I intend to remain positive and focused on what we CAN do when the madness runs amuck and I feel moral outrage creep up. So I will. I Give Trees that are organically grown, to rural families to restore a rainforest, and you can too by clicking on that link.
But I’d like to pass along some information that I find fascinating – that’s what blogs are for, right? I learned when I got back from my last trip to Brazil, that my former champions, The Nature Conservancy had partnered with Dow Chemical, and they are working in the very same rainforest where we are. And, today I learned that they are one of the main tree planting partners for Universal’s NEW movie “The Lorax.”
“The Lorax Project” is an initiative launched in 2008 by Conservation International, Random House (publishers of the Lorax) and Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Conservation International is also partnered with Monsanto.
What next, GMO Truffula Trees?
In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly last year, the film’s producer and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, Christopher Meledandri described the motivation behind making the Once-ler an “everyman” type character, rather than a nefarious villain: “The minute you make the Once-ler a monster, you allow the audience to interpret that the problem is caused by somebody who is different from me, and it ceases to be a story that is about all of us,” Meledandri explained.
Meledandri also commented that Seuss’s illustrations of the Once-ler suggest that he is human, claiming that the proof is all in the gloves: “If there was a clear sign this character was something other than human, we would have abided by that…But okay, he’s wearing gloves. You’re not going to put gloves on a monster.”
The “glove theory” aside, the Once-ler has long been a point of contention. A popular perspective on Seuss’s book is that the figure is meant to represent the faceless nature of an industry that takes no accountability for its actions. Though Seuss himself once stated in Life magazine that ‘kids can see a moral coming a mile off,” his work often uses metaphor and anthropomorphism to comment upon social and political issues. He even famously described himself as “subversive as hell”
Read more of my take on all of this on Care2 Causes.