Aesop’s fables. How many do you know? Probably between five and ten. The tortoise and the hare, the grasshopper and the ants. Good. Squeeze for a minute, you’ll come up with more. The lion who spares the mouse and then helps him later. The goose who lays the golden omelets. Go ahead and recite a couple, right now. Do your heart some good.
But wait. Go back a second. When you recited ’em, did you forget to add the morals? I bet you did. It’s not as easy to remember to put the moral in there.
Try again. There was a grasshopper (in the original Greek, it’s never a grasshopper; it’s a cicada or a cricket or a scarab beetle, but never mind). This grasshopper diddled around, all summer, while the ants were sweating. Then, winter came. It always does. Uh-oh! Grasshopper didn’t have anything to eat. The ants all gathered ’round and said, Ah-hah, you are justly served for being such a lazybones! Now starve, shithead.
And the moral of the story is … See, you’re kinda forced to invent it spontaneously. The moral of the story is: Instead of sitting around, getting high all the time, how ’bout you get a job? The moral of the story is: All play and no work means you fail out of community college. The moral of the story is …
But there are other ways of looking at it, y’know. The lesson could be: People wouldn’t mind starving so much if they didn’t have to listen to others telling ’em they deserve it. The grasshopper just made a mistake, y’all. It’s not like it’s an unalterable fact that he needs to be punished. Indeed, the moral could be: People who have evaded a calamity inevitably enjoy tormenting those who must bear the calamity’s brunt. Read More