We called him Frosty the Fairytale Facsimile, our token snowman.
No corncob pipe, just a stick. There were no carrots in the vegetable bin, so a stick served for the nose too. No rolling snowballs around in the yard. No snowman bigger and better than the neighbor’s. A scraped and mounded pile of snow served just as well in which to stick the obligatory twigs. No boots, no buttons, no broom.
Frosty, the hurriedly-constructed Facsimile after all, would melt in the heat of the sun just like the others and all would be no more.
‘No more’ was the message out of China the same day we received locally our first snowfall.
The State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television was calling for no more wordplay with the Chinese language citing cultural, historical and even moral reasons. But David Moser, academic director for CET Chinese studies at Beijing Capital Normal University, wondered if the crackdown was really to prevent any more criticism of leadership or policies. “It sounds too convenient.”
Ironically, and conversely, it is the emperor-has-no-clothes honesty that ultimately exposes – if not prevents – the meltdown of men.
“Whoever criticizes people will be more highly regarded in the future than the one who flatters with his tongue,” reads an ancient proverb.
Better men are no more made by better or more rules – even conduct-restrictive rules and especially criticism-prevention rules – than there must have been some magic in that old silk hat that day that enabled Frosty to dance around: temporarily.
From Sandusky, Paterno and Spanier who were ejected from the field over the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, to Bill Cosby’s rejection by his alma mater over allegations of sexual assault, the stuff of “jolly, happy souls” will, as surely as the sun will eventually shine, reveal that of which men are made.