Everyone Needs a Thneed

Lorax Watched a video of Dr. Seuss’ environmental parable The Lorax with Miles this evening. Pretty heavy stuff, and a bit complex for a three-year-old. Had forgotten about the awshum 70’s fuzztone wah-wah TV-funk-style soundtrack. Asked him halfway through whether the movie was making sense to him, and he said it was, though I suspected he was just enjoying the visuals more than anything.

Afterwards, as the credits rolled over a landscape of clear-cut Truffula Tree forests and a sky blackened with smog from Thneed manufacturing plants, I asked him what the movie was about. “It’s about cleaning up,” he said. “Cleaning up what?” “Cleaning up the trees.” “And what happened at the end?” (The ending was only hinted at). “The boy got a seed for a tuffuffa twee and he planted it and it gwowed up.”

I’ll be damned, he did get it. And the concreteness of the fact that I will grow old and die while he and his friends deal with a choking planet — hit me so hard. Now here’s where it gets corny and painfully sincere: I almost cried. Looked at him, and gave him one of those big bear hugs, and he gave me one of those big bear hugs back, and I told him we have a big job to do, watching out for those Truffula Trees. But if anyone can do it, Miles can do it. If he wants to.

Music: Evan Lurie :: Those Monkeys Weren’t Typing

2 Replies to “Everyone Needs a Thneed”

  1. Good article Jeb.

    But if I suspect my house might have termites, I’m going to call in some experts. I’ll call in a bunch of them to evaluate the house and make bids. I’ll tell them in advance that I’m not going to have them do the work if they find termites, because I want to make sure they have no financial incentive to overstate the problem.

    So if nine of the experts tell me I have termites and I need to replace some of the wood in the house, while one of them says, “Oh, there are a few termites, but it’s no big deal,” I’m going to go with the “popular” scientific opinion.

    I’m generally wary of “popular” too, but popular science is a very different thing from popular music, being primarily a matter of observation and hypothesis, not of preference. There’s a difference between popularity and consensus.

    Lindzen may be right. But it looks more like he’s a lone wolf, with theories that fly in the face of consensus science.

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