Of course Charles M. Blow quickly jumped on the “Cancel Dr. Seuss” bandwagon. I’m sure he was ticked off that he didn’t think of it first. The really woke publications have to include a race-baiter niche (or several) on their staffs, and Blow occupies that prime slot at the New York Times. Blow is an anti-white bigot in general, but he’s versatile: for the four years in which the Times enabled his virulent Trump Derangement, Blow proved he was also adept in pushing almost all of the anti-Trump Big Lies, not only the one that asserts that he is a racist. His columns were like crack for Trump-Haters. For everyone else, they were, like Blow himself, staggeringly repetitious, predicable, pompous, and boring.
Now, with Trump only intermittently in the news, Blow has a problem, being addicted to anti-Trump crack himself, and he’s clearly foundering. In his anti-Seuss screed—if you’re white like Theodore Geisel, Blow will presume you’re a racist (incidentally, he begins his columns by writing, “As a child, I was led to believe that Blackness was inferior.” That’s odd: I wasn’t!)—he also attacked Warner Bros. cartoon character Pepé Le Pew for contributing to “rape culture,” which is hilarious wokism self-parody.
Pepé Le Pew is one of the lesser Warner Brothers animated stars, an amorous French skunk whose cartoons consisted of a single gag: an incurable romantic obsessed with the pursuit of amorous conquests, Pepé kept mistaking cats and other creatures as female skunks (they somehow got white stripes painted on them in various accidents, hence the species misidentification), whereupon he would aggressively woo them, including hugging and kissing them without their consent.
To be fair to Blow, which is hard for me because I find his views repulsive and his style obnoxious, he did manage to find a target for a cancellation argument even more ridiculous than Dr. Seuss. To begin with, the U.S. does not have a “rape culture,” which is a feminist, anti-male myth. It could be credibly argued that the African American community has one, since it is the only demographic that commits approximately twice the percentage of rapes as its proportion of the population, but Blow would never write about that.
(Personally, if I had to choose, I’d have to regard Pepé as more black than white…)
Blow doubled down after his skunk-libel (“I can prove, Your Honor, that Pepé never raped anything, since he was a cartoon character, and everything he did was preserved on film, having no existence off of it!”) when sane and reasonable readers pointed out how luminously stupid his assertion was, tweeting,
RW blogs are mad bc I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture. Let’s see. 1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, w/o consent and against her will. 2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won’t release her 3. He locks a door to prevent her from escaping….This helped teach boys that “no” didn’t really mean no, that it was a part of “the game”, the starting line of a power struggle. It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny. They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK.
My god, the man is horrible, and the Times inflicts him on America week after week! “Let’s see”:
1. Blow cheats by saying that “RW blogs” are objecting to his nonsense, which will stand for decades s a Great Stupid classic. See, his readers think conservatives are all racists and evil. But the mockery of his anti-skunk bigotry has been bi-partisan, since comes from sane people.
2. The targets of his passionate advances are not “girls.” They are cartoon animals. Even the dimmest six-year-olds could figure that out, but not Charles.
3. I would love to see any evidence whatsoever that Pepé Le Pew cartoons taught any boy that “no didn’t mean no.” Even if one made a connection between Pepé’s misadventures and actual male-female relations between humans, Pepé’s behavior always resulted in his being clobbered, defeated, or embarrassed. If anything, the cartoons carried the opposite lesson that Blow has read into them. Pepé was a fool. He never succeeded.
4. Nobody thought Pepé’s conduct was “normal”—that was the joke. It wasn’t normal. He wasn’t normal. He kept mistaking other species for skunks, something even children recognize as silly.
5., Uh, the cats weren’t “women,” Charles. Nobody thought of them as women.Not being poisoned by fanatic feminist cant, kids thought of the cats as cats. Cats don’t speak, just as roadrunners don’t speak. Why are you writing about cartoons when you obviously don’t know anything about them? In Toontown, some cats speak, and others, like WB’s Claude the Cat and MGM’s Tom (of Tom and Jerry) don’t.
Even all this doesn’t get to the root of Blow’s idiocy. Like most of the Warner Brothers cartoons, Pepé Le Pew was satire for adults. Those cartoons weren’t pro-rape, they were anti-French. He was a skunk with a French accent because the American stereotype about French men was that they didn’t bathe and were thus smelly. The character was introduced in 1945, when American contempt for the French was at a high-water mark after France’s quick capitulation to the Nazis in World War II. Pepé Le Pew was a parody of French movie star Charles Boyer—the skunk even used Boyer’s most famous line, “Come vis me to ze Casbah!” He was meant to be ridiculous, and was. He was certainly not regarded as a role model, for adults or children. He was, after all, a skunk.
