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Don't Read "The Lorax" to your kids
March 26, 2009 | reaganaut1

Posted on 03/26/2009 7:28:20 AM PDT by reaganaut1

I read "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss yesterday evening to my 5-year-old. My wife had borrowed it from the library. I was expecting an amusing kid's book like "Green Eggs and Ham" (also by Seuss), but what I got was tiresome environmental, anti-business agit-prop. Ugh. Almost everyone on Amazon has given it 5 stars -- no wonder Obama is president.

I think the language in the book is dumb, too. Why invent words like "biggerer" (used repeatedly) instead of using the word "bigger".

It's too bad I need to screen children's books for political indoctrination. I wonder if there are sites where conservative parents have recommended books.


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Education
KEYWORDS: childrensbooks; drseuss; lorax

1 posted on 03/26/2009 7:28:20 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Try Robert the Rose Horse. My daughter loves it (I really ham up the “sound effects”) and the libs hate it (it has guns).


2 posted on 03/26/2009 7:30:33 AM PDT by gieriscm (07 FFL / 02 SOT - www.extremefirepower.com)
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To: reaganaut1
The Lorax
3 posted on 03/26/2009 7:34:03 AM PDT by Dallas59 ("You know the one with the big ears? He might be yours, but he ain't my president.")
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To: reaganaut1

Here is an Amazon review from Jeffrey Gray explaining what is wrong with the book:

So far, the reviews for “The Lorax” seem to be from good little environmentalists, giving 5-star reviews in lockstep, and spouting their enviro-friendly platitudes.

I, however, as an unashamed pro-capitalist conservative, have a vastly different opinion. I’m going to focus on the issue of the Truffula Trees, because from them come two fundamental flaws in this book, flaws which the entire work rests upon.

“The Lorax” works off of two false premises:

1. The product made from the Truffula Trees is a Thneed, a product of infinite uses that the Once-ler claims “everybody needs.” However, Dr. Seuss is seeming to imply that we’re not supposed to listen to the Once-ler, and the Thneed is useless compared to leaving the Truffula Trees standing. The big problem here is that real trees produce something which we all *do* need: wood. Just looking around me, my door, my bed frame, my shelves, not to mention my house itself, are made out of wood. Real trees produce something that everybody does need, something without which a lot of things would be extremely different. Thus, in implying that no use comes out of cutting down the Truffula Trees, Seuss is giving the reader a wholly incorrect view of trees and logging.

2. This is the false premise which, since I came to a realization of it, has steamed me the most. At the end of the book, the last Truffula Tree is cut down, and the Once-ler’s business shuts down. Dr. Seuss views the Truffula Trees as a zero-sum resource, as though there is a limited, irreplaceable supply of them. However, especially considering that the Once-ler gives the little boy the last Truffula seed at the end, I am utterly flabbergasted at the fact that, throughout the entire ordeal, the Once-ler never thought to plant more Truffula Trees to replace the ones he cut down, or, in fact, to *add* to the amount. If the Once-ler expected to keep making Thneeds forever without planting more Truffula Trees, then he was an extremely bad businessman. In the lumber and logging industry, trees are always replanted, and many additional trees are also planted. (I’ve driven through an entire forest of 20-year-old trees in British Columbia, so don’t tell me that trees are an irreplaceable, zero-sum resource.) Planting more Truffula Trees would, of course, have also solved the problem of the brown Bar-Ba-Loots, because they’d still have shade and fruit.

By creating a world where the Thneeds made from Truffula Trees are supposedly actually useless and pointless, and where nobody thinks of the possibility of planting more Truffula Trees to replace or augment the supply, Dr. Seuss gives naive, impressionable children a wholly false view of environmental issues, effectively indoctrinating them, through preachy, mawkish, emotionally manipulative text and illustrations, to believe that: 1.) the environment is pretty and peaceful and serene and should never be touched, period; and 2.) all people who try to make money off of natural resources are “greedy” and “evil.” (Both ideas approach socialist/Marxist territory, since they involve someone, ultimately the government, forcing people not to touch the environment, and arbitrating how people can and cannot make a living.)

The character I dislike the most is, in fact, the Lorax, who whines and kvetches about how the Once-ler can’t touch his beautiful Truffula Trees, under any circumstances, and how the Once-ler cannot make a living from selling a useful product because of this. To me, he’s a wonderful embodiment of the whiny, intolerant environmentalists we have to listen to every time the environment is “threatened.”

