In case you missed it, Dr. Seuss Enterprises is pulling some books they found to be problematic.. Cat in the Hat is safe, but Mulberry Street is out.
There’s a lot of mudslinging on social media, “They killed Dr. Seuss…” and (insert political insult here).
First of all, the word “they” is always problematic to me when posed in a fortune-cookie accusation. I won’t engage.
Second of all, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Bill Cosby bought and pulled The Little Rascals for the same reason. This is perfectly legitimate—when you own something, you get the rights to control how it’s used.
I’m an author, so I appreciate this. I can revise, take down, or reissue my own work whenever I want. I should probably do it more often. My early blog posts aren’t impressive, and If you read my first book, you’ll see the word “pubic schools” in the foreword. I should probably fix that, but it’s kind of funny.
So, the question is: should Dr. Seuss Enterprises let racism stand in the name of history? I’ll let Facebook and elementary librarians handle that today. I’m a former high school history teacher who’s shocked a generation of Seuss lovers with Dr. Seuss’ World War II propaganda.
Seuss propaganda was a valuable tool for teaching near-adults that the cannon isn’t always what it seems—they should question it at all times. Every single thing in life requires discernment, interpretation, and often revision. Too often the cannon goes unchallenged and unchanged for tens of decades.
Seuss is powerful not just for phonics, but historiography and critical thinking.
But here, we aren’t discussing politics—we discuss money.
I think Dr. Seuss just singlehandedly solved the problem of teacher pay.
The minute I read about this controversy, I sprinted to my bookshelves.
The Seuss was gone. I’d decluttered.
I’d been so proud of my decluttering—teachers and former teachers don’t let things go easily. It’s a deep mental struggle. We might need something, and schools don’t pay for anything, so we keep everything “in case.” This spills over into our personal lives, too.
“In case” is fear. It holds me back. Eventually, I was able to let go— I tossed or gifted near everything—extra school supplies, boxes of books, and the day I left the classroom I gifted my prized microwave, coffee station, and fridge.
“I’ll take good care of this,” my colleague said.
“They’re yours. If I need them again, I’ll buy a new one.” That’s been my teacher decluttering mantra ever since. It’s a game changer, really, because I never need that “just in case” stuff.
But then I saw this:
Yes, indeed, the price of Seuss rose more than a roll of pandemic toilet paper. And that wasn’t an isolated incident. I decluttered half a car’s worth of contraband Seuss. I’ll be honest, I felt half a second of selfish regret.
But soon, that turned to joy because nobody has more Seuss than teachers.
If your investment portfolio’s not where it should be because you spent every paycheck stocking up your classroom library, you just struck gold:
Here’s what you need to do… right now!
Raid your classroom library and auction off the Seuss. You can probably pay off your mortgage and your student loans.
Or, take the money and invest it. Maybe you’ll buy a few bitcoin, whatever stock’s the next post-Gamestop win, or heck, find a sensible ETF.
I didn’t expect this Dr. Seuss to be the the solution to the teacher pay controversy. I thought it’d come from the people we elect or appoint to serve our schools, not the illustrator who taught us all to read.
But I never look a gift Lorax in the mouth. If Dr. Seuss rose from the grave to pay off your debt, so be it. He can reset his karma a bit, you’ll be honoring Dr. Seuss Enterprises respectful request, and your wallet will be all the better for it.
Let’s all get on eBay right now and give thanks.