who hates The Lorax, and links


Went to see “The Lorax” this weekend.  Here’s a short commentary on expectations, politics, and message.  I expected the theater to be packed.  I loved the book as a kid, my kids have heard it many times and we were all eagerly awaiting the movie for a while.  Since we were going to the first matinee showing on the first day of release, I expected a madhouse.

Not so much.

I think it may have to do with many factors.  Florida’s still in bad shape.  In northeast Florida, more than half of the homes are underwater, and the unemployment rate stubbornly lingers at 10% or more.  But there’s also a fairly conservative population here, and let’s be honest: conservative politics and movies that say the environment needs to be protected even at the expense of business are not buddies in America circa 2012.

So the theater was half empty.  My brother, by contract, lives in a fairly liberal area (and I’m just going by political definitions here based on who they are voting for).  He took his kids to see it and he said it was packed.

I think it’s safe to say that the environment, like abortion or contraception or unions, etc. and etc. ad nauseum, is a topic that has become inextricably linked to our political parties.  It’s not hard to figure out what side I’m on.  I drive a Prius.  Every time I pull up next to a housewife getting out of a Hummer, I make a guess as to what side she’s on, too, and I bet I’m right.  But once it starts filtering down to kids, the differences which will arise in 20 years are going to be more and more stark.  My kids are going to grow up with a certain set of values, and Hummer Mom’s kids will have a wildly different set.

It’s always been like this, of course – Catholic vs. Protestant, Romans vs. Christians, all the way back to Neanderthals versus Cro-Magnons.  I think it will continue, too.  But it is startling to see that a cute, friendly movie, which teaches that trees are a good thing, seemed (in my opinion) to be anathema to a large chunk of the population.  I’m sure there is a conservative equivalent… I wouldn’t see something that they would love.

Oh, well.  Unless….

Off to the links.  If you’re a blogger and want to be included, send me an email via the contact form – I’m always happy to see a few good new articles.

Also, I’m part of a blog network, The Money Writers, and I’ve been working on starting up a Twitter account and a Facebook page for the group, so follow/like, etc., I’d appreciate the support. It’s a work in progress, though.  Plus, I’ve added “Pin It” buttons to my posts – I’ve been messing around with Pinterest and decided to see if anyone has any interest in pinning my stuff.

the chairs and links

I’ve been stuck for blogging topics recently, and I realized that part of the problem is that I’m less interested in personal finance and productivity now than I was in the past since I feel I’ve reached a bit of a plateau.  I understand some of the core lessons, and while I’m not perfect in implementing them, I’m confident that even when I do the wrong thing I’m clearly aware I am and have some reason for doing so.

What I am excited about these days is the concept of sustainable living, which encompasses a lot of areas.  I’m heavily influenced by a few sources:  Early Retirement Extreme (see my review), The Good Human, and several other websites.  I’ve realized that while I’m always happy to save money and do things more efficiently, I feel better when I waste less and do more for myself rather than having others do it for me.  I have a long, long way to go in this area – I still have a lawn service cutting my lawn, for example, although I plan to change that soon – but doing better in this area makes me feel, well, better.

Case in point:  thanks to Bubelah, on the way home from somewhere one weekend a few weeks ago we saw someone was throwing out lawn chairs.  Now, they looked nasty: plenty of dirt and bugs and leaves ground into them.  They were on the curb and ready for trash pickup.  Bubelah asked me to turn the car around and take a quick look, and after examining them I hauled them into the back of the minivan and voila:  lawn chairs will get a second life thanks to us, scrubbed and cleaned and ready for sitting for another decade.  And we’ll do our best to pass them on to someone else who can use them.  That’s better than seeing that plastic in a landfill, right?

On to the links: