Toronto Asked To Ban Dangerous Dr. Seuss Book For Promoting Violence

from the human-race-has-been-lost dept

When we discuss book bans, we typically discuss them in terms of being revolted by the myopic viewpoint of those doing the banning. For instance, Tim Cushing recently wrote about one book that was banned, despite being an award-winning novel, for including some fairly mild language dealing with sexuality and masturbation. In that case, some parents went to the police to keep teenagers from passing out the books anyway, as if some kind of school book ban had the force of law. That was, obviously, quite a silly situation.

But we shouldn't let this taint all book-banning activities. After all, some books are truly dangerous. Take the tome of violence-advocacy recently targeted for banishment by the Toronto library system, for instance, and see if you can't find it in your heart to admit that some books are too dangerous to be allowed.

Librarians at the Toronto Public Library were asked to remove copies of Dr. Seuss’ 1963 children's book "Hop on Pop” from the establishment’s collection because it allegedly promotes violence. A document detailing the seven books the library has been asked to remove over the past year was posted online on Monday.

The book “encourages children to use violence against their fathers,” according to the complaint.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Tim, it's a harmless rhyming children's book. It isn't promoting violence!" Well, you're not fooling anyone. It seems pretty clear to me that this book, written by some guy named Dr. Seuss (probably a terrorist), is being actively promoted as a way to quite literally stomp out fathers. Think of the children.....that will never be born because other children are stomping on men's two-bits at the behest of some 1960's love-child Dr. of death! This will not stand!
The Materials Review Committee pointed out that the book is “humorous,” “well-loved” and that it has “appeared on many ‘Best of’ children’s book lists.” The MRC also pointed out that the children in the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s book are actually told not to hop on pop.
Nobody's buying it, MRC. These are probably the same people that told us there were WMDs in Iraq and that 9/11 wasn't just a false-flag operation orchestrated by a zombie Hitler that's kept in an underground bunker beneath the Grand Canyon. You can't fool us. A tiny fraction of people in Toronto want this book banned, damn it.
Despite the complaint, the library opted to retain the book in the children's collection.
Does government overreach know no bounds? We say "don't tread on me," and they house this book that literally tells children (except it doesn't) to tread on their fathers? Canadians, write your Congressmen (or whatever it is you call them up there). Something must be done.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:53am

    Well....

    Someone should tell them that banning the book is promoting violence because I for one... would like to slap a freaking knot upside their noggins for their stupidity!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:56am

    I... I... I have no words.
    They flew away like birds.
    My mouth has not even an ahem.
    Dr. Suess must have stole them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:07am

    They banned the book, oh yes they did.
    Because it was violent, unsafe for kids.

    YOUR FUCKING MAYOR DOES CRACK, YOUR POINT IS IRRELEVANT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:07am

    I do not like stupidity with a goat
    I do not like it on a boat
    I do not like it in a train
    No Sam, your censorship is in vain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Belinda Blimp, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:08am

    A non-article, right up there with "Patron Forgets to Wipe Mud Off Shoes At Door." Slow day in the kiddie department, Timmie?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:11am

    Re:

    Do me a favor?

    Find out who the "unnamed complainant" is - thanks, that would be great.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:17am

    "Hop on Pop turned me into a violent person."
    -Said no one ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    A non-comment, right up there with the stupidity of democrat this and republican that non-sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    murgatroyd (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:28am

    It could be worse

    Just imagine what would happen if they read about the tweetle beetle puddle paddle battles in "Fox in Socks".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Another AC, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:39am

    Re: It could be worse

    A fox wearing *just* socks? Nudity! WE MUST BAN THAT PORN-PEDDLING BOOK IMMEDIATELY.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:48am

    I don't believe anything I read anymore. I wondered who the request came from, and what the other books were, but the original article doesn't have anything. Doesn't say where the list was "posted online". Nothing on Toronto library site.

    I'm guessing it's a made up story for their odd news page.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Gracey (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:50am

    At least the Library has some sanity. Of the 7 requests to remove various books, all were rejected. They kept all 7 of the books/films.

    This list with their reasons is here (pdf).

    http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/content/about-the-library/pdfs/board/meetings/2014/apr28/15 _1.pdf

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:59am

    Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:03am

    I watched a film called "Hop on Pop" and it wasn't violent. There was some spanking and hair pulling though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    David, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:04am

    Re:

    I'm a bit distracted about the defense usually including "has been well-circulated" which seems like popularity being an ultimate defense for appropriateness.

