Thursday, September 29, 2011

He Speaks For The Trees

From a pure entertainment standpoint, it's been been kind of delightful to watch American "conservatives" turn into a caricature of themselves - i.e. going from "capital punishment is grim but necessary" to applauding Texas' high execution-rate, and adjusting their environmental policy from the generally-reasonable opinion that nature/wildlife should not be placed above commerce/employment on the scale of importance to trying their darndest to become "Captain Planet" villains re: global-warming denial, Hummer-worship, "Drill Baby Drill!" etc. Hell, if they weren't still potentially electable Republicans would be a real riot.

In any case, below you'll find the poster for 2012's "The Lorax," which - thanks to the above-described state of the union - will undoubtedly be one of the most needlessly "controversial" big movies to be released next year...

Film is, of course, an adaptation of the beloved children's book by Dr. Seuss in which a magical creature tries - unsuccessfully - to convince an industrialist that his factory is despoiling a wildnerness. Or, as you'll be hearing it described on Fox News: "Socialist Propaganda Brainwashing Your Children Into Environmentalism As A Scheme To Enable Communist Muslims To Take Yer Freedoms!!!"

I'm a little concerned about this one, myself - apparently they've added some additional characters, which feels a lot like a gateway to cheaping-out on the original downer ending. But even if it's not all that good, the "blowback" should be entertaining as hell.


Joshua the Anarchist said...

Man, the Lorax was on of my favorite Seuss books as a kid, I can still quote most of it. Oddly enough my parents were actually fundamentalist Christian Republicans, yet they never had an issue with the book. Weird, considering they disliked so-called "propaganda" enough to forbid me from watching Captain Planet.

Laserkid said...

As someone who as of late tends to disagree with you politically, who thinks that global warming is at best has extremely negligible effects, and is a crazy ass liberetarian...

I have no problems with the Lorax whatsoever and will laugh in the face of anyone who does.

As opposed to the dumbshit sensationalistic reasons to be for conservation and against wonton pollution that is known as global warming, the Lorax makes a FANTASTIC case for it. Don't want to live in flith? Want to be able to drink water and breathe air? Then don't be a douchebag with the environment.

I really wish more environmentalist messages did the Lorax thing because it makes a much better case then the divisive and sensationalized global warming thing does.

I just hope they keep it that way in transition. And yes, I'm totally with you that I hope they keep the dark and grim ending. If you put a smiley face at the end of this movie no matter what else you do the entire point of it will be ruined.

FigmentJedi said...

They've basically expanded on the frame story with the kid. Teenager named Ted (named after Geisel) who wants to impress a girl by finding a living tree and seeks out the Onceler (whose explicitly human in this version) and hears his story.
They've also added another entrepreneur character McHare, who's selling canned air Spaceballs style.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Yea, I think it needs to be said that there's a distinct difference between "the sky is falling!" environmentalism and "don't be a dick" environmentalism. The Lorax is in the later camp, and that's the one I tend to agree with as well.

I also loved The Lorax because of how Seuss would occasional deal with deep sociopolitical issues under the guise of being a silly children's book (The Butter Battle Book being another good example of this).

My real concern is that this looks like it's made by the same people that did the recent Horton Hears a Who which kind'a sucked. This probably won't live up to the '72 TV special.

Chris said...

Would Avatar be the spiritual big brother to the Lorax? Innocent woodland creatures that protect, revere and speak for the forest and nature, fighting against industrialists who only see the money that they will get from the lands resources and nature be damned.

Kyle said...


Dan Backslide said...

@Chris : Would you fuck the Lorax?

No? Then it's different enough.

Laserkid said...

@Chris: It's more the idiot cousin of the Lorax in that it tosses all subtlety to the wind and focuses more on making someone/something a villain as opposed to giving an important message. Both do HAVE a villain - but the Lorax is less "humans are bad" and more "don't do this shit, it's bad".

InnerPartisan said...

@Laserkid (Re: Global Warming):
You know what's the great thing about science? It's absolutely irrelevant what you *believe* about it :-D
But to be fair: While Global Warming *is* a huge problem - pretty much the greatest problem humanity has ever faced, especially if you consider that it ties in with all the other inherent limits to growth - there *is* a lot of bullshit hysteria coming from "my" side (i.e. evil, nazicommunist statists ;-) ).

I think there's far to less emphasis on real solutions to the comming (and allready present) problems, while everyone seems to focus on ultimately ineffective, prone-to-corruption band-aids like carbon trade tax etc.
What most people - even on my side - don'T realise is that global warming WILL happen (or rather: is happening), no matter what. Even if humanity stopped emiting ALL greenhouse gases right now, the global mean temperature would still rise at least 2°C over the next century - propably more, seeing how predictions based on computer models so far have pretty much consistently turned out to be too *conservative*.

Laserkid said...

you know what else is great about science? There's alot of debate involved - especially in the global warming area. From all the evidence I have read what I can make of it is that it will affect about 2 degrees in about two hundred years if we were the most ridiculous captain planet supervillains ever.

But if we did that we wouldn't live long enough to find out due to the toxic environment.

