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The Lorax

This is adapted from ‘The Lorax’ by the Great Dr. Seuss. If you have not read his work, please do. His stories teach beautiful lessons through the use of whimsy and wonder.

I love Dr. Seuss, so this is a thing I do. If you like it, there are links to others at the end. I make no guarantees as to the freshness of the content.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Dr. Seuss ‘The Lorax’
  At the far end of tech
where the products are sold
and the wind smells of sandwiches delivered half-cold,
where no roadmap is ever delivered when told…
is the street of the Lifted Lorax.
And deep in that end, some people say,
if you look deep enough you can still see, today,
where the Lorax once stood
just as long as it could
before somebody lifted the Lorax away.
What was the Lorax?
And why was it there?
And why was it lifted and taken somewhere
from the far end of town where the products are sold?
The old Once-ler still lives here.
Ask him. He knows.
You won’t see the Once-ler.
Don’t look for his booth.
He stays in his mansion, alone with his things,
where he drinks cold-pressed juice
that someone else brings.
And on rare occasions, out of the blue,
he tweets
out a message
he often repeats
and tells how the Lorax was lifted away.
He’ll tell you, perhaps…
If you’re willing to pay.
He’ll send you a link
to an app where you lay
one third of your equity, then sign
of course, he will say
it’s always this way.
He then checks the app
triple checks the amount
to ensure he owns you
that you can’t dismount.
Then he adds what you paid him
to the piles of cash
some used for the mortgage
the rest wipe his ass.
He slacks, “I will ping you by video call,
While out on my yacht, with crappy sig-nal.
The blurps of his call, ring loud in your ear
and the old Once-ler’s voice is not at all clear,
since he’s out on the water on cell-phone connection
choppy and garbled,
This makes him sound
quite verbally hobbled.
“Now I’ll tell you.” He says, with his ego displayed,
“how the Lorax got lifted and taken away…
It all started way back…
such a long, long time back…
Way back in the days when “The Valley” was green
and orchards spread far
for a beautiful scene,
and a house could be bought by a regular Jane…
one morning I came to this place I remain.
And I first saw the schools!
Stanford and Berkley
their talent you see!
So much innovation, but money was lacking,
an untapped resource, for someone like me.
Between them a freeway Junipero Serra
with a great halfway point up above Santa Clara
where Sand Hill Road sat, doing just fine, in a soon to die era.
From the nearby South bay
came cool morning breezes
which moistened the fruit
as it hung in the treeses.
But that talent! Those brains!
Those smart engineers!
All my life I’ve been searching
seeking to obtain
a resource like this
that I could abuse.
A resource I’d care about,
If I’d read Dr. Seuss.
My heart leapt with joy,
I’d be an investor!
I leased a small space
Near an old shopping center
With GREAT BRAINS AND SKILL, plus some damn lucky timing,
We started to watch, our net-worth start climbing.
In no time at all, I had built a small group
so I cut down an orchard, at the end of the loop.
The moment I’d finished, I heard W-T-F!
I looked.
Something popped out of a plum that had struck
the ground next to where the last tree lay dead,
His looks were as strange as the things that he said.
He was small. He was old.
Had a drawl and was bossy.
He looked straight on over
Like he didn’t even know me.
“Douche bag! He said, with a stern knowing tone,
“I am the Lorax. I speak for what’s grown.
I speak for what’s grown and warn of what comes!
And I demand to know, what you’ve done to my plums”-
He was winded and red; his anger was showing.
“Why the hell would you destroy, all the things that are growing!”
“Look bro” I said. “No need to get pissy.
It’s one little orchard. No one will miss. See?
I’m saving the world. This thing is a network.
To connect all the people, he said as he smirked.
It’s a book. It’s a phone. It’s music! It’s apps!
But it has more to offer than all of that crap!
You can use it for ads and make tons of money!
Selling people like products while they use a freebie”
              The Lorax replied,
              “Dude, your ego is large, so this may just sting.
              There is no one on earth
              who would need such a thing.
Just as my mouth opened to say “go-to-hell”
around the corner came AOL,
they thought this web would be great for a buck.
They hired some people and backed up a truck.
I clowned the old Lorax, “You stupid old man!
You’ll never quite get, what we just began!”
“I repeat cried the Lorax,
I speak for what’s grown!”
“You’re expired. I told him.
“Go retire in peace.”
I ran for the phone, in those days they plugged in,
I put in quick calls to nephews and cousins.
I called all my friends, my college frat buddies
said here’s the scoop, lets go make some monies!
We’re going to make the old world move forwards!
Get over here fast, take the road through the orchards,
Turn left when there’s strip malls instead of more woods.
And in no time at all,
the cement was flowing,
buildings and car lots sprung up in quick fashion,
concrete and rebar were doing the growing.
We ‘innovated’
and we stayed very busy,
with two maybe three drinks at lunches
wining and dining,
betting millions on hunches.
Hello, there, hello!
How the money did flow!
We needed more buildings
more car lots
more blow!
So we cleared orchards with speed
driven purely by greed.
We were changing the world
this was progress we said.
And that Lorax?...
We guessed he was dead.
The very next month
a knock at the door
open it up, and he’s standing there.
He bellowed, “I’m the Lorax, I speak for what grows,
Which you are destroying, wherever it shows.
But I’m also in charge of the birds and the bees
Who live on the fruit of these orchard trees
and gorge on the nectar and fruit as they please.”
“Because of your buildings, your car lots, and malls
there’s not enough food for the winter and falls.
My poor birds and bees and dying in droves
the rest are out searching for new homes and new groves.”
“This was paradise to them, but now they must go.
They require new orchards where their families can grow.
Good luck my fine friends,” he said as he hung his head low.
I, the Once-ler, felt something
As I watched them all go.
Money I worship!
And I’ve got plenty of blow.
Who needs birds anyway? I drive a Lambo.
It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t want that.
But bigger is better when wallets are fat.
I biggered my bets. I biggered my tech.
I biggered my campuses. I biggered my head.
Our tech started shipping, all over the globe
from Bangkok to Paris and back to Latrobe.
So I kept on biggering… selling more tech.
And I biggered my wealth, with each inbound check.
Then there he was, the Lorax was back
That angry old coot with more shit that was whack.
“I am the Lorax,” he choked through a cough.
Clearing his throat he readied a scoff.
“Once-ler!” He roared, with the rasp of his age.
“Once-ler! The air’s filled with smog. Disengage!
My poor lotis butterfly, well they can’t see their way.
At this rate we’ll lose sight of the sun through the day.
“And so,” said the Lorax,
“-please pardon my tone
They can’t survive here.
I’ve sent them off to places unknown.”
“Where will they end?...
I don’t comprehend.”
“They may have to fly for week upon week
To get away from you, and the smog that you leak.”
“But worse,” cried the Lorax, his neck hair stood up.
“Let me say a few words about this f’ng slop.
Your plants are dumping this shit without stop.
They build your chips and out this stuff pops.
And what do you do with this poo smelling goo?
I’ll show you, you self-entitled boy-man you!”
“You’re killing the lakes where the Lake Splittail fish swims!
No more can they frolic and live out their whims.
So I’ve ordered them off. Their future is bleak.
They’ll wander on land, flip-flopping and weak
searching for water without oil streaks.”

