Random pottiness is what we in the Honk Club use to refer to the spontaneous creativity that comes from viewing the world with humour and lightness. When we give our pottiness free reign, the result can be delightful pieces of creativity, that’s because to be randomly potty, we have to suspend our inner critic and any part of us that cares what anyone else thinks or expects. Since those are the things that kill creativity, without them creativity blossoms.
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) an American writer, poet, and cartoonist is a master of random pottiness. He published 46 children’s books, full of crazy looking characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. One look at any of these books and you’ll know exactly what I mean by random pottiness. You’ll see it in the humour and creativity of his works. You’ll also see it in the wisdom that shines through the pottiness. This is the jewel of pottiness, the deep well of creativity and wisdom that lie at the heart of true spontaneity.
Though Geisel made a point of not beginning the writing of his stories with a moral in mind, stating that “kids can see a moral coming a mile off,” he was not against writing about issues; he said that “there’s an inherent moral in any story,” and he remarked that he was “subversive as hell.”
Many of Geisel’s books express his views on a remarkable variety of social and political issues: The Lorax (1971), about environmentalism and anti-consumerism; The Sneetches (1961), about racial equality; The Butter Battle Book (1984), about the arms race; Yertle the Turtle (1958), about Hitler and anti-authoritarianism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), criticizing the materialism and consumerism of the Christmas season; and Horton Hears a Who! (1950), about anti-isolationism and internationalism.
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”
― from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
“In my world, everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!”
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
― from Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
― from Horton Hears a Who!
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
The sleep book is still one of my favourites and I read it to my 18 yr old daughter not so long ago – just for fun. Dr Seuss books are such a delight to read aloud.
Check out the pottiness of the seussville website here. http://www.seussville.com/
What do you like, or not like, about Dr Seuss books?