As Bugs Bunny would say about Blow, “What a maroon!“
19 thoughts on “As The NYT Charles M. Blow Desperately Searches For A Topic Worthy Of His Brilliance Now That He Can’t Attack Donald Trump In Every Column, And Settles On A Cartoon Skunk…”
Just for the record, the name is a riff on the then-well-known early film noir Pepe le Moko, about a gangster on the run from the French police in the Casbah. In the English-speaking world I think it takes kinda second banana to The Third Man, which it is credited with inspiring, written by Graham Greene and with a cast that included Orson Welles and Trevor Howard. Learning love from cartoons? Preposterous.
With your permission, however, Jack, I’d like to take Blow’s absurd piling on Dr. Seuss as an opening to publish here the following, which will publish on Intellectual Conservative tomorrow morning:
In antiquity the city of Alexandria in what is now Egypt came to be viewed as the great seat of learning and knowledge. This was largely due to its prodigious library, home to anywhere between 40,000 and 400,000 texts. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to consult any of them now. As with a lot of ancient buildings it was damaged by fire and war several times, notably by Julius Caesar.
However, although lately this historical account has fallen out of favor (possibly due to politics), contemporary Arab sources say that, upon the capture of the city by the Caliph Omar in 642, he ordered the deliberate burning of the entire collection. Supposedly he justified this mass destruction of knowledge by saying “Either the books agree with the Koran, in which case they are not needed, or they do not agree with the Koran, in which case they are not wanted.”
That destruction of knowledge to keep it from spreading is wrong was not lost on Italian author Umberto Eco. He based his best-selling 1980 medieval mystery The Name of the Rose around the efforts of a misguided blind (both literally and symbolically) Benedictine monk to prevent a book of Aristotle’s poetry that he considers heretical from being translated. So sure is he that this knowledge is too dangerous to publish that he is willing to kill at least four people to prevent it.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the burying (not banning, although it wouldn’t surprise me if that comes next) of six Dr. Seuss books is far from these catastrophic losses were or would have been. What’s disturbing to me is the approval of this censorship by those on the left and among the woke community. These books are far from the first books to be disapproved of or banned from school libraries. However, in the past the left has almost always stood AGAINST the banning of books. Time and again the left has stood against the banning or disapproval of the works of J.K. Rowling (magic and somewhat adult themes), Ann M. Martin (maturation and sexuality issues), Philip Pullman (atheism and church-bashing) and Judy Blume (sexual maturation issues, sometimes discussed quite frankly).
However, there have been exceptions in the past, like Mark Twain (less than politically correct attitudes toward race), and now attempts to bury Laura Ingalls Wilder (same reason). I think I even heard of one anecdote in which lefty parents in one district tried to ban the Chronicles of Narnia, due to the not so subtle pro-Christian underlying message.
The inescapable conclusion is that the left is only against censorship when the material being censored is part of the agenda they favor. Otherwise they will gleefully and smugly censor, crush, and bury any material that isn’t part of their agenda, and applaud themselves for keeping those bad, unprogressive thoughts out of circulation.
Six silly kids’ books of silly poetry with images that some folks have decided are offensive are hardly consequential in and of themselves. In fact this cancellation looks ironic in light of the fact that they were written by a man very progressive for his time, with messages such as environmentalism (The Lorax), try new things (Green Eggs and Ham), compromise (The Zax), tyranny is bad (Yertle the Turtle) and racism is VERY bad (The Sneetches). The point isn’t the books. The point is the precedent that burying them and self-applauding sets.
In Nazi Germany you couldn’t play American jazz music, because some of it originated with musicians who were black or Jewish. There were over 40 authors of all nationalities banned, either because they were Jewish or because they were communists, pacifists, or had the quaint idea that Germany shouldn’t go back down the failed path of empire. In Soviet Russia any kind of non-Communist literature was prohibited including the Bible. Under Pol Pot almost any kind of book was banned, and just being too well-read would get you taken out to the Killing Fields and clubbed to death with a pick or a hoe. The implementation may have been swift, but the principle behind it, that thoughts and ideas that the leadership doesn’t like should be banned, was a long time in coming and started with someone deciding that some thoughts and ideas were just not ok and the world would be better off without them, and the rest of the world’s opinion on the subject be damned.