There is a difference between responsible care of the environment, and “keep everything *exactly* the way it was, as if mankind never existed!” “The Lorax,” to me, takes the latter position. I give it two stars, only because of Seuss’ signature illustrations and invented words and names, which aren’t even at their best here.

I don’t care if what I say is politically incorrect; I’m thinking for myself, and this is what I believe.


4 posted on 03/26/2009 7:34:52 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

I grew up with the stuff, but didn’t realize how I was being indoctrinated until I saw it again in my 20’s. Suess really went off the deep end towards the end. One of his last books, “The Big Butter Battle” was his most overt, leftist, relativist, anti-war, anti-Reagan piece of children’s propoganda out there.


5 posted on 03/26/2009 7:35:24 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: reaganaut1

“Biggerer”

Obama is a buggerer.


6 posted on 03/26/2009 7:35:24 AM PDT by BenLurkin (And oh, Hey! I've been travelin' on this road too long)
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To: reaganaut1

http://www.thevanguard.org/bookstore/subjects/children.shtml


7 posted on 03/26/2009 7:37:32 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: reaganaut1

Try Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose for a conservative view of parasites aloing for a free ride and how they can destriy an enterprise if they are not ruthlessly left on their own.


8 posted on 03/26/2009 7:39:00 AM PDT by Piranha
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To: reaganaut1

Aw c’mon, it ain’t too bad. It describes things in Red China quite well I think.


9 posted on 03/26/2009 7:41:40 AM PDT by Rippin
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To: reaganaut1
"The Lorax" has been around for a while; we read it to our kids at least 20 years ago -- and then mocked it unmercifully, as a way of explaining that men can be good stewards of the earth without becoming gaia-worshippers. "Look -- there's a truffula tree!" eventually became a family code phrase.

Propaganda can be useful as a learning tool. Same with TV -- watch (what's safe to watch) with them, and point out the PC absurdities, with much humor.

Make it fun!

10 posted on 03/26/2009 7:45:51 AM PDT by browardchad
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To: reaganaut1

11 posted on 03/26/2009 7:47:39 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: reaganaut1

Suess was a commie


12 posted on 03/26/2009 7:48:34 AM PDT by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: reaganaut1

Very, very good review.


13 posted on 03/26/2009 7:48:52 AM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: reaganaut1

My 21-year-old daughter has a group game she likes to play with friends. They spend about ten minutes in Barnes and Noble or some other large bookstore hunting for the most overt politically-correct book each can find and then declare a winner. She says she usually wins and her secret is she heads directly to the children’s book section.


14 posted on 03/26/2009 7:49:26 AM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG; browardchad

a truffula tree in post 11!!


15 posted on 03/26/2009 7:50:05 AM PDT by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: GeronL
Hmmm...just about everything in our library's children's section is suspect. Moral relativism abounds.

I recently went to an out-of-the-way library in the countryside when at grandma's house....all those great books from my childhood there there - characters with guns, mostly people (not cutsey animals), right, wrong, etc.

In our leftist library (where I've heard librarians discuss their hatred of George Bush with patrons), all the kids books are modern, moral relativist, and on and on. The movie selection similarly reflects the leftist bias.

Here's a thought for you: analyze Curious George. The books confuse an animal with a child (what moral responsibility does an animal have, versus a child?). The animal, George, constantly disobeys the Man in the Yellow Hat, causes havoc or a mess, but, because it all works out in the end, his initial outright disobedience is just fine. What kind of lesson is that? So, as long as you rebel against proper authority and get away with it, that's fine?

16 posted on 03/26/2009 7:55:09 AM PDT by elk ((A Member of the Silent 58)TM)
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To: reaganaut1

Oh, please! The Lorax is fine. It rails against wanton destruction of the earth’s resources, simply for personal gain. Those actions are against all notions of faithful stewardship of God’s Creation, anyway. Why not use it as a teaching tool about caring for the world God created for us, while still being able to produce goods for ourselves and others?


17 posted on 03/26/2009 7:58:38 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: reaganaut1
I saw a show with some of Geisel's original paintings. They were disturbing. In one sense, they were classic Seuss characters, but far darker and more evil.

Geisel was a collectivist commie. As a child, I didn't care for them, preferring Curious George, or just about anything else. The Butter Battle Book was another example of his "politics as children's entertainment."

18 posted on 03/26/2009 7:59:24 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: elk

sigh.

I know, it stinks.

wait a few years and there will be better books. Just don’t count on public schools and libraries to highlight them.


