- We’ve All Got Our Own Clovers With Worlds on Them
- How to Eat Rainbows and Poop Butterflies
- That Horton is a Menace
- Mom, Please, You are So Weird
- Go To Your Room
- It’s Gooood!
Or, my favourite, from Tommy:
- You Guys With Worlds Are In Trouble!
As a world-builder–a speculative cosmographer–this great Horton Hears a Who clip is just way too tempting. There are so many great lessons in the film–“a person’s a person, no matter how small” or the themes of trust and perseverance and friendship. But few moments in film capture so well the leap of faith that it takes to read fantasy. Reading fantasy takes the willing suspension of disbelief–we have to believe the impossible world is possible, at least for the few hours we visit it. To say that Ents are an evolutionary impossibility, or that lions don’t typically talk, is to miss the point.
But there’s more. Fantasy is dangerous. Don’t think the Sour Kangaroo is wrong. That Horton really is a menace. When we invest ourselves in imaginative worlds everything shifts. The “real” world of Main Street or Pleasant Village that occupies our tax-based lives looks a little skewed after we’ve ventured very long in Narnia. One does not return from Middle Earth or Lyra’s Oxford the same. Avalon changes us, Fionavar bends us. Your life changes after you’ve stormed the castle, or fled from faerie, or held a thermos of Ice-Nine in your hands. Fantasy is subversive.
I think, in a sense, that Tommy is right: You guys with worlds are in trouble. It is the curse of fantasy writers and readers. There will always be a Sour Kangaroo to resist, I suppose. But the risk is worth it, isn’t it? Think of the rich imaginative experiences we have because we are able to see beyond the thin reality of Main Street and Pleasant Village. We don’t remain in Fairyland forever–there are other adventures to have, other lands to explore. But visiting these other worlds for a little while makes our life on this world that much better.
So, today, I raise a clover to Horton, and to all those clever enough to see the invisible.
Sorry, the film clip doesn’t capture everything–check out the film. It’s a great scene.