Saturday, September 17, 2005

What do you know about fairytales and what they taught you?

One of the true wonders of childhood is that we learn most of life’s lessons while we are very young, immature, restless, clueless and carefree – children. From important facts such as how a candle can burn your finger to myths and stereotypes such as tortoises have a better chance of winning races than rabbits. This is why I believe that pre-school teachers are to blame for most burning world issues from global warming and climate change to rising oil prices and the war in Iraq - because most of our reasoning is based on what we learn in pre-school.

This is no joke… I am convinced that George W Bush got his idea that it was perfectly ok to walk into Iraq and take whatever it’s “Evil tyrant” had after reading ‘Jack and the beanstalk’ to a bunch of kindergarten kids on that fateful day in September 2001 (it’s hard to think the president had ever read any kind of book ever before in his life). There the actions of Jack in stealing a goose and a golden harp from an evil giant are justified just because the giant was ‘evil’. It is also ok to train your pussycat to deceive the king so that you could marry the princess. I mean, it takes a pretty stupid king to take a pussycat seriously – which brings me to my next point.

In fact I think it is the fairytales that have taught us how it is essential for Kings and Queens to be brainless and the royal court to be comprised of practically the dumbest people in the land – so we still continue to elect the intellectually challenged to parliament. Take the myriad examples in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, or “Rumpeltiltskin” in which a peasant farmer who gets an audience with the king convinces the monarch that his daughter could weave gold out of straw. You’d say the farmer was dumb to come up with such a pathetic story but hey… the king just buys that without any questions such as “ if your daughter could spin gold, how come you are so poor?”. This could have well been the classical version of “Dumb and Dumber”.

The magic of the old fairytales and their ‘happily ever after’ endings have failed. Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and Tweedy Bird – all died prematurely thanks to the Ninja Turtles and other violent cartoons. Superman, Batman and Spider man are hanging to their lives thanks to Hollywood but they only show up once a decade or so. Kids today are engaged in Mortal Combat save their families in SIMS and become soldiers after playing ‘Counter-Strike’. To cut a long story short, we need a new set of proper fairy tales for the next generation to grow up on and we need them fast.

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