The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Why Being A Bit Mental Could Be The Most Sensible Thing For Your Career …
January 28, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Dr Seuss.

An American institution.

Creator of the ugliest cartoon character in the history of cartoon characters.

Author of books that inspired and inspire millions of kids all around the World.

Creator of the movie that gave Mike Myers another pay day, despite the fact the last time he was funny was in Wayne’s World.

And I mean the first Wayne’s World … not the sequel.

While I read his books as a kid, it was never my favourite. As far as I was concerned, the Mr Men characters pissed all over The Cat In The Hat … and not just because my Mum went on to inspire Roger Hargreaves to write the ‘Little Ms’ series.

That’s true by the way and we have the original drawing from Roger Hargreaves to prove it.

But recently I saw something Dr Seuss wrote that I thought was fantastic.

Yes, it could have come straight from one of his books.

Yes, it’s got the potential to be utterly twee.

Yes, it’s obvious as hell.

But all that aside, I just like his articulation of why it makes sense to have a sense of humour.

I like it.

I like “if you can see things out of whack, you can see how things can be in whack” .

I think that has implications for we should look at politics, business and life itself.

Of course recognising what is/isn’t ‘in whack’ is only part of the deal … doing something about it when something needs doing is the other essential ingredient … but I like the idea that humour is more than just a moment of enjoyment, but the recognition of individuals who see the possibility to make things better by recognising – and laughing at – what is wrong.


32 Comments so far
Leave a comment

that seuss thing takes on a different meaning if you interpret “whack” as having a good old fashioned wank.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks for that. You’ve just turned Dr Seuss into Jimmy Saville.

Comment by DH

Errrrrrm, OK. You are a strange man.

Comment by Rob

can i be the first to thank your mum for not suggesting they ever launch a mr planner book.

Comment by andy@cynic

my mistake, they did. they just renamed him mr silly, which is good but their original name was better. mr waste of fucking space.

Comment by andy@cynic

I always thought the real life version of the cat in the hat was slash, from guns and roses. Discuss.

Comment by DH

Because they both wear a hat, are stick thin and look like they regularly jab their arm with the needle? Sherlock Holmes will be shitting himself with your powers of observation and deduction.

Comment by Billy Whizz

This post has gone way weirder than even the Cat in the Hat could imagine. Mental.

Comment by Rob

The Mr Men went downhill when the Little Ms books came out. Just like Scooby Do turned to crap when Scrappy turned up.

Comment by DH

it always fucking goes downhill when the women turn up. except my wife and daughter but they wouldnt mingle with low life fuckers like you.

and its scooby doo, not scooby do you peasant. but youre right about that fucking bastard scrappy. he was the jar jar binks of star wars before the jar jar binks of star wars.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well said Andy. I mean the bit about Scooby Doo/Scrappy/Jar Jar Binks think … not the ‘women ruin everything’ rant.

Comment by Rob

The counter to this is people who laugh at important issues are annoying and not trustworthy. Just putting it out there.

Comment by Bazza

I like the idea of what Dr Seuss is saying but I agree, it’s very different to people who simply laugh at important things because they enjoy seeing destruction or menace.

Comment by Pete

let me make sure im getting this, youre saying campbell annoys the fuck out of you. especially when he goes into his hysterical screamlaughs at some poor fuckers misfortune. thats right isnt it?

Comment by andy@cynic

Was Mrs C’s reward for the Little Ms idea a picture? I’m sure it’s a nice picture but they have gone on to earn millions. Is it too late to sue? Go Mrs C.

Comment by Bazza

Mrs C doesn’t sue. Mrs C doesn’t do things for the money. Mrs C is generous of mind and soul. Maybe Rob was adopted because that doesn’t sound anything like him.

Comment by DH

You are so right Dave. We have a lovely hand-drawn picture of Mr Forgetful which ironically, has a speech bubble coming out of his mouth saying, “Tell your Mum I won’t forget her great idea”.

I suppose I could use that as evidence, except no where does it say, “Why don’t you come up with Little Ms characters to go with your Mr Men books”.

Foiled again.

Comment by Rob

Well, I guess that justifies the time we invest in this blog.

Comment by John


Comment by DH

It’s all about giving back.

Comment by Rob

But that doesn’t mean I’m going look for Mr Incontinent on Amazon.

Comment by John

Sure you’re not Doddsy. Sure you’re not.

Comment by Billy Whizz

If nonsense wakes up the brain cells then Rob must be an alarm clock.

Comment by Billy Whizz

This reminds me of Mr. Cleese’s talk on creativity a while back. Thankfully, we have the intertubes to reminds us this:

It does fit perfectly with this discussion.

Comment by Miguel

It does, except I’ve gone off Mr Cleese ever since he started being a dick about paying his ex-wife so much of his fortune. I get why he’s angry, but it’s not her fault she got awarded so much … just ask Andy.

Comment by Rob

I’m pretty sure this will have some nasty, profane repercusions on the comment section.

Comment by Miguel

Your point that recognising “whack” only has value if you do something about fixing “whack” can not be underestimated. But I like the quote and the sentiment, it is a nice way to look at the role of humour and nonsense.

Comment by Lee Hill

Very interesting, especially if you think about its relation to the mental model of inversion. []
It could suggest that humor is a very powerful thinking habit, and is often the most natural inversion of thought. Seeing what isn’t there or isn’t right apparently is critical to ‘understanding deeply’, which is one of “The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking”.

Comment by LeeAnn Chen

Hi LeeAnn. Thank you for writing the first ever serious and informed comment on this blog.

Comment by Rob

Shark well and truly jumped.

Comment by John

We don’t want any of that sort of thing going on here.

Comment by DH

I appreciate that…and the irony of making a serious comment in a boring way on a post about the importance of humor.
I suppose I can only say that it is a thinking habit I am still developing.

Comment by LeeAnn Chen

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