And then I got angry.
So shakingly angry.
I yelled at the Lorax, “Now listen here, Pops!
All you do is whine, and scream Stop! Stop! Stop!
Well, I have my liberty, sir, and I’ll tell you
I intend to keep doing what I want to do!
And! For your information, you Lorax, I’m going to keep biggering
              And BIGGERING
                            And BIGGERING
                                         And BIGGERING,
Turning orchards into lots for engineers cars
to build more tech we can trade for gold bars!”
And at that very moment, we heard a loud sound!
Outside in the orchards a tree hit the ground.
The final fruit tree did finally fall.
The orchards were gone, once and for all.
No room. No more boom. No work to be done.
So, in no time, my friends, nephews, cousins, every one,
Threw up two fingers as they hopped in my cars,
Peace out, they said as the tires burned tar.
Now all that was left was a bad smelling sky
Office buildings, parking lots…
the Lorax…
and I.
The Lorax said nothing. Stared through my soul…
his stare said to me, what he saw wasn’t whole…
as he rose to get going, his mood black as coal.
I’ll never forget that look on his face
when he stood one last time, to take leave of this place,
this Garden of Eden, that I had erased.
And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
Was a pile of rocks, with one word…
Whatever that meant, well, I just couldn’t guess.
It’s ancient history now.
But I’ve thought of it lots.
Worried, and muddled
to untangle the plot.
While Silicon Valley crumbled away
I’ve tried to make sense
I’ve worried, I’ve wondered,
and not just for legal defense.
“But now,” says the Once-ler,
“Now that you’re here,
The word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
Cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.
Listen!” cries the Once-ler
“I’ve sent you a seed
in it you’ll find the hope that you need.
It’s the last of its kind, so treat it as such
there’s no other thing, the world needs this much.
Plant it somewhere bleak and dreary
Feed it, water it, and in theory
The hope will grow big and strong
and one day the Lorax will come back along.

Post Author: Joe Onisick (@JoeOnisick)

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