Feb 25, 2012

Why My Kid Won't See THE LORAX

The Lorax is everywhere.  Just a couple hours a tv a week and you'd think this country was being overrun with Lorax fever.  I hope not, because in the 12-century, Lorax Fever killed two-thirds of the Mayan population.  It's pretty serious.

It's also serious because this movie is crap!  Hypocritical, big-media crap.  Can't get the toilet to flush?  Look closely, and I bet you'll see a Lorax.  Why?  Because the day to day practices of the companies behind The Lorax are exactly the thing Dr. Seuss's book warns us about.  Don't believe me?  Is ol' Papa sounding a little to "Occupy Seuss Street?"  When was the last time you read The Lorax?  MONSTA picked it up from the library a month ago, and I was treated to the story for the first time.  I've read plenty of the good doctor, and I always appreciate the subtle messages embedded in his bright colors and curvy, made-up words.  But Lorax?  It's just an old-fashioned, bare bones indictment of big business and capitalistic greed.  It should have been printed as a pamphlet and handed out free on college campuses.

To be fair, he doesn't say the Once-ler is evil.  But as it's personal desire grows, so does it's need to control and use the natural space around it.  As the Once-ler's needs grow, so does his thumbprint on the surrounding area.  Stop me if you've heard this one.  The book ends with a lone boy, standing in a space of total environmental annihilation.  Like a cartoon drawing of The Road.   Not a happy story. There's hope at the end, but only if this boy makes the right choices in his own life, which I'm guessing don't involve him opening a manufacturing plant or a company on the NYSE.

It's not a book for everyone.  If you're pro-big business, or "pro-dominion," then you may hate The Lorax.  Fine.  Even I see the hypocrisy in how many trees were cut down to produce a best-selling book about what happens when we cut down all the trees.  But this IS the story, and Dr. Seuss's intentions are clear for anyone willing to see them.

So if this is the true nature of this book, why the hell is little man Lorax pitching cars?  You know, those things that are one of the primary reasons (according to non-Santorum sponsored scientists) that the earth is getting warmer?

And why is the orange dude a judge on The Voice, a show owned by one of the massive, $$$-first conglomerates directly implicated by the book?  Did Blake Shelton's tour bus break down on the way to set?  Was Coolio not available?  

I'm not trying to rain on any parades.  When Smurfs came out, I didn't go because it looked terrible.  Same for Alvin and the Chipmunks 1-14.  But this one isn't about whether or not the movie is good.  My kid won't see Lorax with me around because the hypocrisy factor is just a little too much for me to stomach.    Not every book and story needs to be turned into a movie by the increasingly money-obsessed studios, and certainly not one that openly blames capitalism for the end of the world.

Maybe you can see the film and assure me that it doesn't pull any punches in it's handling of capitalism, but I'm guessing that won't be the case.

Feb 21, 2012

PapaSee: The Amazing Max

So Papa was out on the town Saturday evening, and this time, I brought along my oldest. Since 2.0 was born, my social life - already famished - has dried up to a trickle.  And by "trickle," I mean taking the train to work.  But Saturday, I was finally able to get back to doing one thing I love: seeing and writing about the theatre.

I'm not hitting the risky East Village shows just yet, because right now, I've can only see stuff that MONSTA can see.  Not exactly in my best interest to leave both kids at home for WIFE on a weekend.  That pretty much keeps it above 40th, which is fine since that's closer to the house.  Luckily, Saturday's show was a really good one:  The Amazing Max and the Box of Interesting Things.  It's a blast of a magic show, and if you have kids in New York City, I think it's a can't miss.

Here's my review.  If you go, let me know what you think, and most importantly, what your kid thinks.

Feb 6, 2012

Doing My Duty...Jury Duty

Wish me luck, dear reader.  Tomorrow, I enter the storied courts of New York City as a...juror. I found out on Friday, and since then have been thinking of ways to get out of it.  But today, I got a pretty threatening email from the courts, promising me that if I don't show, D.A. Jack McCoy will come to my house and spank me. Hard to argue with the firm right hand of Sam Waterson.  So tomorrow morning, I'll be heading off for Kew Gardens, which is, apparently, a lot more Kew than Gardens since the immigrants moved in.

I've read mixed reviews online about the whole thing.  One guy said they had wi-fi, but another said the jurors are treated like the criminals.  She was very upset about that.  I hope she was exaggerating. Whichever it is, you'll be the first to know.  For the next couple days, I'll be devoting this blog entirely to the jury duty experience.  Should you need parenting advice, please call 311.

Post 1:  It's gonna be a long day in democracy, so I'm taking all the necessities:  iPad, phone, iPod, book, picture of loved ones, and rape whistle (just in case).  Also, a sack lunch:

If no one has heard from me in a day or two, please call the police.  Also, my wife.  Also my orthodontist, Dr. Levine.  His cancellation policy is a real ball-buster.