Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Trouble with Truth

I caught a lot of hell on my page yesterday, and was forced to delete a fan for the first time for doing something other than spamming my page.

I encourage open discussions of controversial subjects all the time, with one rule.

Show respect.

That's all I ask, but apparently some people are just incapable of it.

Someone crossed the line last night and started slinging insults.  Unable to accept the fact that people can indeed have their own opinions, he insulted me.

The part of all this that doesn't seem to make sense to me right now is that there wasn't really anything controversial about what I said.  I gave facts.  No more, no less.

I struggle with the celebration of Dr. Seuss day because of the fact that he was an adulterer and didn't like kids.  His first wife, unable to ever have children of her own and suffering from cancer, killed herself shortly after discovering that her husband was having an affair with a woman 18 years younger.

For the naysayers, check out this article where his mistress/second wife was quite candid about their relationship.

Most people don't know these details about him, primarily because we live in a society that by and large chooses to celebrate accomplishments of people while looking the other way about their flaws and questionable decisions.

So long as they do enough good, we'll overlook the bad.

People say that his personal life was no one's business, but I tend to disagree, mostly because I met his second wife, Audrey.

Led to believe that she'd been his only wife, and pushed by a upper crust society in the area to applaud them for all the good they have done, no one seemed to acknowledge the very real dark side to their past.

She left her husband to be with him.  She sent her children away to school because he didn't like kids.  They married less than a year after his first wife's suicide.

None of this has anything to do with his books, certainly.

It does reflect, however, on who he was as a person.

I choose not to embrace the entirety of his legacy.

I celebrate his work, certainly.  Celebrate the books he wrote, most of which I own, and that have encouraged my own children to read.  Celebrate the stories we've come to know and love.

He's just one of many writers, artists, athletes, politicians who've made an impact on the world while not necessarily being the most honorable people in their personal lives.  It's a subject that I've written about before, and I'll not go rehashing it all again.

They are all flawed, as are we all.  Simply mentioning the flaws does not make me immature, does not mean I am slinging bullshit, does not mean I am trying to discredit his accomplishments, or any of the other things I was accused of yesterday.

I just don't happen to celebrate the historically distorted, only glowingly positive version of people.  I don't elevate people to a different level because of what they have accomplished.

This is my opinion, and much to the dismay of some people, I'm allowed to have it.


  1. It always baffles me when a difference of opinion manages to escalate as much more. I found nothing offensive in your simple statement/post. In fact, as a huge fan of Dr. Seuss books I was still intrigued by information I never knew. I did not think you meant that I should go burn all of my books, and appreciated the sharing of knowledge. Big week for trolls, no?

  2. I swear, the crazies have been out in force this week. I have been dealing with a lady on facebook who has reported some photos that I took of a naked baby in some cowboy boots. You can only see his hiney. She proceeded to question my judgement, the mother's judgement and insinuate that it is borderline child pornography. You can look for yourself. Here are the pics. Honestly, if you don't like it, don't look/read/whatever. It's a big world. Surely they can find like minded people to hang with...

  3. Very interesting, Kelly. I didn't know any of this about him. People are human; after all, we all make mistakes. I don't think many people in our world today should be elevated to the status that we tend to elevate them to. The higher a pedestal you put people on, the longer way they have to fall.

    And Leah, oh my gosh, everyone takes pictures of baby bottoms! Is that women going to track everyone down?! Sheesh!

  4. Have you read Helen Palmer's books? Does "A fish out of water" not seem like a .... I don't know ... a way she's describing her own life ... in retrospect? I always looked at that book differently after knowing her history.

  5. Some how the greatest artists are the most flawed. My own mother, a fabulous musician and well respected in town is secretly deeply and darkly flawed. To phrase it as my cousin did, "She's eccentric."

  6. I do celebrate his books! As you mention, they taught my kids the joys of reading. Just as Lewis Carroll's books enhanced my imagination! As you said, they were both probably exceptionally flawed human beings.

  7. This makes me very sad. I hate it when I find out even our heroes have dark sides. But on the flip side, it also makes me want to give you a high five that you are willing to bring up the controversial topics in the name of truth. I love it.

  8. I'm sorry the trollers were out for you this week! Interesting post - my husband is always saying that if he knew the background of most artists or singers he likes, he'd probably dislike every one. It's hard to separate one's art from the individual, no?


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