Friday, March 11, 2011

you can't unlearn the knowledge

this week at my son's school they've been celebrating dr. seuss and they've invited parents to come into the class as guest readers to read their favorite dr. seuss story. well, i couldn't pass up a performance opportunity, so i went in to read "green eggs and ham" which happens to be my favorite. but i was talking about it with a client at work and one of the other clients chimes in that i don't really know who dr. seuss is and once i find out the truth about the man i won't be celebrating him anymore. now, this piques my curiosity, and thus my downfall.

i'm one that MUST KNOW. i question everything. it drives my husband mad! but my brain is unsettled if i don't know why everything. but in this case, that's really unfortunate. several years ago i was watching an episode of oprah and she was talking about Megan's Law which requires the police to make available to the public a list of sex offenders and where they live. so, of course, i HAD TO KNOW, so i promptly went to the site and found out that we do indeed have a sex offender living on my street. now what? i haven't been back to check, but i'm pretty sure he was an adult rapist, and not a pedophile or child molester, so from a mom standpoint i'm relieved. but it's still unsettling to know that there's a registered sex offender living within walking distance of my house. i know he's done his time, but there's a reason they make them get registered. and now i'm stuck with this knowledge that i cannot erase from my brain. if only i had one of those flashy-thingies from men in black!

so do i want to do the research to find out if dr. seuss is a racist prick? not really, becuz then every time i read one of my kids favorite stories i'd be thinking about it. but it brings up another question: does it matter? according to the other client, his character the cat in the hat is based on a lazy, shiftless black man. ok. does that mean he thought all black people are lazy & shiftless? i don't know. do i know some lazy, shiftless people of all races? sure! but is that how i label all people of a particular race? no. but do i really want to open this pandora's box and ruin the simple enjoyment of good stories? some of his stories are incredibly political, at least the cartoon versions. so i definitely think he had more to say than simple entertainment. but is it wrong of me to want to just enjoy his stories without delving too deeply into the how's and why's of his creative process? part of me REALLY wants to know. but once you know, it's there forever. that sucks.

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