Crises can be SO exhausting, can’t they? I had no idea how rough last week was until yesterday, when we went to see the Lorax (more on that in a minute) and I cried at the end. Yes. Cried. Like a bitty baby. The problem?
I didn’t particularly like that movie.
I didn’t–but then, there’s probably been one Dr. Seuss remake I’ve approved of besides the Grinch, and that was the stage play Seussicals, which has a kickass soundtrack if you’re interested. The thing about most of the others is that they try to take something really simple and perfect and pad it to make it complicated. That’s not how Dr. Seuss works. HE WAS TALKING TO CHILDREN. He wanted simple, and he understood that simple was profound.
Mary and I were texting about Ted Geisel yesterday, and we realized that many of our big lessons–the ones we hope make us good human beings with something to pass along to another generation, much less a (small) audience of readers, we learned from Dr. Seuss.
Are you wondering if you should join the culture of misanthropic greed and the blind abuse of power that seems to have taken over our country?
Read Yertle the Turtle– Dr. Seuss tells you what happens to tyrants and he tells you why.
Are you upset because you don’t resemble one of those horrible housewife people on reality television? Gertrude McFuzz has the lesson right there.
Are you a politician, trying to block rights to adoption? Horton Lays an Egg. Wondering if your stand on homophobia promotes bullying? Horton Hears a Who.
Are you tired of watching the land you grew up in become uninhabitable for humans and other animals? The Lorax.
Politics aren’t brain surgery. Treat other people decent. Don’t shit in your own pool. All turtles should be happy. If you have the resources, help the world. Greed and self-absorption are really really bad things. Dr. Seuss knew this–and he wrote them so easily, a child could understand. He didn’t use 3-D animation, and he didn’t use big soundtracks or uber-bright colors.
He used a few important images. He used words.
So I got done with the movie, with it’s bright colors and craptacular script and cried, because, instead of a Dr. Seuss book, which makes me feel like I can help solve the world, I was left with this big artistic train wreck and this idea that it didn’t matter what I was doing or how much I was doing, it wasn’t enough to fix the world which is, apparently, being run by fascist poo-heads who would rather destroy my rights and my children’s natural resources than feed the guy on the corner.
So it was in this frame of mind that I went on Twitter before I set about writing my REALLY depressing, Bruce Springsteen inspired story and lamented about how I wanted to pick one thing, just one thing to do to feel like I should change the world.
And it was there that I ran into Samurai Knitter, who said the following about changing the world.
“Knit a uterus. Send it to your congresstwat and say that now that they have one of their own, they can leave yours the fuck alone. Pattern on knitty.com.”
And sure enough? There was.
Now I may not get to that pattern–I’ve got a scarf for Big T I’ve been working on for AGES and a hat that I knit in exchange for some kick ass face cream from my friend, Lori, who runs a business, but I did laugh my ass off. And I remembered that one way or another, knitting CAN make everything better.
And that Dr. Seuss was right. The best things in life really ARE simple.