Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian. The Smithsonian selected her photo to represent all teens from a specific decade.
Erase! Absolutely erase! We don’t need the book burning from Fahrenheit 451 as the smoke might change the atmospheric conditions and the EPA will frown on that. Just condemn and remove anything we deem ‘offensive’. Okay. Let me give you an example. The American Library Association’s board that oversees the Library Service to Children voted unanimously to eliminate Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from its award. “Wilder’s legacy...includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes....”; her famous novel “Little House on the Prairie” written in 1935 about her family’s life in the midwest and west really was society and its daily living in that era. Wilder described sickness, tragedy, survival, and impressions in a part of the country that were also the fears, hopes, values of the period.
Circa 2018, we’re removing statues we don’t like rather than feel uplifted that inclusiveness is our aim now and these stone/metal figures are reminders of a past. Perhaps the Lincoln Memorial will be removed by those who feel Marfan’s Syndrome is celebrated by Lincoln’s frame, which is definitely offensive, and also his position during the Civil War. Perhaps Hyde Park in the Hudson Valley of New York State ought to be a hotel rather than a museum as Roosevelt had a mistress while his legal wife lived on the grounds of that estate. And, wheelchair-bound people, could be angered that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt hid, in photos taken of him, his need for such a conveyance. If he were ashamed of his legs and pretended he was able-bodied, where are the protestors (who prefer to not be called ‘handicapped’) asking to have FDR erased? What shall we do with lovely Mt. Vernon since Washington had slaves; might it be made into a casino? What do you think?
A bridge aptly identified for connecting three counties in the greater New York City area, the Triborough Bridge, was re-titled for Robert Kennedy who was not even a New Yorker! Who found the descriptive name triborough needing an erasure?
Interesting that ‘freedom of speech’ is sung on college campuses as if it were a universal alma mater tune. Many Professors don’t open minds to evaluate, collectively, but make their personal statements paramount; students who might disagree with a Professor’s attitude and values decide, to maintain a grade, to either lie on a term paper if they have a different opinion or write their own feelings and risk their GPA.
Let the hens out of cages or some will vandalize the egg farms. Vandalism is okay but hens raised only to produce eggs must have good living conditions. The homeless? The veterans who still haven’t the exceptional medical care so deserved? Oh, they made choices to live on the streets, or to put themselves in harms way in some war-field far-far from American shores.
We’ve erased much of Miss or Mrs. to define women’s status replacing that with Ms.... except at Wimbledon circa July 2018 as that country’s tennis matches still uses ‘courtesy titles’. Is this All-England Club clinging to an outmoded form of address? Women’s names connote marital status and the male players are merely, well, male players called by last names on court. If viewers don’t know which men are unwed, why should it know about the women’s status? Hm. I guess the eraser might make it’s way to Wimbledon eventually and only last names will be called from the scorer’s bench.
Maybe the huge gummy rubber will bear the name Wilder on the packages. Each movement can further blot out her life and times as it eliminates anything that is deemed ‘offensive’ in every book, then we can wipe-out films, there are many photos and art that would have to go..... Or, perhaps we might, as a society, improve and learn and educate but not obliterate.