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Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Man, Dr. Seuss

On Friday it was Dr. Seuss's birthday and, I suppose, to celebrate it Universal Studios released THE LORAX, a film to bring Seuss's environmental text to life. There's irony to the film, of course, because by doing this Universal has created a commercial craze where more products will be sold, more garbage will be created, and more consumption will be encouraged. These, of course, were the very points Theodore Geisel was critiquing. Capitalism, however, relies on selling ideas to others for the profit of others.

What are we to do?

For youth to realize that an environmental consciousness is important in the 21st century of Wii, You Tube, iPads, and cellular phones, only a Danny Devito film in multi-technocolor has the potential to capture the attention of another generation. The hypocrisy is naturally embedded. To save the trees, one needs to have 3D glasses and a bucket of popcorn.

If one really wants young people to respect the Earth (what my grandmother called Maude - a fusion of God and Mother Nature) they will take them outdoors for a walk every day. They will encourage kids to go outside and play. They will lift a rock and grow curious of the small wonders that life underneath it. They will breathe fresh air. They will expose kids to life beyond man-made products. That's how you learn the outdoors is wonderful. (That is why I love staring at waves, watching leaves move in slight winds, and contemplating the shapes of clouds).

The cynic in me thinks it is too late for that (hell, I am thinking out loud in cyberspace). The thinker in me is more reserved and wonders who is more foolish: those who live by greed at the expense of destroying humanity or those who live by righteousness pointing out all the flaws in others (another form of greed to me).

I will see the film. I will continue to sing Seuss's rhymes in my head. And I will prefer moments when I can get away from man made things for a good hike. Of course, if I can, I will also have a Lorax mustache to wear, as well. I am hoping they aren't expensive.

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