Thoughts on the Lorax

I have not seen the new movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.  My children have not seen it.  We do, however, own the book and read it at least once a week.  My four-year-old daughter knows that the Lorax speaks for the trees because the trees have no tongues.  She also knows that if you cut down all the trees—insert little girl making karate chop motion with her hand—that the animals will suffer.  Therefore, I consider myself versed enough on the topic to speak.

The book The Lorax was originally published in 1971.  For those of you counting at home, that would be over forty years ago.  Sorry, for you right wing reactionaries that was over 40 years ago.

Suddenly, a book that has never been covert about its pro-conservation message is the vanguard in a mass indoctrination of children.  At least according to Lou Dobbs.  Granted, Dobbs is a petty reactionary trying in vain to gain some level of traction in the media in order to continue peddling his tired 1980s trope.  Sort of sounds like Pat Buchanan without the veneer of 1960s racism.

Dobbs, however, was not alone in his vitriol directed at The Lorax.  Hosts and commentators on many other shows—many on Fox News—have said that this and other recent children’s fare are tools of a liberal agenda.  Really?  The Secret World of Arietty, which is about Borrowers drawn from the 1953 novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton, has also drawn criticism for some reason although I am failing to see what is dangerous about fairy type people living in the floorboards.  Oh wait, I said fairies.  Rick Santorum is crying somewhere right now.

Apparently, even the Muppets are a tool of the liberal agenda.  Really?  Liberals chose a franchise whose salad days were well behind it and appealed more to nostalgic adults as the vehicle by which to brainwash children.  Man, that is some diabolical scheming.

Liberals or environmentalists or hippies are relying on a forty year old Lorax, another animated movie based on a British novel from the 1950s, and the Muppets.  If this were the evil agenda I were concerned with I might just shut my mouth and watch it unfold because that is a losing strategy.

Then again, the right is concerned that college will indoctrinate your youth away from the tenants of the single institution that does more indoctrination than anyone else—church.  Never mind the rote adherence to dogma or the unchallenged authority of an elite class that does not represent the membership.  Nope, indoctrination by the church is instilling values while teaching your child that destroying the planet in pursuit of manna is bad.

One question for the zealots of the right wing: How many times did Jesus preach about the evils of gays, gay marriage, contraception, liberal media bias, and so on?  None.  Okay, how many times did Jesus preach about the evils of money?  Just saying.


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