Are You Biggering?
Last week my kids asked, “Can we watch the best thing Taylor Swift has ever done?”
This was a strange question. My boys, ages 10 and 11, aren’t Taylor Swift fans. I enjoy her music, but I’ll take Jack Johnson’s Meet the Moonlight be over Midnights.
Intrigued, I said, “Suuuuuuurre…. Let’s do it.”
They went to our TV and started the 2012 cartoon movie The Lorax. Taylor Swift does the voice acting as a supporting actor. Danny Devito sings more than she does. In fact, she doesn’t sing a single note. Interestingly, at the time she said it was a quite a challenge. Imagine being the producers of a musical with major characters voiced by Zac Effron and Taylor Swift and thinking, “It’ll be great – we’ll write music only for Danny Devito and Ed Helms!”
I’m used to my kids playing tricks on me. However, as far as tricks go though, this was a good one.I’m going to presume that most people know the story of the Lorax. If I give away any spoilers you’ve had more than 50 years to read the book. I haven’t read the book myself since I was a kid, so I’ll just describe the movie briefly and assume it’s the same. The movie is about a town that has overdeveloped to the point where trees don’t exist. A 12-year-old boy has a crush on an older girl (played by Swift) who wishes that she could see a real tree someday. His quest takes him to meet with the Once-ler who explains that he had cut down all the trees to make “thneeds.”
The Once-ler seems like a well-meaning entrepreneur, but he got caught up in capitalism and making more and more money. He may see the damage he’s causing, but he justifies it with a song, How Bad Can I Be?
When I watched the movie, I didn’t pay attention to the lines with the words biggering. It only caught my attention when my kids played the demos on the movie soundtrack that included a demo of the song, Biggering. It’s a bit darker and edge which is probably why it got replaced by How Bad Can I Be.
Here are the lyrics for how the song starts out, before the tone gets edgier:
At first I didn’t realize I needed all this stuff
I had a little cottage and that cottage was enough
A place where I could sit and knit
A place where I could sell my thneeds
But now I’ve had a little time to reassess my needs
And I need a bigger office, I need a bigger chair
A bigger desk, a bigger staff
A bigger hat to wear
Because I’m biggering (yes, biggering)
I’m figgering on biggering
And biggering is triggering more biggering
Overall, the movie is about corporate greed. It’s not a direct fit to personal finance. However, you can see some parallels to lifestyle expansion. It wasn’t too long ago that everyone wanted a huge McMansion. I don’t know if people still want them or if they are so unaffordable that they aren’t even on anyone’s radar any more.
That’s why the song Biggering caught my attention. You can see that the Once-ler was very happy with his cottage and knitting. You can see his lifestyle expansion.
I used think that biggering was bettering. I was obsessed with this local “monster house” that was 3,500 square feet when we didn’t even have any kids. Now, instead of biggering, I’m thinking about nicering and experiencing… oops that’s actually a real word. I’m also thinking about simplifying which is why it makes sense to combine a modular design couch and music system, even if it costs more.
Are you biggering? Are you nicering? Let me know in the comments:
If you have 20 minutes to spare, nearly a half million people have watched this guy’s commentary about the two songs. I wouldn’t have thought that many people have actually seen The Lorax or listened to the soundtrack. He gives a much better analysis. Personally, I can’t believe that people would pay this must attention when the Curious George Soundtrack was a billion times better.