The Lorax

The Lorax is a great book with a great message, but I preemptively soured on the movie version when I learned that the film had over 70 corporate promotional tie-ins. Calling it hypocritical for a book that is anti-corporation and pro-environment to lend its characters to a car commercial is an understatement. Viewing it as willfully ignorant of Dr. Seuss's central thesis, I was so apprehensive to see the movie, that I insisted on getting three sheets to the wind first.

Maybe I was liquored up enough to be forgiving, but I'm pleased to report that the movie itself is not a bastardization of Seuss's work. Evidently the marketing team didn't bother to watch the movie when they took over, but as far as the screenplay goes, it clearly illustrates unrestricted capitalism's destruction of the planet.

My friend Alex argues that it's important to look beyond the hypocrisy and just be thankful that big companies are still willing to make a movie about environmentalism at all. While the issue is a little more gray than that, I can agree that I'm glad that this message is out there. I say that as someone who got so worried about the earth that I had to leave a K-Pop night club early this past weekend. My friends were having a discussion about how much longer the human species could survive with the way we're destroying our own planet (consensus except for one: we're screwed soon unless we act on a massive scale, like, yesterday). I'm not upset the conversation happened, we need to talk about these things more often, actually, but I couldn't transition back into a place of "let's do shots and laugh at Korean pop music videos."

We're polluting, destroying our own food and water supplies, and using plastic like it's not a major problem. We protect the right for a small number of individuals to make money over our collective right to live. Today's big shots seem to forget that you can't make history if we don't have a future. Plus, even though we'll face an overpopulation epidemic soon (which I suppose climate change, famine, and disease will wipe out in time), this country is still subscribing to beliefs that make practicing birth control immoral and global warming is propaganda. We need to come together and use our intellectual capacities to solve these problems rather than listening to the fictions of the elite, but even that is increasingly unlikely as we let our educational system erode and promote a society that is discouraged from thinking critically.

I feel like the more I pay attention, the more depressed I get. I'm definitely not as "fun" as I used to be. It's a weird situation where I know I could just choose willful ignorance and have a relatively good, happy life. I could live in the now and let future generations deal with the problems that will hit them even harder. However, I can't shake my sense of responsibility. The Lorax is right, it's time we all start caring a whole awful lot.


KirstB said...

Well, lead poisoning is not nearly as enormous a problem as climate change or changing our consumerist way of life. (And I agree, these are some deep rooted challenges we have got to deal with..) But.. I love this video because it shows some hope. There is way too much gloom and doom from the environmentalist crowd. Here we've got kids doing some amazing work to deal with a serious environmental justice issue in their community: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_t4Lf88gD0

KirstB said...

Trying that link again: