The things you can discover about government and politics while heading somewhere else.
It all began, as perhaps most fairytales do – and dreams of quick riches for that matter – with a ‘once upon a time’ opening line.
Or, in this case, a picture taken the other day by my sister, placed on Facebook, accompanied by a poem that would lead to a truth most profound.Photo by Alice Nelson.
You, the reader, can be the judge.
In her words:
“Couldn’t find a quote that included both oysters and rainbows so I wrote this:
“Oysters are slimy
Rainbows are pretty
I took this cool shot
Driving home from the city.”
Goofiness runs in the family, or maybe it’s the late hour of the day, but I added the following:
“That’s a cute little rhyme
But a rainbow without a dime?
No gold in the pot?
No pearl in the spot?
Where riches surely would be found?
“Then again it’s easy to see,
How this discovery came to be,
True treasures are in the heart
Not in the ground.”
If only that were true.
A good friend, and mentor really, then responded with a poem of which I’d never heard – perhaps you haven’t either – entitled “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book “Through the Looking-Glass.”
It’s an amusing commentary on the human condition, given “all the lovely oysters are eaten by their sweet-talking host, very symbolic,” wrote my friend, “of politics promising willing followers as a pretense in order to prey upon them.”
The two main characters – the walrus and the carpenter – lure from the sea oysters that, unbeknownst to them, are the dinner to be.
Here’s the last stanza:
“0 Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?”
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.”
When recited by Tweedledum and Tweedledee to Alice in Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass, Alice responds initially as, sadly, many who think there are but two options – evil and less evil – from which to choose when in fact ‘no evil’ is a third and ultimately better choice.
Here’s Alice (“Through the Looking Glass”):
“I like the Walrus best,” said Alice, “because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters.”
“He ate more than the Carpenter, though,” said Tweedledee. “You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn’t count how many he took: contrariwise.”
“That was mean!” Alice said indignantly. “Then I like the Carpenter best—if he didn’t eat so many as the Walrus.”
“But he ate as many as he could get,” said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, “Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—”
Smacks of the Tacoma News Tribune’s recent editorial opinion endorsing marijuana for small hold-out cities with marijuana bans since, after all, “principles don’t pay the bills”; and the gambling industry’s allure with the support of government since, after all, our citizens will gamble anyway and we might as well profit locally before they head on down the road.
Media and marijuana; government and gambling. Which is the walrus? Which the carpenter?
Is there really a practical differentiation that ultimately matters between the two, as it turns out, predatory partners?
Not a puzzler after all. Said Alice, “Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—”