should we stop drawing black people as black?  Asians have slanted eyes.  And yes they often eat with chopsticks.  The need to censor all this stuff is silly.

A couple of side stories somewhat related to this.  I saw the Scrooge play a couple years ago Off Broadway.  In the first few scenes during Scrooge’s youth there was a very dark black actor playing one of the secondary roles.  Young Scrooge was played by a white actor.  As we fast forwarded in years the black actor suddenly appeared as old Scrooge.  The entire audience was baffled for about 10 minutes.

Then there’s my campus newspaper in college covering all the violent crime in and around our urban campus.  For an entire year they wouldn’t disclose the race of the crime suspect.  There was a serial rapist on campus and nobody knew if he was black, white, Asian... But we did know he was 5’8 and approximately 160 pounds. 

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19 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

Should we stop drawing black people as black?  Asians have slanted eyes.  And yes they often eat with chopsticks.  The need to censor all this stuff is silly.

 

In some ways sure. But aren’t the complaints about it silly as well? 
Perhaps because my whole life I’ve been in sales, I’m pretty much in favor of trying not to offend people. A whole lot of what people are calling political correctness, cancel culture, etc., I call common courtesy and decency. 

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20 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

Should we stop drawing black people as black?  Asians have slanted eyes.  And yes they often eat with chopsticks.  The need to censor all this stuff is silly.

I think it's great to teach kids about other cultures.  When they're at Dr. Seuss age, it's probably way too soon to start talking to them about the differences between cultures based on the Torah and New Testment vs. cultures based on Confucianism, but teaching them about food habits is a cool and easily-accessible way to help them learn about other ways of doing things.

That said, there's a way to do that respectfully and another way to do that xenophobically.  It's a close call, but I think the picture in question falls into the "Ha ha look at these weird foreigners" category.  It's very difficult to articulate why I feel that way.  In my mind, it's kind of a "I know it when I see it" thing but maybe somebody else can explain it better than I can.    

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1 minute ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I think it's great to teach kids about other cultures.  When they're at Dr. Seuss age, it's probably way too soon to start talking to them about the differences between cultures based on the Torah and New Testment vs. cultures based on Confucianism, but teaching them about food habits is a cool and easily-accessible way to help them learn about other ways of doing things.

That said, there's a way to do that respectfully and another way to do that xenophobically.  It's a close call, but I think the picture in question falls into the "Ha ha look at these weird foreigners" category.  It's very difficult to articulate why I feel that way.  In my mind, it's kind of a "I know it when I see it" thing but maybe somebody else can explain it better than I can.    

An easier way is by comparison: take a look at Disney’s animated movie Mulan, and how Chinese people were carefully drawn. Then compare it to the Seuss book. The differences are obvious. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

An easier way is by comparison: take a look at Disney’s animated movie Mulan, and how Chinese people were carefully drawn. Then compare it to the Seuss book. The differences are obvious. 

Yeah, but that's complicated by the fact that everybody in Seuss books is drawn in a funny, cartoonish fashion.  I guess the best way to say it is that the slanted eyes, chopsticks, and stereotypical Asian outfit are getting played for laughs (sort of), which is what's rubbing me the wrong way.

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8 minutes ago, timschochet said:

An easier way is by comparison: take a look at Disney’s animated movie Mulan, and how Chinese people were carefully drawn. Then compare it to the Seuss book. The differences are obvious. 

sure, there were no stereotypical Asian characters in Mulan. 

But really, you are going to compare a feature animated film drawn in the late 90's to a caricature-like illustrated children's book from the 30's? 

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I love how the guy that wrote Green Eggs and Ham is getting eaten by the woke. The woke are actually zombies, I'd posit, masquerading as thinking and feeling beings. By the way, this isn't a new topic. This was being debated three or four years ago, right on this very board. In a similarly headlined topic. I remember because Henry Ford was talking about Seuss's old racist cartoons and drawings. We argued and argued and it had nothing to do with Republican talking points.

It's because that's what we do when we're reevaluating culture.

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