Dr. Seuss Goes to War

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 5.41.18 PM

Cages Cost Money! Buy More U.S. Savings Bonds and Stamps! PM Magazine – Dec. 15, 1941. Dr. Seuss Collection, MSS 230. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD

Most people don’t equate the silly semantics of Dr. Seuss with WWII. He did, however, spend part of his career penning political cartoons both as a civilian and a captain in the U.S. army during WWII. In the early years of the war, Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel), drew over 400 political cartoons for a left-leaning New York newspaper called PM denouncing Hitler and Mussolini. His cartoons strongly supported FDR and at the same time ridiculed and railed against the American Japanese, for which he later apologized. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Army and headed up the Animation Dept. of the First Motion Picture Unit of the U.S. Army Air Force where he wrote and produced several propaganda films including: • Your Job in Germany  • Our Job in Japan Private Snafu  Gerald McBoing-Boing … and others.

[Read more…]

STUCK

prisoner-atlasWhen I’m stuck I often think of Michelangelo’s Captives – the four unfinished sculptures lining the Hall of Prisoners at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. They writhe and grimace within their marble prisons as they lead visitors towards Michelangelo’s more famous “David”. And then there he is, at the end of the hall under a circle of light – one of the most celebrated pieces of art of all time. To me, that hallway and the placement of those marble-bound slaves depict the struggle that ultimately gives way to a masterpiece. [Read more…]

Creativity

Ancient words of Dead Sea Scrolls – Qumran

Creativity makes my soul sing. The word itself feels good on my lips. Its syllables stretch my mouth even as they stir my imagination. Someone once asked me what my favorite word was. I have dozens. Amphibian. Onomatopoeia. Babushka. Coif. Guffaw. Zither. But Creativity tops the list. It’s the plucking of the chord that brings music to my inner ear. It’s the coalescing of colors on a page that delights my eyes. It’s the flight of my fingers across a keyboard that transforms mental images into words and thoughts and scenes. It’s the thrill of discovery.

[Read more…]