Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Lorax Parody

I wrote this a little over a year ago, but decided it was just the thing to cannibalize for my blog. It was composed after reading and discussing with my economist sister the Lorax, one of Suess's more annoyingly preachy poems. In Suess's poem, the Once-lar's discovery of the Truffala trees and the possibility of making them into Thneeds (a highly sellable clothing) leads to totally ecological destruction of the forests, despite the admonishments of a wise old Lorax, who looks a bit like a furry yellow tree stump. Enough introduction. My poem picks up just as the Once-Lar cuts down the first tree and the Lorax appears and is described:

'Mister,' he said, or rather he barked it,
'I am the Lorax, I speak for the market.
I speak for the market, for it has no voice,
I speak for the market and popular choice.
And Mister, I tell you, you're crazy with greed.
There's no one on earth who would purchase that Thneed.
Mister, I'll tell you, you poor stupid guy,
You'll need something special to make people buy.
I speak for the market and I'm telling you plain,
To make people buy, you need a big ad campaign.
With billboards and slogans and jingles and chants-
"Buy a Thneed- what you need for your dresses and pants!
What you need- Now! Today! It's the latest sensation!
Join the brand new Thneed movement that's sweeping the nation!"'
I knew he was right, so I followed his hints,
And soon I became a textile prince.
Business is business, and business must grow,
So I appointed the Lorax my new CFO.
And baby, oh baby! How business did grow!
Now chopping one tree at a time was too slow.
So I quickly invented my Super-Ax Hacker
Which whacked off four Truffala trees at a smacker.
We were making Thneeds four times as fast as before.
And the Lorax?...Pretty soon he was back at my door.
"You fool!" he berated. "Can't you just understand?
Your supply is too high, it exceeds your demand.
It makes no fiscal sense to deforest this land!
My boy, what you need is a good fiscal plan.
If the market you glut, then you lower the price.
Four times as fast may sound awfully nice,
But you'd do a lot better if you heeded some facts,
And started using your brain, instead of an ax.
You've got a monopoly making these Thneeds
A larger supply is the last thing you need.
You don't need more Thneeds, they're fine as they are
What you need, my boy, is some brand new PR!
We'll spread the word of your Thneeds to near and to far!
'Ecological genius!' 'Friend of the Trees!
He never cuts more Truffalas than he needs!'
Take, for example, the brown Bar-ba-loots
Who are thinking of pressing some class action suits.
'Cuz you've taken their land and they're all getting crummies
Because they have gas and no food in their tummies.
And boy, I can tell you, we don't need class actions
So give them some land- as a tourist attraction!
They loved living here, so here they shall stay,
On their own piece of land that's not far away.
All day they can frolic, those brown Bar-ba-loots,
They can play in the shade, eating Truffala fruits,
And go frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits,
And people will pay just to watch them all do it!
Bar-ba-loot Land with restaurants and piers!
And, of course, lots of stores selling Thneeds souvenirs!
I took his advice and Thneeds, Inc. grew still more,
With the big Bar-ba-loot Land booming next door.
And I kept right on biggering, biggering, BIGGERING
With the Lorax beside me to do all my figgering.
And now, said the Once-lar, and he puffed his cigar,
And now, said the Once-lar, that's the way that things are.
I own a big business, I drive a big car.
The fame of my Thneeds has spread near and far.
And now I am wealthy, from my toes to my thorax,
All due to the fiscal advice of that Lorax.


NoFreeLunch said...

Private property protects the environment better than any other arrangement!
-Sarah Brodsky

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

I can't find your trackback url, so I'm just commenting to say that I linked to this post on my blog here

We are far apart politically, but I am amused by your poem.

Roger Sweeny said...

I copied and pasted the end of your parody (with proper citation, the moral imperative of which I left UC with a fine understanding of) at an interesting discussion of The Lorax at
Roger Sweeny UC '71

JimO said...

Property rights can indeed be very helpful in solving some problems associated with market failure. But we must be careful not to standard property institutions as a panecea for solving all problems. For example, establishing private property rights does nothing to solve public good or quasi-public good problems, or for solving other issues where costs and/or benefits accrue to those offsite. So standard property rights institutions don't help with issues like endangered species, or habitat for migratory species whose benefits accrue to those outside. Standard property rights institutions are also of limited help in solving problems associated with highly mobile pollutants, and particularly problems such as greenhouse gas emissions.

MiriK said...

Tobie....unfortunately, I have not actually read the original (don't hurt me) so I don't get most of it...but good lord woman. I mean, come on now. really.-Miri