But green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.
-Kermit The Frog
Dr. Suess had a birthday. Not coincidentally, it is Reading Month... four short weeks for lesser-known children's book writers to cash in on the lucrative Elementary School Meet & Greet market.
What do you mean, we can't get Rowling? How about the 3rd Rock From the Sun guy? Crap. Jenny, didn't your brother write a kids' book? It was a cereal jingle? Close enough! Get him on the phone! We need Authors! Now! No, April's too late! MARCH is Reading Month! In MARCH, we read!
So it is that I've been reflecting on Suess. I always think of him as this funny, smart guy who knew how to get down on the floor and look a kid in the eye and just play with him. But he also knew how to make a kid think... with a little help from a parent, he opened the door to discussions about anti-semitism, racism, and the environment.
In thinking of Ted, I also think of another childhood hero, Jim Henson. Here's another guy who knew how to talk to kids, and slip in something More without preaching. Following is a poor excuse for Poetry, but it's my small attempt to process what I've been feeling since I saw a Super Bowl commercial with Kermit.
In a time not long ago
Things were different from today
We needed stories of Sneetches and Whos
To help show people the way.
These simple stories showed those who would hear
How silly it was to be uncertain and fear
The things that make Peter different from Paul
And that a person's a person no matter how small.
Alongside these stories that taught
What kindness can mean
Came a similar character
Though smaller, and green.
Kermit the Frog was his name
And like Horton and others
He simply taught of injustice,
And respect for your Sisters and Brothers.
Kermit turned 50 last year,
For that long Mr. the Frog's been adored.
To celebrate this milestone
He made a commercial for Ford
It must have somehow seemed right to
Use It's Not Easy Being Green,
A song about intolerance,
To pitch an SUV.
Sure, the car that he's endorsing
Is all tree-huggy-hippie, but there's doubt:
Would Kermit's dad (Jim)
Have allowed him to sell out?
This rhyme, it goes on
(I'm long past laconic)
My point, I guess, it this:
Isn't it ironic?
I'm just sad, I suppose
To see HensonTM get caught
Sucking up to Big Bucks
For, I fear, they've truly lost the plot.