The Most Important Book in the History of the Fucking World

Sub titled:  I went to Denmark and all I copped was a hagen.

(Written while listening to the Casuals “Jesamine” on repeat.  Go on.  Check it out.)

At this time of year I like to make bold statements.

Who will ever forget last year’s “I’m going to lose weight off my face no matter what” proclamation just before Christmas?  Quite clearly my face did…thanks a lot cheeks!

This year, after the futile bullshit that took place in Copenhagen, I have another and this is one that I will gladly stick to no matter what argument you throw at me.  I don’t care what you have to say in regards to your opinion; you are wrong with a capital “Fuck you” so don’t bother replying unless you agree.  I’ve had enough with listening to other people’s sides to “things” and if I am going to put my foot down about anything it will be about this book and this book alone.  (He says knowing full well he would disagree with you about anything negative said about David Bowie, The Dark Knight, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Magic Johnson…and talking about himself in the third person…but this for now will suffice.)

To put this book in context we first have to look at the environmental shit fight that took place in the land that gave us Hans Christian Andersen.  Turns out fairy tales are turning into horror stories, as our so-called leaders cannot agree on anything that will help our planet because every one is essentially selfish.  The rich countries won’t cut emissions because of money; the poor countries barely have enough money so they won’t cut anything…especially if they’re being bullied by rich countries and meanwhile the world continues to heat up with an average 300,000 people a year dying from global warming; a number that will soon rise in poorer countries that we in the Western World don’t really give a fuck about.  That is of course until it obviously begins to affect us.  Charming.

Before anyone even arrived in Copenhagen I knew this result was going to be very depressing.  We still live in a world where emotional throwbacks like Tony Abbott have a regular say and influence on the outcome of the common man powered by the word of an imaginary God and conservative politics.  (Hey Tony, if there was a God, do you really believe he would have allowed you to parade around in your budgie smugglers?  Where is a bolt from the sky when you really need it?)  Lets not blame Tony for all of this though (even though it would be great if we could) It seems the Ruddster has dirt on his hands as one of the instigators behind the scenes attempting to force poorer countries into doing more than they can cope with financially while our country has apoplexy over important issues like whether Shane Watson carried on too much after taking Chris Gayle’s wicket.  (And he did.  What a complete and utter douche.)

The problem for the majority of us though is that when they attempt to explain to us what actually happened they do so in terms we don’t care about.  So let me help you here:  four dudes live in a share house and they all arrive home to find it is on fire.  The first dude says we have to put it out by using the hose.  The second dude says I don’t know about this, I already pay a lot of rent, I don’t know if I can afford the water bill to go up.  The third dude says I’d love to help but I’m also really broke and I can’t afford to pay more on the water bill, why doesn’t the first dude, who earns more money, pay for the rise.  The first dude says that is unfair, he already pays more and he refuses to add to that even though he is earning a bunch of cash.  The fourth dude says, I don’t know, I don’t even know if the house is on fire.  I think you’re making it up.  The first dude agrees.  Maybe the second and third dudes are making it up just so he’ll pay more for the house.  The second and third dudes are furious but refuse to do anything.  So they all sit back and watch the house burn down.  The first dude gets lit up by a spark and catches on fire burning to death.  The second dude decides he is going to do something but waits too late and burns trying to save the house.  The third dude gets smoke in his eyes and walks into a moving car.  The fourth dude dies eventually of cancer brought on by living inside the house while it was burning.  Eventually a bird flies over and shits on what is left.  Then another bird flies over and drops a seed in the shit and ashes.  The seed takes root and then booyah, a tree grows.  Who wins?  Mother fucking mother nature mutha fuckas!  The end.

So…what has this got to do with the most important book in the history of the fucking world?  This is all just preamble my fellow readers.  I just wanted to set the scene to present to you the one and only “The Lorax”.

If you have no idea what I am talking about let me take you back to 1971…a time before greenhouse emissions were a catch cry for hippies and an argument for politicians.  This is well before it became popular to wonder if knocking down all the rainforests was a good thing and well before we came out of movies like Avatar saying to our friends, “Fuck man, I am sick of all these eco messages in movies, I just want to be entertained when I’m stoned, do you dig?”