    However, it could just be meant to imply that the number of complaints about a book are dwarved by the number of non-complaints from actual readers.

    At any rate, pretty much all complaints in this report sound rather absurd to me: the books/films basically appear to match their covers and rating, so people should know what they are dealing with when borrowing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:07am

    I honestly hope that who ever submitted that request dies in a fire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:11am

    Dammit, Canada, I thought you knew better than us!

    YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BRING BALANCE TO OUR IDIOCY!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    drewdad (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:14am

    A sad day...

    ...when you can't tell if the attempt to ban the book was satire or not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:18am

    Nuts exist in the world! Someplace! Ha ha ha!

    I know you probably feel like you have to keep up a steady flow of posts, but come on, really? The book was not "recently targeted for banishment by the Toronto library system." It was the subject of a complaint by a private party -- who was, yes, probably either a nut job or a troll -- which was duly considered and rejected.

    Snooze.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re:

    Only a Rightleft Wing Liberservative Republocrat would say something like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Lord_Unseen (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm a Leftright Wing Coniberal Democan you idiot!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    ethorad (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:29am

    Re: It could be worse

    Much worse than that, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is obviously a criminal instruction manual!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:33am

    Re: It could be worse

    Wait till the get a load of The Butter Battle... Or maybe that's okay because it only promotes violence between nations and xenophobia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Fushta (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:35am

    Re: It could be worse

    The Sneetches book was the first warning of the perils of cloning humanoids. Also, racism with the star-bellied stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:37am

    Re: Nuts exist in the world! Someplace! Ha ha ha!

    In case you haven't noticed, Tim's (excellent, in my opinion) articles are not exactly hard-nosed news straight to the point. They are typically an interesting intellectual thought wrapped in a fluffy joke.

    I am pretty sure that the fact that you can read the title of this article and not KNOW that it is about the impending banishment of a classic children's book is the actual point and he is not trying to convince people that the book is actually be banned somewhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:38am

    Re:

    Posting on your wifey's laptop again, average_joe?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:42am

    So....not just Rob Ford smoking crack then, eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:45am

    read before over reacting

    The book could create violence. It could.
    Just like video games can create and help plan violence etc... they can.

    But those are merely the "straw that breaks the camels back" in a persons mind. ANYTHING could be that straw. Even something "positive". (eg... Give a kid a book and he gets pissed because his parents never gave him a book)

    Unless it's a book or a game etc... that has brainwashed a person then there is always an underlying issue. If the book, game ALONE has brainwashed a person there is also an underlying issue.(as example.....Looking at books like the bible etc... and social circumstances that reinforce those views)


    More striking at the branches while the root is untouched.

    Any kids book may trigger violence. Ignoring that fact is intellectually dishonest. Just as dishonest as claiming the book was the cause.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    at least you can identify yourself!

    Some people are so confused they don't identify with anything!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:53am

    Re:

    and then you took a bite of stupid and loved it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Paul Renault (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:53am

    They're called MPs, Mike. Members of Parliament

    ..but I came here to point and say "J'accuse!".

    First it's all those American handguns flooding the border just south of Toronto, and now this particularly 'mercan
    brand of stupity is invading Canada!

    But then again, Toronto DOES keep re-electing Rob Ford, so glass houses and all that, I suppose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:53am

    Timothy, this is May 2nd, not April 1st, and... oh this is real?

    I think I might have to kill myself...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    sorrykb (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    Dammit, Canada, I thought you knew better than us!

    Give the Canadians some credit. Toronto Public Library did NOT ban the book.

    I've got no explanation for Rob Ford, however. But then, I'm from California, and we elected the Governator. Twice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Mike Shore (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:30am

    Ban violence books

    If they really want to ban books that promote violence, they should start with the Bible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    AnonyBabs, May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:35am

    Re: Nuts exist in the world! Someplace! Ha ha ha!

    I INSIST YOU ONLY WRITE POSTS I WANT TO READ AND BLOVIATE ABOUT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:41am

    I love how condescending TD has become. It's like reading straight from the government's website, but with opposite ideology. Mocking everyone that doesn't think like you is par for the TD course now.

