At the end of the block
where the Cinema lights glow
and the wind smells greasy and gassy when it blows
and no birds dare to fly excepting old crows…
is the Street of the Mighty Once-ler.
And deep behind the bullet proof glass, some people say,
that’s where I’ll find him on this particular day.
“What is this movie, The Lorax?
And what about that awful trailer?
And why was it rewritten and edited this way?
Where is the Doctor’s tale of environmental failure?
Why couldn’t you produce THAT in this age and day?
He’ll tell me, perhaps…
but only if I’m willing to pay.
At the bottom, where the counter meets glass
he opens a half circle tin bowl
and I have to toss in plastic cards
and my Wall Street options in coal
and my great-great-great-great-
Then he tells me, “I’ll call you on my Whisper-me-cell
‘cause secrets like these we don’t like to tell.”
“Now I will explain,” he says, with his lips sounding Botox puffed,
“how The Lorax got chopped and romantically fluffed…
It all started way back in a Texas oil field.
Then came central heating, refrigerators and auto-mobiles.
This Earthy McSpace is all caught up in an energy race.
Consuming and consuming at a fast and terrible pace.”
“Mister!” I said with a hay fever sneeze.
“The Truffulas may be gone but there are other trees.
I speak for the greenies, because we are a bit confused.
And I’m asking you, sir, with a deeply hurt heart
what’s this THING you’ve done to Dr. Seuss’s art?”
“Look, lady,” the Once-ler shot. “There’s no cause for alarm.
I’m a business man, making twelve bucks a lot. There’s no harm.
This movie is about ‘a world of action, danger and romance and less hair.’
Watching over our environment? No one wants Hollywood to go there.
That’s recycling containers. That’s ingesting less meat, which would trigger an astronomical economic cutback.
Who wants to pay big money to listen to that?”
So then I said, “Sir. You are crazy with greed.
There is no one on earth who will watch this falsified read.”
But then I was pushed slightly aside by a couple dressed beyond their needs.
And what should be around the woman’s throat? OMG is that a vintage Thneed?
They bought tickets for The Lorax, that “cute little cartoon romance.”
They bought the massage seats, popcorn, drinks, candy, hotdogs and 100 tickets on a lotto chance.
The Once-ler laughed at me, “You poor stupid granola nut!
I learned long ago in the Truffala shade; business is business.
And business must grow, until it can not.
And then you abandon your factory to manufacture the next great gizmo-bot.”
We had to grow Dr. Seuss’ plot bigger. So bigger it got.
We biggered the romance. We biggered the adventure scenes.
We biggered the characters. We biggered the action figures.
And we biggered our money, which our industry so desperately needs.”
And so I got mad.
I got terribly mad.
“Now listen here, Pop! I’m tired of you underestimating and demeaning the movie going masses.
You’re treating us like naïve, greedy baba-valooka asses.
I speak for the greenies, the granolas, the tree huggers and the environmental master
when I say we don’t want the rest of our trees to go the way of your Truffula disaster.
We’re partial to our Brown Bar-ba-loots, our Humming-Fish and the Swomee-Swans’ song.
So don’t take our opportunity to honor and respect the Great Mother
and dirty it by lining the pockets of your business brother.
If Seuss’ environmental message makes you a few million less,
so be it.
But if it triggers the question, starts a discussion and fuels consciousness,
then that, Mighty Once-ler, would be your greatest, most superbular, lifetime success.”
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