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October 08, 2014

Jesse Walker: I May Have Incited an Anti-Anti-Gay Panic over "Green Eggs and Ham" Among America's Insular, Myth-Haunted Progressives

I think you'll enjoy this. Not as much as you would enjoy "Live. Die. Repeat," but enjoy it nevertheless.

Jesse Walker has noted claims that "Green Eggs and Ham" was banned, allegedly sometime in the mid-1990s, allegedly somewhere in California, due to its alleged "homosexual subtexts."

He finds various progressive writers making this claim, but none of them can quite specify the actual source of this "fact."

Jesse Walker has searched hither and yon for an actual citation for this "fact" -- and found none.

Jesse Walker thinks he knows what happened: A while back, he printed a parody article pointing out the fake, silly gay subtexts of Green Eggs and Ham, as a joke.

He thinks that somehow progressives told this tale -- like an Urban Legend, swearing "it happened to a friend of a friend, I forget who, somewhere in California in the mid-nineties, I think" -- until, years later, it is now simply printed as "Widely Known Fact."

Someone once said that if a spooky legend catches on, it says something true about the anxieties of the people who believe and repeat the tale, even if it says absolutely nothing true about the subject of the story itself. My yarn may be more funny than scary--that's what I was aiming for, anyway--but the idea that people would prohibit a harmless children's book is still pretty frightening. And it's not hard to imagine what underlying worries might be at work here.

Many educated elites live in fear of Bible-thumping troglodytes haunting the hinterlands, some great redneck beast slouching towards Washington to make Sarah Palin president. Book-banning stories are tailor made to fit that terror.

So this idea has entered the Shared Hivemind of the Progressive Collective, from whence they do not know, and his silly joke, illustrating as it does all the terrible things they want to be illustrated about their enemies, has become Real to the "Reality Based Community" (which is, of course, a Community-Based Reality).

And so, as usual, irrational, juvenile minds -- superstitious, demon-haunted, and prone to easy fright -- are given over to a credulous belief in Fairy Tales and children's Aesops and Monsters Under the Bed.

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posted by Ace at 03:47 PM

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