The resident faculty left a copy of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax outside the mail room, with a note inside. We hope it was a clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers:

On Monday, addisnana was Dreaming of the Simple Life in Midday Matinee and winterbanyan reported on Saving Our Oceans, Coasts and Lakes in Our Earth.

On Tuesday, we discussed On MLK Day, Despicable in South Carolina in Morning Feature, readers collaborated on Tuesday’s Tale: Lights, Camera…. in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan shared scientists replicating Evolution: From Single Cell to Multi-Cell in Our Earth.

On Wednesday, Smartypants cautioned against Making Mere Mortals Into Gods in Morning Feature, HurrikanEagle wrote In The Dark in Furthermore!, addisnana shared Tales from Phone Banking in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan discussed Efficiently Charging the Electric Car in Our Earth.

On Thursday, we began the series State Changes with Tax That Man Behind the Tree in Morning Feature, addisnana coined the term AAA White Guy in Furthermore!, and winterbanyan reported on New Nuclear Power Plants in Our Earth.

On Friday, we continued the series State Changes with Who Gets Paid? in Morning Feature, addisnana offered Phone Bank Funnies in Midday Matinee, we saw Catholic Leaders Criticize Gingrich, Santorum on Race in Evening Focus, and winterbanyan asked Is It the Fracking Water? in Our Earth.

On the weekend, we concluded the series State Changes with Reclaiming Our States in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked Are You Elite? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, Winning Progressive shared Weekend Reading in Furthermore!, we celebrated Silly Sunday: Behold the Champions! in Evening Focus, and winterbanyan brought our Eco News Roundup in Our Earth.

Note: Please share your stories of offline activism in Things We Did This Week.

Thus we return to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, left by the resident faculty outside the mail room as they made their way from the wine cellar library to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference. They left this note inside the front cover:

Remember how happy you were when you first read this?

This sparked quite a discussion among the staff. As it happens, the Squirrel just last night read The Lorax to his toddlers, Nancy and Michelle, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor remembered reading it as a child. Nancy and Michelle were delighted at the prospect of saving trees, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor has fond memories of the book. Pootie the Precious texted on her iHazPhone that she preferred The Cat in the Hat. Chef favored Green Eggs and Ham, although she insisted she would not cook them on request, would not cook them in a nest … and you too can guess the rest.

The staff were amused by the memories and Chef’s Seuss-isms, though we agreed we were not as amused as when we first read the books as children. The Professor of Astrology Janitor suggested this was because we’ve become so media saturated that children’s books no longer seem enough. Pootie the Precious began texting something about attention span, but left in mid-sentence to play with a spongee ball.

The Squirrel huffed and picked up his Blewberry. “Nancy and Michelle were as giggly last night as I was as a child. The difference is not media saturation or declining attention spans. You’re just not children anymore. That’s it!”

The staff agreed that he was probably correct. He huffed again and resumed typing. “No. That’s it! That’s the clue!”

The Squirrel explained that it’s easy to concoct an emotionally attractive and logically coherent story of cause-and-effect to explain why we were happier when we were children. We could, as Mike Huckabee has, tell a story of spiritual decay after the Supreme Court barred mandatory school prayer. We could, as Newt Gingrich did Saturday, tell a story of “media elites … trying to force Americans to quit being Americans” through the civil rights and women’s movements. We could, as Mark Steyn did yesterday, tell a story of feminists and LGBTs eroding the masculine social order.

We could even tell a story about reading Dr. Seuss books.

And because our brains are wired to respond to stories, many of us will believe emotionally attractive and logically coherent stories of cause-and-effect … even without evidence to support the story … even if the evidence contradicts the story.

So this week the resident faculty will review the importance of storytelling, and why we need to tell emotionally attractive and logically coherent stories of cause-and-effect … that are supported by evidence.

Right after they save a Truffula tree.


Happy Monday!