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.

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