The Week in Cancellation: Squidward Edition

This just tears it. The cancel madness has now set its gaze on Spongebob Squarepants. CNN reports that two “inappropriate episodes” are being pulled from rotation, one because of a plot line involving a virus that leads to a quarantine, and a second episode that involves a panty raid, which is now thought not “kid appropriate.”

C’mon, man! This is getting beyond ridiculous. Except that it is a sneak attack by the cultural left, because everyone knows that Spongebob is a conservative show. Spongebob and Patrick Starfish are clearly Trump voters; this goes without saying for Sandy Cheeks, the squirrel from Texas. The Krusty Krab is fast food culture at its finest, and the proprietor, Mr. Krabs, a model entrepreneur. And best of all, Squidward is a neoconservative. Squidward would not approve of yanking these two episodes. (Just ask your kids about all this.)

My all time favorite episode is the sendup of suburban sprawl, where Squidward moved to a new development known as “Tentacle Acres.” Here’s a small segment:

Meanwhile, at Yale University. . . do I even need to finish this sentence? Yes, yes I do, because this latest episode is stupid even by Yale’s low standards. William Kahrl and Henry I. Miller over at Issues & Insights have the story:

Last fall, the university sponsored a convocation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the admission of the first women undergraduates as well as 150 years of women attending the university’s graduate and professional schools. Many distinguished alumnae attended and members of the first three undergraduate classes contributed their reminiscences in video compilations as well as essays about their experience. So far, so good.

Two of the 141 women who wrote essays asked to keep their submissions anonymous for personal reasons. But when the books were published, the Yale Alumni Association had deleted the names of all the women – without asking the authors’ permission or even warning them of what had been done to their work.

After centuries of women being suppressed, diminished, pushed into the background, or having their work appropriated by others, this unexpected anonymization produced the reaction you might expect. The complaints raised in a first letter of protest were dismissed by the administration, and when the campus newspaper took up the story in February, the people responsible responded placidly, assuring readers that only a few people were upset – saying, in effect, let’s move on, there’s nothing to protest here.

This turned out to be not even a little bit true and led inevitably to an even longer letter signed by scores of people rallying to the side of the women who had been wronged. At first, the alumni association proposed producing two versions of the book, one with no names for public distribution and one with the authors identified that would be kept under wraps at the university library.

Since this only compounded their initial error, the powers that be convened a meeting of angry people including the responsible administrators, the culpable editors, and numerous representatives of their victims, for one of those “collegial” discussions that sometimes leave blood on the woodwork.

On March 18, in a “Dear Friends” letter couched in the joyless happy talk of the bureaucratically impaired, Yale announced, “Success – It’s a win-win for all!”

What did they decide? They’re going to burn the books! Destroy the evidence! According to their decree, all 500 copies of the book that dare not speak its names will be destroyed. (We are not making this up.) The digital file of this abomination will go onto the pyre as well.

Exit question from Issues & Insights:

How many Oriental carpets have they got in the office of Yale President Peter Salovey to sweep this nonsense under?

Responses