May 12, 2001
10:32 AM   Subscribe

Timber interests spoofs Dr. Seuss's Lorax with the Truax. Here's the Utne article where I saw it mentioned.

They can't seriously expect us to swallow that tripe. [3F03]

Diametrically opposed environmentalism squabbles to follow.
posted by alan (13 comments total)
 
Oh, that's beautiful!
posted by aaron at 10:39 AM on May 12, 2001


This panel is the weakest point in the story, and is supposed to be the point at which readers "convert."

Biodiversity in leaps and bounds because of some newly sunned (treeless) ground?

Tripe indeed.
posted by mathowie at 10:44 AM on May 12, 2001


Terrific art and writing, attempted conciliation without recrimination. Bonus points for spending money they didn't have to. The tripe is at Utne.

"They must challenge their local boards of education to keep schools free of corporate propaganda."

Censorship anyone?
posted by netbros at 11:32 AM on May 12, 2001


I like their position on species endangered by logging. "Ehh, who cares about them, anyway?"
posted by kingjeff at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2001


Wait, that's not a direct quote. It's a paraphrase of about two paragraphs.
posted by kingjeff at 11:46 AM on May 12, 2001


netbros... The timber industry tried (successfully in some cases) to get "The Lorax" removed from libraries. Funny, because The lorax wasn't a direct attack on the timber industry as much as companies in general...

This doesn't excuse attempts to censor the timber companies book...Censorship is censorship is censorship...
posted by drezdn at 1:34 PM on May 12, 2001


Contributing nothing to the conversation: When I pulled down my browser's "Back" menu, every page was titled "National Oak Flooring Manufacturers' Ass". Poetry, poetry.

Anyway, I'd be really mad about this if it weren't so funny. And skilfully executed -- so many delightful uses of classic propaganda...
posted by logovisual at 1:34 PM on May 12, 2001


It might have more sway if timber companies didn't violate their own timber harvest plans every other day.
posted by fleener at 1:59 PM on May 12, 2001


netbros, the judgement of materials ought to be on academic value, not because the kind cutters of trees provide their pamphlets and booklets for free.

Clearly they hope that these underwritten materials -- political propaganda -- will return many times their value in political support once these children grow to voting age.

The Utne article explicitly supports local control of educational curricula, as well as parental awareness and transparency. Indeed, I think an excellent academic exercise would be to take a booklet such as this and ask the students why they thought it was being produced, and ask them to challenge its premises. But that would be classic Marxist criticism, and therefore wrong, wouldn't it?
posted by dhartung at 2:24 PM on May 12, 2001 [1 favorite]


Agreed Dan. I welcome the challenge of students. Offering the opportunity for them to develop their own value judgments would be a positive contribution to the American school system. It plays both ways.
posted by netbros at 2:47 PM on May 12, 2001


I love how the logging company is taking credit for maintaining the biodiversity of forests. They say that they're controlling wildfires which "wreck millions of acres of forests." I believe they mean that the wildfires destroyed millions of acres of trees which they wanted to chop down. Natural wildfires actually promote biodiversity by recycling nutrients.

I hate it when businesses assume that the public is stupid.
posted by katastrophe at 7:42 PM on May 12, 2001


Here's the post I put on Utne Reader's discussion board...

I think the article did a good job of summing up the problem and then
suggested a totally unworkable solution:

"They must challenge their local boards of education to keep schools
free of corporate propaganda."

This hasn't got a prayer of working. It's impractical and the
problem is much deeper. A better solution is to get SERIOUS critical
reasoning classes into grade schools. Or teach this at home if
schools won't do it. Kids should understand all the tricks and
techniques that adults use to lie about things from a very young age
because truly understanding how to think critically and independently
is significant immunity from all kinds of propaganda.

Such a class would not have to be pro-environmental or anti-
environmental. In fact, it really should take examples of lies,
distortions and omissions from all sides (including environmental
propaganda). Children can, and SHOULD, use their values and
reasoning to draw their own conclusions. But they CANNOT DO THIS
without understanding propaganda. Only by understanding how adults
lie and distort reality for their own ends, can children understand
their world. No child leaving grade school should ever think that the evening news is objectively factual!

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the only important thing a kid can learn in school is HOW TO REASON. Everything else is cake.
posted by muppetboy at 8:41 PM on May 12, 2001


"Indeed, I think an excellent academic exercise would be to take a booklet such as this and ask the students why they thought it was being produced, and ask them to challenge its premises. But that would be classic Marxist criticism, and therefore wrong, wouldn't it?"

No. That would be CRITCAL REASONING... which may be considered wrong in the US someday very soon.
posted by muppetboy at 8:45 PM on May 12, 2001


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