19 posted on 03/26/2009 8:01:50 AM PDT by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: caseinpoint

Our latest BOrders Bookstore game consists of turning over all the obama books we can find, then tmiing how long it takes the leftie Code pink chicks to turn them back over. WE experiemented with turning over Anne Colter books...but those never seemed to get fixed.

AND for the record...Levin’s new book can’t be bought at BOrders...They only ordered 3 copies...And those were sold in 2 minutes...and they aren’t getting another order in for a month. We asked them to order it for us online through their “Borders Book Distribution Network”...They could get us a copy shipped to our house in 3 weeks. *Snicker*


20 posted on 03/26/2009 8:03:46 AM PDT by Explodo (Pessimism is simply pattern recognition)
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To: reaganaut1

Dr Suess (Theodor Geisel) was a master propagandist and was notorious for his support of socialist causes. Dduring the Second World War, he mde some really effective short featuress against the Nazi regime of Germany, never seeing the really close parallels between the international Socialism of Marx and the National Socialism of Germany.

He truly, sincerely believed, that socialism would work, if only the right people were administrating it.

Unfortunately, the “right people” have never been put at the head of any socialist movement.


21 posted on 03/26/2009 8:09:17 AM PDT by alloysteel (Obama was lying, your rights are dying)
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To: Explodo

I am going to get that book for myself and my father whom I’m traveling to visit in a month. I may have to search harder for it than I assumed. Thanks for the heads-up.


22 posted on 03/26/2009 8:09:22 AM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things)
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To: reaganaut1

Seuss was clearheaded on a couple things. I don’t have the ability to post it right now but google the image “Dr Seuss Appeaser” . It is basically Churchill’s “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last” with Seuss creatures with swatstikas on them.


23 posted on 03/26/2009 8:18:45 AM PDT by philled (This 'stimulus money' will stimulate just as 'protection money' protects. -- Rei Shinozuka)
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To: reaganaut1
I remember my old man saw one of Dr. Seuss' books and said "what is this retarded sh!t? I don't want you kids reading that".

We said "It's ok dad, we know it's sh!t".

To which he replied "Don't say that word till you're 18".

24 posted on 03/26/2009 8:33:47 AM PDT by gilor (Pull the wool over your own eyes!)
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To: Dallas59

Thanks for the link. I just watched the cartoon. I don’t see anything wrong with it. What’s wrong with stewardship? What’s wrong with teaching against pollution, greed, and waste? Nothing’s wrong with it in my book.


25 posted on 03/26/2009 8:34:46 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Huck

As long as they throw in a couple of references to how bad socialism/communism is...I agree.


26 posted on 03/26/2009 8:36:11 AM PDT by Dallas59 ("You know the one with the big ears? He might be yours, but he ain't my president.")
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To: Dallas59

It doesn’t say anything about socialism, but it does seem to comment on groupthink, mass hysteria. And it’s simply foolish to pretend that our natural resources are safe in an environment of unchecked commerce. It simply isn’t true.


27 posted on 03/26/2009 8:44:42 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: reaganaut1
I have always loved it when words are changed to make them fun--like 'biggerer'---ya know what it means and know it is not right, and get a good chuckle.

But flip side, my mom never read his books because she felt that he DISLIKED KIDS and promoted exactly what you say...a philosophy that does not belong in a kids head. '

28 posted on 03/26/2009 8:51:29 AM PDT by Republic (Jedem das Seine)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG

Suggestion for improvement: “I AM THE GORAX”


29 posted on 03/26/2009 8:53:00 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: reaganaut1

Hopefully every Mother knows “The Lorax” was written when the good doctor had veered off into Commie land. I knew it.


30 posted on 03/26/2009 8:53:30 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: reaganaut1

It is a knee jerk book, but it solved a problem in our house. When we had brocolli (which my daughter hated), we would steam the stems and present them to our daughter as truffula trees. They were suddenly good thanks to the Lorax.

A few years later she finally noted the connection between her having truffulas and us having brocolli every time. LOL.


31 posted on 03/26/2009 8:57:12 AM PDT by doodad
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To: elk

“So, as long as you rebel against proper authority and get away with it, that’s fine? “

Worked pretty well for our Founding Fathers.


32 posted on 03/26/2009 9:02:47 AM PDT by DevNet (What's past is prologue)
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To: gieriscm

bring back little black sambo !!!


