Friday, November 21, 2003

Do you still doubt that Dr. Seuss was a genius? Try this. Go back to The Cat in the Hat or How the Grinch Stole Christmas and read any page at random. Then, for contrast, pay attention to the next commercial you hear that's written in verse as a takeoff of, say, "The Night Before Christmas" or a random Christmas carol—and notice how badly it's written. What Dr. Suess did was doggone hard to do, and he did better than just do it—most of the time he did it to perfection. He made it look so easy that to this day lesser mortals think they can do it too. They can't. Not even if they're overpaid ad copywriters—and there is no other kind.

Roger Ebert's review of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat gives the movie a highly charitable two stars, and provides us with our Quote of the Day. He declines to reveal how the movie comes out: "I would be happy to tell you, but I had better not give away the ending; there may be unfortunate readers who have not read The Cat in the Hat, or had it read to them, or even had it summarized for them by a trusted adviser."

P.S. People who insist on getting the Grinch title wrong by calling it The Grinch Who Stole Christmas should try to avoid sounding so ignorant, even if they have to shut up to do it.


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