Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

Today is a day to put aside worries,
And celebrate a guy who wrote lots of stories!

He wrote many books, both big ones and small,
About right and wrong, about winter and fall!

What can we do, to honor this man?
We can play music, banging pots and a pan!

We can sled down the hill, build some grand forts,
Pretend make-believe, play games of all sorts!

So have fun today, go on, act like a goose!
And make sure to say, Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Google celebrates in its own special way:

Meanwhile, the principled conservatives at The Corner, in a post titled The Lorax and His Lies, use the occassion to complain that the Lorax is actually anti-capitalist screed:
Regarding your comments on the Lorax, you are surely correct about the story's intention to malign capitalism. I have, however, found an alternative (and far more palatable) interpretation that I use when reading the story to my son.

The Once-ler's actions make total sense if it is impossible for him to acquire property rights to the Truffula Trees. Any moderation on his part in cutting them down merely leaves an opportunity for another Thneed-maker. Furthermore, the climactic reveal of the last Truffula seed reinforces this interpretation, as the protagonist is implicitly given those property rights (setting up the potential for responsible Truffula harvesting).
So remember, the next time you sit down to read The Lorax to little Johnny or little Susie, you are obligated to take a few minutes at the end to explain how the real lesson of story isn't that you should care about the environment, but that the Once-ler's actions were perfectly reasonable given that property rights to the Tuffula trees weren't well defined at the beginning of the book.

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