Monday, March 8, 2021

Killing the Crocodile

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." - Ray Bradbury

Personally, I haven't liked Dr. Seuss since I discovered, while doing research into education, that his books were designed to be used as part of the look-say method of teaching reading.  Don't get me started on that.  In as much as I don't like this books, I don't believe any of them should be cancelled.  Especially over something as stupid as social justice.  

In fact, I spent many a happy hour as a child reading his books.  I already knew how to read, so no worries there.  They were just silly and fun.  And who doesn't love the Grinch?  It's an American icon.

Oh, wait, they didn't cancel that one.  Only a few of his books were cancelled.  So what's the big deal, right?  


Cancelling books is today's method of burning them.  It's so much tidier.  None of that smoke and ash, don't ya know.  Burn them or cancel them, they're gone just the same.  Those six books of his will no longer be printed and will disappear digitally.  

Can you smell the smoke?

There are actually people celebrating this.  Writer people celebrating this.  Writers people who, in my opinion, should be the last people on Earth to celebrate censorship of any kind.  They can't be thinking that opening the door to this censorship might mean censorship for them down the road.  They're thinking... if there's thinking there at all... Oh, no, not me.  They'll never come for me.

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." - Winston Churchill

First or last on the menu, the crocodile comes for us all.  Unless he's stopped.  And don't fool yourself.  You don't stop this crocodile by throwing your fellow writers between you and him.  He won't be satiated by eating them.  He'll just keep coming and coming.  

They're trying to cancel To Kill a Mockingbird, too.  And Mark Twain's works.  No calls for burning. That would be bad.  Just calls for cancelling them.  Nothing to see here.  The smoke is colorless and odorless, and it's not even hot, but it kills just the same.  

Mein Kampf is still printed.  It was written by one of the worst people, if not the worst person in history.  Nobody's calling for that to be cancelled.  Hell, I could name a dozen books I wish would never have come into existence.  But you won't see me trying to get those out of libraries, etc.  Because it's not right.  Keep that shit around, if only to make sure you never forget that it exists.  

Every writer should be up in arms over this.  If you value what you do, kill the crocodile - don't help it.  How do you kill it?  Speak up.  Say 'no more of this', not on my watch.  Shine a light on its comings and goings so the world can kill it, too.  Don't allow censorship, not even a little bit - not even when it's something that you wouldn't read or allow your children to read.  Free speech includes the speech we don't like, too.  It's the only way that works.

Because in the end, it comes down to who will decide what stays and what gets cancelled.  And I guarantee it won't be me.  And it won't be you.  In the end, we'll all be screwed.


  1. THIS! Thisthisthisthisthisthis!!!! There's a huge block of writers, agents, and editors all calling for a moritorium of books written by Conservatives, too. Makes me sick to my stomach. Because I stand by the wisdom my years granted me:

    1. History repeats itself

    2. What goes around comes around

    3. Be careful what you wish for

    In the latest news, the cancel culture is calling for Speedy Gonzales cartoons to be cancelled because it paints Hispanics/Latinos/WhateverTheF*cKThePCtagIsTheseDays as lazy drunks. The irony? That community is fighting back and telling all those White Liberals to STFU and leave Speedy AND their culture the eff alone! There's hope. It's dim, but there.

    Now I'm going to go get another cup of coffee, listen to the birds sing, and get my blood pressure down. Happy Monday. And while I want no book banned, cancelled, or burned, I hope Karma has those people in sight. Just sayin'....

  2. I totally agree. It is terrifying seeing all the writer's groups light up with pro-censorship posts. I suspect these people aren't actually writers, but rather people who sit around in coffee shops pretending to write while they instead play on facebook, using the label of "writer" as a way to seem like their vapid takes on the world are profound. Well said B.E. great content!