Weekend Returns: The pressure is biggering and biggering on the Kings

The Lorax

Hockeywood Weekend ReturnsThe Lorax is the number one movie at the box office this past weekend, much to my dismay.

I grew up on Dr. Suess, and I made sure my kids have as many of the books as I could find. I really liked the animated shows from my youth, and loved Jim Carrey as The Grinch. (Mike Myers as The Cat, notsomuch.)

But The Lorax isn’t your typical prose in trisyllabic meter. It has a much deeper meaning, and one that stuck with me after I first read (and actually understood) it. I even wrote a paper for a class in college based on the environmental message hat was not so subtly hidden.

I know that they’ve made a TV special back in the 70s, but it hasn’t caught on in the American zeitgeist like The Grinch or Cat In The Hat. That’s because the message of the book is unabashedly against big business. And being against big business can be viewed as being anti-American.

He originally wrote The Lorax to channel his frustration at the overconsumption he found in his community. The result was an enduring story that has found its way into the rotation of many parents’ good night books to their kids. In fact, in my version of The Lorax, the Once-ler has a New Yawk accent and The Lorax sounds like a tree-hugging surfer. 

So, when I heard they were making a movie and were going to keep it as close to the book as possible, I had hopes. But then I heard about the product tie-ins. The many, many product tie-ins, and my heart shrunk three sizes smaller.

The Associated Press reported there were 70 product launch tie-ins, with the most egregious being a tie-in with Mazda and their hybrid car, the CX-5. On Mazda’s official YouTube channel, the official commercial got been received very negatively. As of Monday night, there was 161 Likes and over 1,200 dislikes. Guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t appreciate the commercialization of the book.

The original story was against rampant, unchecked consumerism. And now we have The Lorax selling cars?!? No thanks. Even Stephen Colbert made fun of the amount of tie-ins the animated flick had gotten.

I don’t want it to seem I’m just parroting the opinions of the rest. But I think this comment on YouTube sums up my feelings the best:

My name is the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
Not one, not two, not any SUVs.

Shame on Universal for straying so far from the original message of Theodor Seuss Geisel. You missed the whole point. Oh well, my kids still want to see it. We won’t buy popcorn, however.

Well, the Kings may have found some swagger on the ice. How will it make their power ranking nice?

• The Hockey News’ Rory Boylen’s Week 22 rating: 13. Last week: 17.

Despite tough, hard-fought loss to Preds early in the week, Kings get
rolling with much-needed eight goals in next two games. Win over Anaheim
enormous for playoff race.

• TSN’s Scott Cullen’s Week 22 rating: 14. Last week: 13.

off back-to-back wins, in which they scored a total of eight goals,
despite being outshot 57-35. It’s the first time the Kings have scored
eight goals in back-to-back games since January 12th and 14th.

• ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside’s Week 22 rating: 15. Last week: 16.

The Kings have won three of four, including a monster win over Anaheim on Saturday, but remain outside the playoff bubble.

• CBSSportsline’s Adam Gretz’s Week 22 rating: 16. Last week: 18.

A big game from Jeff Carter on Saturday night, scoring a pair of goals, his first two as a member of the Kings, in a 4-2 win over Anaheim. 

• Fox Sports’ Jim Rosen’s Week 22 rating: 16. Last week: 19.

Newcomer Jeff Carter netted his first two goals in Saturday’s win over
Anaheim, and the goal-starved Kings have scored four in three of his
first four games. A punishing schedule awaits, beginning with a road
trip to Nashville, Columbus, Detroit and Chicago.

• Sportsnet’s Luke Fox’s Week 22 rating: 19. Last week: 19.

Jonathan Bernier, making only his second start in the Kings’ last 21 games, posted his first shutout of the season with a 4-0 win at Minnesota on Tuesday. L.A. has won three of four as it vies for that final playoff spot in the West.

• Sports Illustrated’s Adrian Dater’s Week 22 rating: x. Last week: 20.

Take the average and you get the Hockeywood Power Ranking of:

(17.4 last week)

Check out Steve Colbert riffing on The Lorax and the 70 product tie-ins.

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