Really, I do try not to go out of my way to engage Fox News. I find it beneath me, to constantly have to address such inane ideas, the brainstuffs of paranoids and self-righteous geriatrics. Every time I put out a column inspired by Fox-induced outrage, they only respond by moving on to the next item on their agenda, porting out the message they are designed to mass-produce, keeping the great machine churning. Every time, I drop my fists in disbelieving frustration and vow to ignore the bastards.
And yet! They keep coming up with still-worse drivel. Seriously, it's entrapment. Lou Dobbs just announced the “insidious plot” behind two animated movies soon to hit theaters. The Lorax is about a magical creature that speaks for the trees, carrying a strong message about ecology and sustainability. The Secret World of Arrietty is about a family of four-inch people called “Borrowers” who live within the walls of a human home. Both movies are geared towards children, which Lou Dobbs claims is an attempt to “indoctrinate” them into this way of thinking, which he says “demonizes the 1% and espousing the virtues of green energy policies.” He then goes on to attribute this subversive doctrine to the Occupy Wall St. protestors and President Obama for “pitting the makers against the takers” and pushing the socialist agenda of “doing one's fair share.”
Thing is, not only do these things have nothing to do with one another, but the stories predate the Obama administration and Occupy by decades. The Lorax is a Dr. Suess story originally published in 1971, and Arrietty is based on the book The Borrowers, published in 1952.
The Lorax, as it was originally published, was a cautionary tale in rhyme, of how the irresponsible entrepreneur The Once-ler razed an entire forest and left only a desolate wasteland to show for his great work. It was released only a year after the Clean Air Act was passed by Congress, at a time when a consciencious citizen could voice concerns about mankind's impact on the environment without being accused of hating America.
Even then, The Lorax was under fire, by foresters and lumber companies. They claimed the book criminalized the timber industry, and several attempts were made to have the children's book banned. (The timber industry also lobbied and pressured congress into banning hemp, because they feared it would replace wood pulp as our primary source of paper. Not that this means anything, I just offer it for your consideration.)
The Borrowers was the first of a series of novelettes, written for a slightly older crowd, telling of a race of miniscule people living in secret amidst the homes of normal humans, or "Big People." The main character of the series, headstrong teen Arrietty, is prone to impulsive decisions and tends to get herself and her parents into trouble.
While the Lorax may have carried a note of somber warning, the Borrowers is almost purely the stuff of whimsy. The idea of being small is something that has occurred to every child with an inkling of imagination, and the books leap off of this premise admirably, exploring an entire world populated by giants, as seen from four inches off the floor.
When my generation was young, we read the Borrowers, and everything by Dr. Seuss. They are, as they have always been, wonderful books for children. Like all children's books, they carried well-intentioned life lessons, morals to hone our developing sense of ethics. This is not the same as claiming we were "indoctrinated," or brainwashed. We also read about Stuart Little, Ramona Quimby, and the Boxcar Children. We also read Grimm Fairy Tales, which quite frankly are full to bursting with some truly unique barbarism. How might any of these titles warped our sensitive, impressionable minds?!
The fact is, while the stories we grew up with may have had some affect on our developing minds, my generation is most certainly better for it. Fox and their pundits have no real concern for the "damage" being done by these stories; they only act as if they do, to instill fear and panic in the hearts of their dim-witted flock, and to push ratings. It's annoying, it's unethical, and it sure as shit is not journalism.
Oh, and just for the record: Lou Dobbs was born in 1945. That puts him at seven years of age when The Borrowers first went to print. His first child (he has at least five, apparently) was born in 1970, putting him at only a year old when The Lorax came out. My parents read both these books to me when I was young, I'm willing to bet Lou's parents read to him, and if Lou Dobbs is any kind of parent at all, he sure as shit read to his children.