Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Long before it was trendy to “go green”. And long before the world was full of granola chewing pseudo-hippies, patchouli stinking tree huggers, and barefoot bitches with dirty feet and hairy pits; Dr. Seuss was doing his part to save the planet. That’s right, The Lorax (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Wilford Brimley of Cocoon fame) is probably my favorite Dr. Seuss book, and I only care about the planet remotely. That in itself, should speak volumes about the strength of this book. It’s absent of the usual spontaneous madness associated with the good old Dr., but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents) with one nonsensical rhyme after another. Instead we’re left with a book which not only has weight and purpose, but is a joy to read with children.

The story opens with a boy going to the shitty end of town to visit the Once-ler (our faceless, bodiless narrator) and learn about the Lifted Lorax. The now remorseful Once-ler recounts on how he first arrived where they now stand, back then a colorful forest full of fantastical creatures and trees with woolly tufts called Truffulas. Smitten by the beauty of these gorgeous trees he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market a strange garment called Thneeds ("It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat.") a thing that he insists "everyone needs". As the demand for Thneeds grows the trees and animals swiftly disappear. The Lorax, self-proclaimed “tongue of the trees”, repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Eventually the land is left scorched and desolate and the Lorax lifts himself, by the seat of his own furry ass, and floats away through a hole in the smog, leaving the Once-ler alone to contemplate his fuck-ups.

At this point and time, I find it necessary to interject, and spout yet another one of my brilliant theories, indulge me if you will. It's no secret that Seuss was a raging liberal and I am certain, without a doubt, that The Lorax is living proof of this (check out my Green Eggs and Ham review for further proof), it's all in the subtext. Observe the facts: the title character roundly rejects the American tenets of hard work, the pursuit of happiness, and free enterprise; and more than once the Lorax is referred to as being lifted (for you squares out there, that’s slang for high), and who likes to get high more than flag burning liberals. Moreover, the Bar-ba-loots look strangely familiar to The Grateful Dead’s dancing bears, and we all know The Grateful Dead is the band of choice for morally bankrupt hippies. Not to mention the book is chock full of brightly colored undulating illustrations reminiscent of an LSD trip. So, if you have no qualms about you child growing-up, chaining themselves to a tree, and changing their name to Rainbow, then I highly suggest you run out and purchase a copy of The Lorax. It recieves my "highest" honor, five out of five beers.

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