My question is, just who appointed the political left the moral censors for everyone else? I’m a grownup, and I’ll decide what I want to read or not, no one else, although thank you very much for your concern. I’m not a parent, but if I were, I’d decide what my children were allowed to read and not, no one else. If I decide I want to read Game of Thrones, which is pretty brutal and disgusting in parts, I’ll do it, and if I decide that particular decapitation or disembowelment is one too many and I’m going to put it down, I’ll do that too. If I decide I want to read Tom Clancy, with his righty/boy scout/Irish Catholic middle management saves the day ideas, I will, and if I decide to read John Grisham, with his clever outsider outwits the system yet again ideas, I will. If I don’t want my young son to read “Oliver Button is a Sissy,” because I don’t like the message that it’s ok not to be manly and into sports, then I’ll keep it out of the house, and if I don’t want a teen daughter reading the Twilight series because I think it paints an unhealthy view of relationships and what they’re about, I’ll tell her she can’t bring it into this house and if I catch her reading it on the sly there will be the kind of consequences that can’t be comfortably ignored and will make her think twice about disobeying again.
My point is these decisions are ones that are supposed to be made at the individual level, and not “curated” by a few executives and administrators who decide this is acceptable and this is not, and if it’s not, we’re going to bury it and tell those mere ordinaries out there this is not who we are anymore and it’s for their own good. Just who is anyone else to tell me who I am? Just who is anyone else to say who we are? How is it anyone’s business who anyone else is? I am not interested in having some bureaucrat looking to virtue signal tell me what I can buy and how. I am not interested in some woke techie with a ZZ Top beard and a nose ring deciding my ideas are too dangerous to go outside my house. Talk about who we aren’t supposed to be. However, the irony is lost on them, I’m sure.
Oh, and one other thing. The people telling us what books need to be yanked from publication are the same people who were toppling statues and saying smugly, “if you still want these people you can read about them in the books.” Now the books are potentially getting taken away too. This should bother you. If this doesn’t bother you either you are too woke to get through to or too apathetic to care.
In the meantime, what am I bid for my copy of “A Hatful of Dr. Seuss?” You won’t just be getting a book of silly poetry, you’ll be getting a piece of history and a piece of freedom.
Maybe Charles Blow is using Pepe le Pew’s amorous antics as a smokescreen to distract his audience away from his real concern – inter-species relationships. Or maybe, interspecies relationships is merely a metaphor for inter-racial marriage. What a hater. Wow – attributing bad motives from associations based on conjecture is really easy. Who knew.
He’s just getting in some groundwork before people start comparing Cuomo – or worse, President Biden – to ol’ Pepė. Gotta poison the well early, or it doesn’t work as well!
Cheese eating surrender monkeys.
Why do the French plant trees along the sides of all their roads?
So the German soldiers can march in the shade.
Your mother smells of elderberry.
I fart in your general direction.
OK, I can’t NOT post this.
Back in October 2020 I asked the question They’ve Had Four Years To Build Up Steam, Now What? I think we’re seeing what’s next; the political left is going to cancel anything no matter how absurd it is and gain as much social power as they can and their tool of choice is open persecution and intimidation.
21st Century Cancel Culture = Persecution from Totalitarians
Rationalizing persecution will ROT your character and compromise your morals. Do not remain silent about persecution!
Totalitarianism IS an enemy of the Constitution of the United States of America and therefore it’s an enemy to the people of the USA. It’s not the people who are consumed by the ideology that are the enemy, it’s the ideology itself. Don’t be like the unethical and immoral totalitarians that condemn the people whos opinions they disagree with and try to destroy their lives, confront the ideology itself with action and prove their ideology is wrong.
The extreme political left has actively chosen action to push what can only be described as anti-American and anti-Constitutional totalitarian agendas, what do you choose?
Motivation isn’t optional. Everyone is motivated to do nothing or to do something, either negatively or positively.
We are a nation of laws, make wise choices but make them before it’s too late.
One thing I’ve noticed is that in early spring, the squirrels are spry. You’ll see male squirrels chasing female squirrels (and female squirrels repelling) with the same vigor as Pepe chases his unlucky white streaked black cats. I not sure if there’s an ethical tie in, but the cartoons were clearly based on real mammalian behavior. The arguments that the cartoons taught boys to emulate squirrels though should be absurd on its face.
I wonder if anyone has ever tried to research if animals are as traumatized by forced intercourse as humans.
If Charles Blow is so offended by cartoon animals, he really shouldn’t go down the rabbit hole of what goes on in the real animal kingdom. There are some species who procreate entirely by rape.
Of course, as many reasonable people fruitlessly tried to tell him, Pepe is not a protagonist in those cartoons. He’s a revolting skunk. That’s the whole gag.
Wait, is there legally valid consent in the animal world?
That, too, is a falsehood spread around by unreliable U.S. cultural institutions like the media.