33 posted on 03/26/2009 9:10:16 AM PDT by tatsinfla
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To: reaganaut1

I wish there was a column or a list of good books for kids that would not have any liberal propaganda or things that our not of our value system. Does anyone know of any?

Is there some newspaper or magazine column that informs us about good books, movies and tv shows and warns us about the not-so-good ones?

Why is the print and electronic media dominated by the metrolib values? When you stand at the supermarket checkout, so much of what we see is part of this lib media empire. Almost all magazines, for instance, are published in New York City. The rest of the countries mores are shaped by two cities —New York and Hollywood. We need to do more to keep our values from being destroyed.

Maybe freerepublic could start a book and movie review by freeper posters. If that can’t be done, maybe individual posters can just begin naming some good books/movies and encouraging others to also contribute.


34 posted on 03/26/2009 11:59:13 AM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: DevNet

Touche.


35 posted on 03/27/2009 1:54:47 PM PDT by elk ((A Member of the Silent 58)TM)
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To: reaganaut1

The Lorax is perfectly suitable book for any child. Past comments prove to be unintelligent, and border on fear mongering. The Lorax shows the repercussions greed can cause out of ignorance for the physical world. The book does have extreme situations, but this is a children’s book, so you have to give the book a break for ending so soon without more detail put into the storyline. My parents are Right-Winged, but still they let me read this book when I was young, showing the open-mind a parent should have when guiding a child’s upbringing. Don’t keep you child in a closet by giving reading them material that fits your own political agenda; rather let them enjoy all sorts of literature as a child. When they grow up they can make their own decisions rationally.


36 posted on 08/08/2009 4:48:01 PM PDT by SirSchmoopy
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To: SirSchmoopy

I’m in full agreement with SirSchmoopy. In fact it’s almost everything I had intended to post. I would like to add that Seuss invents biggered because bigger is an adverb. He need a verb in present (biggering) and past tense. If you read it to your kids as “I bigger my factory” you are teaching them incorrectly. At least Seuss’ invention was grammatically correct.


37 posted on 10/07/2010 5:10:02 PM PDT by ProfAwaiko
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To: reaganaut1

I once thought as you did about environmental issues, but have since changed for a view point that sits better with my conscience. The Lorax portrays a message of what happens when we take for granted the God given gifts we have been given. We were put here to enjoy, take care of, and live among all God’s creations. That is not to say that we should never cut down a tree or drill for oil but your conscience will tell you that it is immoral to recklessly destroy the environment.

I believe that is a sensible viewpoint... we should not uselessly and wastefully destroy our environment. The issue is about what legislation should be in place regarding environmental protection.

The answer to that question is relatively simple and is found by studying virtue ethics. Aristotle states that virtue is the mean between two extremes, and is acquired by practice. How is one able to practice virtue if it is illegal to commit vice?

This could get into an argument between tyranny and anarchy based on what vice is defined as but for this simple purpose I will assume that we have defined a very base level of socially accepted virtue that is widely accepted as being immoral to go below that level and as such illegal. Spectrums of vice and virtue still exist above the bounds of the law and I believe that is where this issue falls.

In conclusion, I disagree with most environmental legislation but for very different reasons.

Also I’m glad to hear parents are still reading to their kids! haha


38 posted on 02/06/2012 9:35:01 PM PST by dub26
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To: reaganaut1

I have to agree with you on this comment: “There is a difference between responsible care of the environment, and “keep everything *exactly* the way it was”

But seriously? Have you forgotten you breathe oxygen? Just saying. Trees have more use than wood. (Honestly I like things made out of wood rather than plastic crap that breaks after 5 minutes from being made.)


39 posted on 03/01/2012 8:41:19 PM PST by Hmmmmmmmm
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To: dub26
“The Lorax portrays a message of what happens when we take for granted the God given gifts we have been given. We were put here to enjoy, take care of, and live among all God’s creations. That is not to say that we should never cut down a tree or drill for oil but your conscience will tell you that it is immoral to recklessly destroy the environment.”

I like this comment.

Plus its always good to read to your children. :D

40 posted on 03/01/2012 8:44:44 PM PST by Hmmmmmmmm
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To: reaganaut1
Huh.

I always read "The Lorax" as a "Tragedy of the Commons" for kids.

When nobody or "everybody" owns a resource then nobody has any incentive to take care of it. Why would he replant the Truffula Trees? They are not his so it is not in his interest to replant just so someone else can harvest.

41 posted on 03/01/2012 9:00:40 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Would you sing if someone sucked YOU up the vacuum cleaner hose?)
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