A few days ago, Conor Friedersdorf tut-tutted conservatives for assuming pop culture is always dominated by liberal subtexts. The flip side to this silly tendency is that conservatives are increasingly desperate to find books, music and film to call their own – witness National Review’s schizophrenic list of the best 25 conservative movies of the past 25 years (Will someone please tell me why 300 made the cut?). If you’re interested in following this absurd premise to its furthest reaches, Lisa Schiffren’s deconstruction of Dr. Seuss is a real treat:
But Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose is a very clear statement about what happens when well-meaning productive types offer a (literal) free ride to those less willing to take responsibility for themselves. It is a hard-core anti-welfare state message. Yertle the Turtle, my personal favorite, is as clear a statement about the evolution of tyranny and it’s costs to the individual as you will find in children’s literature.
I’m trying to imagine how NR would respond to some wayward academic’s criticism of Dr. Seuss’s phallocentric imagery. Sometimes a book is just a book.