who hates The Lorax, and links

lorax

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.

7 comments

  • Hi, my name is Sydney and I too drive a Prius.  

    But that’s not what I wanted to say.  I’m reading the adult version of The Lorax, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” and am struck by the same thought as I pull up next to the Hummer:  She’s not reading “Hot, Flat, and Crowded.”  But here’s the thing, I don’t have kids, so if I’m wrong, no problem whether I’m right or wrong.  She has kids, if she’s wrong, it’s a catastrophe which will effect her children.  It behooves her to make sure she’s right.

  • I am basically a conservative with Biblical-based values. I likely wouldn’t ever drive a Prius (I rarely drive, and when I do, I take everyone with me to save gas with one trip).  But, I LOVE the message of the Lorax.  I think that the knee-jerk reaction by some in my “camp” is to eschew all things “green” because it gets pushed so hard from the other side.  Just because the other side says it, however, doesn’t automatically make it wrong. I am trying hard to teach my kids about good stewardship, because that’s what our faith requires.  It is selfish of me to leave my kids with a massive debt, just as it is bad to rip up all the trees in our area for farmland — and not replant. I may not subscribe to all the ideals of the global warming groups, but I do think we are responsible for leaving things the way we found them — the planet included.

    I would love to see the day when people actually asked me what my beliefs were before they automatically decided that my driving a Suburban makes me irresponsible.  I would bet that we actually have more in common than you realize, and I want my kids to understand the same about each and every person they come across in their life, too!

    Thanks for bringing this topic up.  It’s an important one 😉

    • You make a good point, and you’re right that people shouldn’t make assumptions on appearances, which I did in my post. I guess my only slight argument would be that you might be the exception that proves the rule – civil discourse (at least politically) is at an all-time low in our country. I don’t think most people can rationally discuss “the environment” with other people of the opposite political persuasion. I like the stewardship concept. I’ve always thought that hunters and fishers who support “green” ideas in the name of conservation even if they didn’t buy into global warming were fine, too. I just see our political parties turning this into an all-or-nothing battle of capitalism versus environmentalism. If you support capitalism, you MUST oppose anything that smacks of “green”, and if you are an environmentalist, you MUST oppose any reasonable counter-argument (I’m thinking nuclear power, for example).

      Oh well, I’m sure it will get worse before it gets better, or at least until more sensible people take back over the political discourse! Thanks for making a good point.

    • The really dumb part of the split over environmentalism (biggest part is energy) is that there are both major liberal and conservative reasons to support the big themes of environmentalism. The liberal ones are obvious and advertised, but one of the biggest reasons to support this is conservative…national security. Relying on other countries for the majority of your energy is just plain foolish. It would have been far more effective to have spent the money we spent on two wars building a massive alt energy complex. It would have helped the Lorax and pulled up to $800 billion a year out of the pockets of the people who fund terrorism. Far more effective in combating terrorism. Plus, that amount would be invested here on a yearly basis, which would have been a major economic driver going forward.

  • Darwin's Money

    So, did the kiddos enjoy?  I heard the Lorax was a bit political/enviro for a kids’ movie, but that was MSM review.  On our end, we checked out Hugo this weekend and it seemed a bit over their heads (5,7 year old).  Seemed more geared toward adults almost with the old-movie nostalgia focus.

    • The kiddos did enjoy. It’s a bit heavy-handed for a kids movie, but then again maybe kids need to be challenged past the message of ‘Cars 2’ once in a while. I wouldn’t say it was any more heavy-handed than the beloved ‘Wall-E’, for example. And it’s not at all political, except that as I noted, we’ve become so polarized as a society that if you mention planting a tree for fresh air, and that doing so would reduce a business’ profit, I would argue that 99.99% of Americans would think “liberal” or “Democrat” (although see LKnerl’s comment).

      I’m definitely avoiding Hugo. I think the important thing for kids’ movies is for the visual movie to be appealing to kids and the verbal aspect to be appealing to adults. Kids like cars, robots, fluffy little Loraxes, etc. They don’t like old movie theaters in early 20th century France, because it’s out of their frame of reference. It’s one of the reasons Cars 2 was such a pathetic movie – my kids are so unfamiliar with guns and action movies that most of it just made them uneasy.

      But I’d recommend the Lorax. It’s harmless. The environmental message might offend someone who believes that pollution and deforestation are fine, but it’s not like it’s talking about global warming – the message is mainly that you don’t have to level the forest and put up with lots of pollution, that there can be a happy medium.

  • Very interesting about how the movie was received.

    It seems political parties these days are just… weird.  If you claim to fall under the umbrella of one term then you have to take in everything else that they stand for.  Is it possible to be a conservative democrat or a liberal republican, or some other combination?  Or will that just make people’s heads explode?

    These values of profit at all costs are so…80’s.

    Good to hear the kids liked the movie.  I’ll keep an eye out for it when it cable/netflix (we just don’t get out to the movies often).