Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small.

So I got Horton Hears a Who for Christmas. The New One. (Some may be unaware that there is an older one, after the success of the Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones team-up for the Television Classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, they went on to create a handful of other animated Seuss Tales.) I actually have the old one come to think of it—I'll have to give it a watch.

It's funny how when you are exposed to a certain slice of something, there is a tendancy for your mind to think of that as the whole. For instance, I had never heard of Horton Hears a Who when I was younger. To me Horton was only in Horton Hatches the Egg. I became aware of Horton Hears a Who when my Aunt showed it to me at her home on VHS. I think I was Jr. High age (it appears that is was not released on VHS until 1992, so unless she had it recorded from T.V. that puts us squarely in the Jr. High/High School range). A similar thing happened in my mind with How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I really hate to admit how old I was when I discovered that How the Grinch Stole Christmas was a book before it was a T.V. Special.

Anyway, after The Disaster that was The Cat in the Hat (Movie) I was really apprehensive as to whether this movie would actually be any good. I didn't have much to base that on. First there was the fact that they were pushing the Jim Carrey as Horton so heavily. That's usually a bad sign, that should be a secondary reason for seeing a film. Story is first. Second, they were showing a scene in the trailers that depicted a young who girl wanting a cell phone; and as much as I like the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch, there are certain "Modernizations" in it that still rub me the wrong way every time I watch it. Third, one of the Radio Personalities I listen to was complaining about "Modernizations" that destroy the Timelessness of Seuss' Worlds (He was referring to the cell phone joke as well, but in reflection I don't think he had seen it either).

Now that I've seen it I can say that Pushing Jim Carrey heavily was a great disservice to Steve Carrell, whose voice, acting, and comedic talent lent greatly to this adaptation (I'm sure that had everything to do with the marketing department and contracts).
The Cell Phone Joke was the only modernization in this version, and it did not detract from the story at all; and Yes, It was a good joke.
The Radio Personality is even more of an old codger than I am, so I don't take everything he says to heart, and this is just another one of those instances.

This movie had an underlying message, and unlike most, I really liked it.

The Kangaroo plays the stereotypical head of the (PTA/HOA/Neighborhood Watch/Etc). I think we've all met someone like this. She is constantly trying to take Horton's freedoms from him—"FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHILDREN"—I HATE how many laws get passed because they are for the good of the children (at the expense of freedoms). I tell you, "for the good of the children" is the stinkin' Golden Calf of our local politics. Tax increases especially—that "will go to the schooling of our children," most of which never actually gets into the classrooms, or teacher's salaries. Seriously, this seems to happen every time we vote.

Then there's this whole Consumer Product Safety Act 2008 "Improvement" mandating that retailers test for lead, in products that have NEVER been a problem, instead of punishing China, where we have a track record of problems. Oh, and if you didn't know, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is made up of two people...TWO UNELECTED people given supreme power over what can and cannot be sold in America..."for the good of the children."

This is threatening to put small businesses out of business—which in this state of the economy seems like just a stellar idea, since, you know—unemployment levels aren't high enough. Libraries are worried that they might need to post no children allowed signs—remember this is for the good of the children and libraries are just horrible horrible places for children, because, you know—children have been getting lead poisoning from licking library books for years now. It's about time someone did something. Some people can only afford to buy their kids clothes at thrift stores and until recently, this was threatening to make thrift stores a thing of the past. (Yes, more jobs gone the way of the Dodo) They're not completely off the hook though.

Something tells me that this just wasn't really thought through well before being signed. If this law, "was aimed at Chinese manufacturers who have produced toys tainted with lead." (Congressman Peter DeFazio [D-Oregon]), who co-sponsored the bill) Maybe they should have put something in the law that stipulated that this applies to imported goods.

This law is seriously poised to affect children, because it takes a lot of rights away from adults, it makes manufacturing too expensive (as if the manufacturing industry in America wasn't in enough trouble as is), adults have to support children. children become adults. So, you know, it takes rights away from children too.

A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small after all.


  1. It Lives... I'm glad you're back blogging.

  2. The new Act just makes me furious, I agree with you 100%! You have a way of putting it in to words that I am not blessed with.
    I'm glad you like Horton!

  3. I have tried to watch the movie (Horton...) with the girls, because we got it for Christmas also. I still haven't made it through the whole thing, but so far it is good.
    Is the radio personality Bill Allred from X96? Maybe not, but sounds like something he would say.
    We missed your blogging.

  4. I only Missed blogging in December, it was a very busy month—and I'm still recovering. (Both of our Extended Family Christmases spilled into January)
    But I appreciate being missed.

    Nope, that is not the Radio Personality.

    I don't listen to music radio much—when I do, I find I'm not in the mood for anything and cycle through the entire bandwidth spectrum before the song on the station on which I started has even ended.