Friday, March 18, 2016

1431: The Cereal Submarine

In some movies (likely a cartoon for kids, but in some very serious productions as well), there is a character who is an obvious liar. Our heroes trust them (despite the flowing bad-guy capes and evil mustaches) leaving us to ask, 'Why in Thunder would any good guy believe that?' It's a real stretch, or so we feel, regarding patterns of credibility and gullibility; if an evil overlord knocked on our doors (and told us to sign some sketchy-looking contract on the condition that we do their bidding), no way we would listen to such a person, right? Dude, that's Jafar!! No one would believe that! 'Real life doesn't work that way!!' we think.

McSpoiler Alert: It does.

They didn't make these cartoon characters because they were bored. Nor were they having a contest to create the most outlandish villain. No, what they're doing is borrowing from real life a little; where somehow, as sad and as bitter and as hilarious it may be (all at once), we will listen to the voices which are bent on destroying us. We will turn into movie-heroes whom we typically regard as so Fictional: hypnotized slaves with swirling cartoon-eyeballs, doing things we'd never dream of before something had poisoned us.

'The wages of sin is death'

There is such a thing as a prude. We think of them as curfew-enforcers and party-poopers. There is such a think as a stickler, an ultra-conservative, a staunch moralist and a rule-pusher. This is the mother in your favorite sitcom who doesn't want her daughter eating ice cream because it's the devil's food; it is also the bitter dean in your favorite college movie who wants to squash the fun-loving fraternity. We like parodying these people, and I think there's a good reason for that: because rules and guidelines can become extreme. I do not think of myself as a prude, nor a party-pooper. I do not identify as ultra-conservative, nor as a curfew-enforcer and a Funkiller. But I also believe that moderation serves us best. And once we've been walking around the movie for a while, doing foolish/stupid hypnotized things, we wake up and have to ask ourselves the question,

'What if?'

What if we'd realized that the purpose of instruction was to help us? What if we'd admitted that Angry Mother/Angry Dean were much more interested in protecting than suppressing? It's easy to laugh at these clowns when they show up, easy to mock all the fairytale platitudes that told us what was ill-advised; But once your house gets blown by the dumb wolf, it's no laughing matter. You ask, 'What if I had listened? And, Holy Geez, why didn't I?'

* *

I am so sorry for what I have been. I cannot disclaim the responsibility, because all the actions are mine. Just please know that my eyeballs were doing cartoon-swirls. Please know that I intend to wake up for good. Yes.

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