When France fell, the strategic cause was that so much of its forces had been kettled in the Maginot Line. But they (including my own uncle) still wanted to fight on, until ordered to stand down. Among those ordering, it only worked out that way because harder line politicians were retiring and regrouping, to avoid being caught, and so missed the vote. And the French remained so willing to fight, when it was duly authorised, that even as late as 1943 they were ready, willing and able to inflict the first casualties on U.S. land forces in the European theatre of operations (in Morocco and Tunisia) – despite overwhelming U.S. strength. They only inflicted so few because in much of North Africa they were ordered to stand down then, too.
Excuses and rationalizations. And the Maginot Line was ridiculous.
You are mistaken, in both respects:-
– The French – taken in general – most definitely did attempt to fight on, and the history I referred to does indeed support that. Since you do not address it at all, I need do no more by way of rebuttal than to tell you that you are deflecting. Go and see – not only did the Free French do so, fighting with the allies, but also Vichy forces were very willing to fight in many theatres other than the one I mentioned, from the West Indies, West Africa, and the Levant to Madagascar. It’s just that I only mentioned the one I thought this audience could learn about most easily. However, Vichy fighting was against allied offensives and in efforts to remain sidelined. Consider, though: all that Vichy fighting was under even worse circumstances, which does rather go to show Vichy sincerity.
– The Maginot Line was a good idea badly implemented. Done right, it would have been as sensible as the Lines of Torres Vedras: a way of amplifying the effect of available men and materiel, in such a way as to make it possible to to go on the strategic offensive with the resources so freed up. There was nothing ridiculous about it in and of itself, not as originally conceived. But what was implemented was a form of falling between two stools, and any accusations should be levied at that.
Wow. “The French,” or some of them, fought on, but France collapsed like wet cardboard, and many non-resisting French collaborated with their conquerors. Saying that the French resistance redeemed the French is like saying that Von Stauffenberg redeemed the Nazi high command.
Your argument about the Maginot Line is similar. Let’s think of all of those other “good ideas badly implemented”—like the Titanic, the Space Shuttle Challenger, the movie version of “Cats,” Thalidomide, eugenics…it would be a good parlor game.
I missed the best example, given the date! The French Revolution is a perfect example of a “good idea badly executed”…
I have no idea why you are getting this upset about a topic that I would have expected you to be detached about. It even made you write:-
Why on earth are you so wedded to the idea that the stereotype about France is actually correct, to the point where you set up straw men like that? You are absolutely correct that that is wrong – but I didn’t tell you that, or anything like that. What I told you about that sort of Frenchmen was that they couldn’t be tarred with that brush at all, not that they redeemed the rest. As for the rest, I pointed out that many of even those fought well in support of Vichy in many engagements, even despite impossible odds, for as long as they were duly directed to do so – and that that does show sincerity and commitment, whether we agree with what they fought for or not. And that is a very different ground of argument than your straw man. Fault me on the facts or the arguments if I have them wrong, but please do not misrepresent what I told you.
On the Maginot Line, quod scripsi scripsi. In particular, I told you why I consider it a good idea poorly implemented – yet you merely make argument by repeated assertion that it was not, without ever addressing any of that. And then you supply equally irrelevant examples to argue against that by analogy. Some few of your examples were indeed good ideas poorly implemented, and so they actually support the general possibility that such things can happen, even though they do not support any specifics of the Maginot Line, like whether or not it was one such. But some of your examples aren’t even good ideas, and so they are yet other straw men.
I fail to see how the French Revolution has anything to do with the date. However, I can tell you that it was not universally considered a good idea, e.g. Burke gave a rather realistic assessment of its prospects at the time, based on how he viewed the idea.
I will not confuse you with further facts, as I see you have at least provisionally made your mind up about all this. So I will simply leave you with this to digest, and ask you to revisit it after a sufficient pause to allow you to digest it. But please, since I have seen that you do not unthinkingly accept received wisdom on other matters you hear from the likes of the media, at least consider the possibility that in the past you have been steered wrong on this topic – France – and that you are just getting stuck on the cognitive dissonance of facing up to that. As someone once said, it is easier to fool someone than to persuade him that he has been fooled.
And, if I am wrong, feel free to show me facts and reasoning to that effect; I shall endeavour not to be provoked by derision if you resort to that, but please do not take my silence in the face of it as conceding the field.
But Charles, SCIENCE! Right?
Who knew the Warner Bros. guys were doing nature documentaries?
I now regret all the absurd injuries, and time and money wasted, concocting fruitless schemes for the pursuit of neighborhood birds. If only Blow had been around during my childhood to advise me that Wile E. was NOT a proper role model, that trauma might have been avoided. ☹️