Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Oh Doctor!

A school in British Columbia has banned a quote  from the Dr. Seuss book Yertle the Turtle from being displayed in a elementary school classroom for apparently being to politically polarizing for the students.


The offending quote reads as follows: "I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights”

I know. Really. A terrible message for young minds to absorb, that all peoples are created equal and that all should have rights. I remember reading this and other Dr. Seuss works to my children when they were quite young, and I honestly cannot recall if I had discussions with either boy about the nature of left versus right as is referenced within the body politic. My guess? Probably not, unless it was in the context of treating others around them fairly and without prejudice-a lesson that most likely was not easily absorbed by the members of this school board.

Now I am not naive. Dr. Seuss was not without his politics. He started off as a political cartoonist after all, (he readily admitted that Yertle was modelled after Hitler) but I would venture to guess that in his messages to children and the caregivers reading to them, he never fathomed the crazy extremes to which people today would go in order to shelter children from radical political indoctrination ideals like fairness, respect for the environment, conflict resolution, religious respect, and admiration for those who are different.

In the great doctor's honour, I offer 10 of my most favourite quotes from his works. I am certain that you all have your own preferences and I open up the comment section for your reminiscences. 
  1. "The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches and no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars."
  2. "A person's a person no matter how small."
  3. "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you."
  4. "I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one hundred percent."
  5. "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
  6. "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues."
  7. "Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas....perhaps....means a little bit more!"
  8. "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
  9. "Oh the things you can find if you don't stay behind!"
  10. "I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you, thank you Sam I am."
Radical stuff, I know. But I can honestly think of worse values to live by.

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