I fully support the finding of better technologies to pollute less - because ultimately I want the earth to have breathable air in two hundred years.

What I'd like to seeis something that actually works though - replacing petrol with electricity wasa nice idea and Iwant to seesomething like that that can actually support the speeds we need to just run our daily lives.

The whole carbon credit scam is just paying for indulgences in the modern era and doesn't solve anything.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@ global warming

Global temperatures plateaued out a decade ago and have actually been dropping the last few years. The rise wasn't that unusual anyway. Oh, and the polar ice caps are growing.

So, no, I don't take global warming very seriously at all.

coyote37 said...


OMG! You've beaten science! Quick, get every respected scientific body ON THE PLANET on the phone and give them your startling new evidence! Maybe none of them read the DailyTech?

InnerPartisan said...

Bull. Fucking. Shit.

But hey, I see where you're coming from. Let me guess: Libertarian?
I mean, if your ideology demands that you deny facts, a kind of perspective bias gets established pretty soon, or so I guess.
You should take some pointers from the crationists - they've proven to be really effective at this.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@ InnerPartisan

Wow. Two links debunking something ridicules that doesn't even resemble anything I said. The other goes on about... a few months glacial loss. Months! Climatology is supposed to be about the slow change over years, decades, or even centuries, and we're talking about a few months?

Actually here's a better article talking about the ice caps which references the same source your article did.

My political views have been much closer to Relativism than Libertarianism lately, not that it matters.

SonofRyan said...

1. Narf, I'm sorry but please stop contaminating this threat the studies you linked to are cherry-picked, at best, and honestly their methodology is crap.
2. Honestly, Laserkid, you're weird assertion and comparison to paying for indulgences is a strawman that ignores that cap and trade is based on a sound economic footing based on the idea on trading credits therebye internalizing the costs greenhouse gaesses impose on society. Though, hoenstly a better response would be a pigovian carbon tax, however Americans today seem to live in a fantasy world in which taxes aren't nessacary so it's probably politically more tenable to go with a cap and trade system even if it's not as good an idea.

Laserkid said...

>.< I try to open common grounds on this and I just get pulled into an argument of the differences. Is it any wonder nothing ever happens to fix these issues?

Anyway - the thing with carbon credits is that all it does is pass money along from people who feel bad for carbon emissions - it doesn't solve anything and it just makes people feel justified in overdoing things by throwing money at it, but what does that money do? If it was meant to make better technologies to fix things forward going I'd understand to an extent - but it doesn't seem to be anything like that. From what I can see, all it does is make rich people feel better about themselves.

A tax on these things - if - and only if - it went towards developing better technology and NOTHING ELSE EVER - AND it had HEAVY accountability towards ensuring people actually work on better tech that pollutes less - even as crazy liberetarian as I am - I would not object. Good luck meeting these conditions with that, though. Governments loooove them an excuse to tax people without accountability for what they use, thats one of many reasons social security is in such a hole, we kept "borrowing" from the fund for other bullshit.

IF we made a carbon tax designed to fund less pollution based vehichles and such - and it was only put towards this, heavily monitored for actual efficiency - and had an expiration date every decade that needs to be renewed every decade (because otherwise we end up with a permanent tax that doesnt do anything ala social security ;) ) I think I might be shocked that the government is capable of doing this.

Ultimately - the problem is that we need vehichles that dont fuck up the air so much - not because of some great heating epidemic - but because breathing is sort of important.

Given that the only thing that needs to happen is development of better technology - and unless its for military utility governments SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK at doing this. So I guess if you agree with me that this is an issue but the sky isn't falling yet we could see if in a hundred years the governments come up with an idea.

Or, if you think the catastrophe is coming and that we need to be doing something instead of waiting for the government to get its head out of its ass, instead of paying "I'm sorry" money to some comission that does nothing - maybe we should be investing in research for better ways to do things and stop quibbling over the details and focusing on commonalities.

SonofRyan said...

1. No, Carbon cap and trade works as the following. There is a cap on how much carbon you can emit, if you go under this cap, you can sell your right to emit carbon to people who go over. This is a flexible system that incentivises people to emit less CO2. You ignored what I was talking about and pretened I was talking about carbon offsets, which is compleely different.
2. You're assertion that the government "SUUUU...etc" at developing technology is utter bs, but honestly, i don't think anything I could say would dissuade you from thinking that, in my experience most libertarians I've met on the internet tend to think government is bad as a statement of faith rather than any sort of basis so I'm going to ignore that.
3. there is a great climate issue, that's the consensus, I'm not going to try and argue with you about that because reason can't act on an untelligible proposition.
4. Most important how is giving money to invest in clean energy "i'm sorry" money? Comissions don't "do nothing." Some of us ARE trying to invest in better research but the commonality isn't there, there is one side who doesn't want to invest in better, clean, more efficent things, and one side that does, there is not a common ground here laserkid. One side refuses to acknowledge an imminent environmental crisis the other does, there's not a "middle ground" to be had there.

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Shark said...

Why are people making movies of Doctor Seuss's books? Most of them already had thirty minutes specials that you can find on the internet. If people want to see the Lorax, then find the original animated adaption to the book, or the book itself.

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