Thursday, June 26, 2008

Help I Am Posting And I Can Not Stop.

I already brought up the thing about us being a specific generation of Chestertonians, right?

Good.

I sometimes get the impression that we were the last generation allowed to do things or see things. You have heard, I assume, of Tom and Jerry? In case you had not, Tom and Jerry were cartoon characters. Tom was a cat, Jerry was a mouse, hyjynx ensued. Look it up on Wikipedia if you need more explanation than that: finding out what people are talking about is the principle end of wikipedia.

Anyway, apparently they digitally removed the black lady from all the cartoons. I can only assume that they thought that any depiction of a person of african descent previous to the sixties can't have been more than two steps away from Nazism, but even were this true it would not make their conduct even remotely rational. What is trying to edit out things from history going to help?

They did the same thing with what has to be the ur-children's book: Goodnight Moon. If you have to wikipedia this one, then you're probably a victim of this. See, there was a grainy black and white photo of the author on the back cover. He was holding a cigarette. Which they airbrushed the out.

Look, you might not like it, but smokers are real people. They have rights. Mammys existed. They did things, they had hopes and dreams. Maybe some of them liked being Mammys and Smokers. It's much better to be either than to be whatever these people are: 'bigot' won't work, so I propose a neologism. Prigot. One who has Prigotry.

My only guess at their motivation is that they feel guilty for liking things about which might have been produced by people with views other than their own. Tom and Jerry might have been made by someone who thought... that Black Women Might Sometimes Do Housework! Goodnight Moon might have been written... by someone who thought that It's Ok To Have A Cigarette Sometimes! This cannot be allowed! But they can't just not watch the cartoons or not read the book, like the rest of us would. That would be intolerant. So, they have to actually change the thing so that it's no longer saying anything but what they want it to say.

Because that is the epitome of tolerance and diversity: making sure nobody gets to say anything to anyone but what you already agree with.

So I worry about our children, sometimes. What if, say, the Prigots decide that because a peanut butter manufacturer was in favor of atomic weapons, therefore peanut butter is Double Plus Unmutual, and is banned? What would it be like to grow up and never have had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? How would you even begin to describe what a peanut butter and jelly sandwich means to someone who has been shielded from the taste of creamed peanut, lest they imbibe with it Global Thermonuclear War?

Because that's the most ridiculous part of this whole farce. Let me ask you, the last generation to see real Tom and Jerry, the last to see the Author of Goodnight Moon smoking, maybe the last to taste peanut butter, were helplessly compelled to become smokers? Neuclear physicists? Mammys? When you saw these things as a child, were you even aware that there was such a question? Or did you just think "That lady is yelling at Tom," "That man is on the back of this book," and "mmm, peanut butter," respectively?

8 comments:

Algernon said...

What you say of never tasting peanut butter thrums a throbbing chord.

*sob* *snifle*

I rarely do, but it's because my sisters have allergies.

:-D

fpcannon said...

Amazing post. I have just discovered all this prigotry, and have been trying to express it in some way. Now I know how to. Thank you.
(By the way, I love both Tom and Jerry and Goodnight Moon. My Goodnight Moon book is a board book, however, and has no picture of the author whatsoever)

Rob said...

Ha, you used my neologism!

Now I just need to find a way to make you say "godzillaic."

Hans Lundahl said...

peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were invented during WW2

some future pacifists just might crawl in on that to forbid them

+ God preserve us!

fpcannon said...

Why would I say godzillaic?
Oh...wait...

Ria said...

I love the post... actually I just read half a book along those lines, have you perchance read The Language Police by Diane Ravitch? It describes most eloquently the pains taken to make all educational material completely unoffensive and 'tis quite fascinating.

P.S. Algernon- :-(

Ria said...

P.P.S. fpcannon- :-)

Algernon said...

Enlighten my darkness. Godzilliac?

:-)