What better day than Dr. Seuss’ birthday to ask the tough questions:
• Does The Cat in the Hat promote parental disobedience among youth, cast fish in an unfair light or defile the profession of haberdashery?
• Does The Grinch Who Stole Christmas denigrate the Christian holiday while leaving Hanukah unscathed?
• Does Mulberry Street surreptitiously lay the groundwork for experimentation with hallucinogenics?
Nah, I don’t think so, either. Which is why I’m having such a great time with Lou Dobbs’ wrestling The Lorax to the mat as Hollywood plot, eco propaganda and the flick that will single-handedly suck the decision-making consciousness out of the next generation. (Yes, I know I just mixed my metaphors, but single-mouthedly didn’t sound right. 😉
The best writers tie and tangent words and meaning so that their earthly experience, universal vision and individual perspective merge. If we’re fortunate, there’s a transparency that lets us know something more of that person who picked up the pen or tapped the keys. And in the process, they gift us with stories that–indeed, Mr. Dobbs–contribute to our own character and–heaven, forbid!–spark conversation.
The Lorax was written in 1971. Remember 1971? There was a lot of conversation concerning a lot of fronts–and not just the frontlines of Vietnam. The concept of environmental responsibility was just breaking through general awareness. Dr. Seuss was an independent thinker. He told the story he saw and sensed. And he was an equal-opportunity kind-o-guy from the word Go! (Dog, Go!) Were his books for kids or adults? Yes.
So, if I understand the push-back against The Lorax correctly, it’s that a 40-plus year old story isn’t politically correct. And the argument is being made by the pusher-backers against political correctness. Hmmmmm.
And happy birthday, Theodor Geisel.
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
~ Dr. Seuss
Photo credit: BlissDom 2012