“Don’t worry,” people were telling us as recently as this morning, “taking six Dr. Seuss books out of print is just a business decision, you can still get them, they just won’t be published anymore.” I guess that apologia for cancel culture has now been rendered inoperative, as eBay has announced that it will purge all listings for the books from its site:
Online marketplace eBay Inc. said it is working to prevent the resale of six Dr. Seuss books that were pulled earlier this week by the company in charge of the late author’s works because they contain offensive imagery. “EBay is currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items,” a spokeswoman for the company said in an email. Hundreds of listings for the six books could be found on the platform as of Thursday morning, though the number appeared to be lower than it was on Wednesday evening. The eBay spokeswoman said it would take some time to review seller listings and that the company was monitoring newly published listings.
This is particularly absurd given that several of the books contain “offensive imagery” only in the most extenuated sense of irritating left-wing zealots. You can still find plenty of listings on eBay for bongs, sex toys, provocative semi-nude photos of porn stars, old issues of Penthouse, framed covers of Hustler, handguns, rifles, swords, machetes, even copies of Mein Kampf, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and The Anarchist Cookbook. Tintin in the Congo is still for sale, and so is Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. But apparently, On Beyond Zebra is beyond the pale.