November 26, 2003

Those wacky, lazy liberals

Boy, people just love to take Dr. Seuss and have their way with him, don't they? If it's not Mike Myers, it's John J. Miller in the National Review.

One thing Dr. Seuss and I have in common (besides our rakishly good-looking beards) is a deep-seated liberalism. But Miller believes he has found a secret conservative message hidden in the liberal thickets of the Seuss oeuvre, in the lesser-known I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew:

The unnamed narrator -- one of Seuss's typical cat-like creatures -- joins an odd fellow on his way to the City of Solla Sollew, which is

On the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo,
Where they never have troubles! At least, very few.

It is, in short, Utopia. ... Ultimately, he arrives at the outskirts of Solla Sollew � but he can't get inside. It seems that a key has been lost. Everybody's locked out. Frustrated, the city's gatekeeper declares that he's had enough:

And I'm off to the city of Boola Boo Ball
On the banks of the beautiful River Woo-Wall,
Where they never have troubles! No troubles at all!

Ah, yes: a place that's even better than Utopia. By this time, of course, the narrator has caught on. He goes back home to confront his troubles rather than avoid them.

It's a wonderful book with a beautiful message -- and in Seuss's liberal universe, perhaps even a subversive one.

Ah, I see. Liberals never confront problems and try to solve them, is that what you're trying to say, Mr. Miller? Way to be patronizing. Liberalism is, at heart, an activist political philosophy; it's not passive. Whether or not you agree with its goals, you can't seriously argue that liberalism doesn't entail working for change.

I mean, instead of Seuss having written a conservative book, maybe Mr. Miller is secretly a liberal? Hmm, I guess not.

Posted by Francis at 03:28 AM