    Sad, really. This place used to be fun and interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    azuravian (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re:

    I think what the library is getting at here is exactly what you stated. If a book has a single complaint (or even multiple), but has been checked out hundreds of times, that is not a very high complaint ratio, so the majority of the public must not have a problem with it.

    Although this isn't necessarily a defense of appropriateness, it does show that the individual who requested the removal has a different barometer for appropriateness than the majority of the library-going public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Rich, May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:02am

    Re:

    You will be missed....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    But Really?, May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:03am

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    Yes, how can we verify the source? If only the author had included some way to verify the source. Wait, what are these funny underlined words in blue? Never mind, I shall rail on regardless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    They are trying to ban a Dr. Seuss book for promoting violence. I'm pretty sure that NOT mocking that is a federal crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    kP (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:16am

    Hop on Pop tl;dr

    Nice to know censorship fans have an attention span shorter than a two-year old

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    T Teshima (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:18am

    Hey, don't be picking on poor Toronto, look at Kansas or Oklahoma or any number of US state and you'll find the same crazies, only here the crazies run the state governments!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    mattshow (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Man, the media is just absolutely determined to turn this into a real story. This is not a story. One unnamed person in Toronto complained about a book, and the library acted entirely appropriately and chose not to ban the book. That is not news. And yet it's been covered by TIME, CTV, CBC, Toronto Life and others, including Techdirt now.

    C'mon Techdirt. Hold yourself to a higher standard than that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:16am

    If we can't terraform Mars to get away from people/politicians/governments like that, can we at least send people/politicians/government officials like that to Mars now instead?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    You guys just wanted to be able to say 'Governator', and hey, hard to blame you, that word is hilarious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:29am

    Re:

    I'm all for the attention actually, people doing stupid stuff like this, ostentatiously 'for the children', need to know that their idiocy will be made public, and everyone will get to bask in their 'brilliance'.

    Hopefully such attention will make the next blockhead think twice before trying to inflict their terminal lack of humor/wit/maturity on the world.

    There's also the idea that the 'threat' of such attention will likely keep such attempts from working as it makes the ones being 'asked' to take down (insert content here) know that if they do so, their action is going to go public, and everyone will get to review and comment on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    It certainly reduces the technical challenges when you don't care if they survive or can return.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:23am

    Alright, nobody move!

    I have Green Eggs and Ham and I know how to use them!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:31am

    I am pretty sure the book tells kids quite the opposite - i.e. - "STOP. You must not hop on pop."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: It could be worse

    A good friend of mine is a very religious Christian. She is also very gullible. I am not saying one characteristic is a requirement for the other but I do get chain emails forwarded from her that often combine these attributes. Once, when I brought up Dr. Seuss she told me of his dark side, wherein he had published an adult pornography book. Well, I had to look that up! I did confirm that the book in question was titled "The Seven Lady Godivas" and it was intended to be a humorous story for adults but there was no intention of causing titillation. Yes, there is nudity but it is a cartoon nudity and hardly qualifies as sexual or prurient content. If a cartoon were made based purely on the illustrations in the book, it would be rated PG and not even PG-13. When I showed her the actual illustrations, my friend was amused and disabused of her impression that Dr. Seuss had this ugly dark side. Yet, there are folks out there who feel that even this book is obscene, pornographic, and evil because it has the appearance of a children's book. I wonder if the Toronto library has a copy of this title?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:23pm

    Re: They're called MPs, Mike. Members of Parliament

    They're called MPs, Mike. Members of Parliament


    1. I did not write the article.

    2. Did you not notice the tone of the entire article and how he was purposely saying ridiculous things the entire time? Did it not occur to you that he purposely made that mistake?

    There there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Adam, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:19pm

    Violence in Hop On Pop

    No, Pat, no! Don't sit on that!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Next up: "Green Eggs And Ham"

    "Would you, could you, with a goat?". Obviously a promotion of beastiality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:02pm

    Re: They're called MPs, Mike. Members of Parliament

    That does it! We're sending Justin Bieber back to you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    BeeAitch (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 7:05pm

    This book is dangerous because:

    The author is writing under a pseudonym, his real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel.

    Therefore he must be a terrorist!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

    There are no violent Hollywood movies!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 12:06am

    Re:

    You were never fun and interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 6th, 2014 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re:

    I'd bet my next paycheck that was OOTB. Cathy misses us, don't you, honey?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 6th, 2014 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: It could be worse

    Not to mention Puss in Boot. Ban this filth!! /Sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.