Yesterday was a thoroughly depressing day in the life of this Public School Future Generator (given everything that modern-day educators are being held accountable for “teacher” just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore). Of course when one spends the day interacting with our country’s youth, depression and disappointment are pretty standard fare, but yesterday was particularly bad.
I started class by talking about current events (as I do most days). I flatter myself by thinking that students will eventually see that what I’m talking about in class is actually relevant to their lives, but in reality very few of my current events appear on Twitter (and therefore isn’t real). Yesterday’s current event was a lament concerning the new rendition of The Lorax by some Hollywood cartoon company. For those of you who fondly remember Dr. Seuss’ elegy about the natural world vs. rampant consumerism, please be careful before watching the promo below, as it’ll likely make you sick to your stomach.
I know, right?!
Anyway, only 2 students in each class actually remembered the original story (which is enough to make an ordinary person depressed, but I’m a Future Generator and trained for this sort of thing), but even after reviewing the original didn’t see anything wrong with this rainbow-puke monstrosity.
“It looks like it’ll have 3D. That’s cool.”
“O man, those mechanical bees are neat.”
“I wish I could have a Barbaloot!”
“Ha ha, that Lorax is funny!”
The depressing part is that those were the most thoughtful comments from my students. They were either unwilling or unable to express any critical thoughts about the two versions of the story. They also completely missed the point that I was trying to make that this new bubble gum version of one of the greatest stories Dr. Seuss ever penned was being turned on its head in order to sell tickets, plastic Happy Meal toys, and lunchboxes! I rather think that if the poor guy were still alive he’d have something very clever and very harsh to say about using THIS story to sell more thneeds.
I suppose that I expect the corporate leviathans of Hollywood to be soulless and evil, but are the comments of my students actually representative of the vapid twittering to which our once great society has been reduced? Is this really the same culture that produced some of the world’s greatest thinkers and authors of all time?
I have no doubt at all that this movie will be a great success. Soccer moms all over the country will blithely drive their Precious Bundles 2 miles to the nearest theater and everyone will love the bright colors and cheerful soundtrack while simultaneously thrilling over the cheap 3D effects and munching on $15 dollar popcorn… all while another little piece of my already maimed soul dies.