“The Lorax” begins with a lone boy coming across a creature called the Once-ler, a thing who lives in a dilapidated home and where we only see his green arms protruding from this dying abode.  The world around him is desolate, smog rules the air and grey dirt covers the ground.  For a small fee (15 pence, a nail and the shell of a great, great, great grandfather snail) the Once-ler tells the tale of the Lorax, the protector of the green, a bossy like creature who wants to protect the Truffula trees and the creatures that live in the trees like the Bar-ba-Loots and the Swomee Swans that fly over head.  But the Once-ler can make clothes like Thneeds from the Truffula trees so he knocks them all down and calls in his friends who set up factories that over time desolate the forest until there is nothing left.  In the end, with a tiny hole in the smog, the Lorax leaves and the Once-ler is the king of a dead land. 

There is more to the tale but that is the main thrust of the story.  As I said, this was written back in 1971 by the indomitable Dr Seuss and I would like to think that if all children had been made to read this, maybe deep down in our shallow souls, we would remember this when moving forward in the name of “Progress”.  A beautiful and haunting tale, it gives us fair warning for the future while also engendering just a little amount of hope.  Back in 1971!  I know I keep harping on this fact but this children’s tale was warning us of the perils that await us in the future…where we are standing now!  We have been shitting in our own backyards for a long time and only now are we starting to think maybe something stinks out the back. 

But hey, where do I get off earlier saying I won’t listen to other people’s opinions.  Lets see what some critics of the book have to say.  This is from Petra X:

Maybe I'm just not a Dr. Seuss person but I hated this book. Boring story, stupid words that didn't entertain and even though it was meant for a child rather than me, my son hardly ever looked at it growing up, so its sits on the shelf still quite pristine.

Hmmm, nice one Petra X.  How about this?  Maybe your son is a spaz and you should do more to explain the story to him rather than sit back and revel in him not understanding it?  Unless you’re a spaz in which case good on you for even having books in your house, now you can go back to licking the window and enjoying the colour orange.  Nice one Jussi, you shot the person down.  Who’s next?  How about you Joshua?  Have a crack:

This book indoctrinates children into an environmentalist, anti-industrial economic world view. This is wrong. I'd much prefer the book to have the message of careful conservation and sustainable industry, not that all industry is bad. (I know it doesn't say that particularly, but it implies it.) Better balance this with stories of how good industrialism can be, and how much more important people are than trufula trees.

How right you are!  Ever since I read this book I have completely rebelled against the world and live in a tree and eat my own shit.  And people are so much more important than Trufula trees…or any trees for that fact.  What do they do apart from let me live in them?  They do nothing.  Nothing at all.  Good thing when I breathe I live off not oxygen but my own self-righteousness…which would probably explain the stink I make.  Poo-ee!

But enough of idiots…they are the reason we’re in this mess in the first place.  The Andrew Bolts of this world can continue to fiddle while the world burns for all I care.  The world needs help and we should do something about it and maybe we can start at a young age by encouraging children to read this story.  It doesn’t state that there is no place for industry.  What it is saying is that we should respect our surroundings, realise that actions have consequences and if we are smart we can all live in perfect harmony with the Bar-ba-Loots and the Swomee Swans.  Is there anything really wrong with that message?  I know I am a bleeding heart liberal (please…I stress the small “l”) but even if you want to look at other fictional books…like the Bible…don’t they tell you to respect each other and your surroundings?  Surely we aren’t at complete odds here?  Are we?

Now this decade is ending…and what a disappointing decade it has been.  Wars dominate the news; fear holds the world in an anti Heimlich manoeuvre; we cough and splutter for hope but really are more concerned at how we can get a bigger piece of the pie…I’m glad that it is over.  (and I know the decade isn’t officially over until the end of 2010 and if you’re one of those pedantic people who like pointing those things out can you please work on some other skills…like being interesting?  Besides, if I can slam the door shut on this decade a bit earlier than I am all for it.)  I feel like this is all going to end very badly for everyone and I will take no pleasure in telling you “I told you so” as an ice berg floats past us as we sit on top of Ayers Rock. 

Unless…

Someone like you cares a whole awful lot.

Where people come to their senses and give it a shot.

Maybe our Prime Minister will stake the vampire Abbott

And make doing the right thing an ongoing habit.

The rich countries will come to their senses.

And work with the poor to mend their broken fences. 

And the poor and the rich will work side by side.

To save our hurting planet and with that take some pride.

And with integrity we can forge a new pact.

That will encourage the Lorax to come back.

Justin Hamilton

Fitzroy North…while it doesn’t have an ocean view

December 21st, 2009