Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Monday, May 18, 2009

And the Procession Continues

An emperor hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who is either stupid or unfit for his or her position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can out of fear; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capitol showing off his new "clothes". During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, "But he has nothing on!" The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession. (adapted fromWikipedia)

Fortunately there is no quota on how many lessons and stories I can pass along to my child; but if there were, Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” would shoot straight to the top of the short list.

I loved this story as a child, mostly because a grown up was prancing around naked and didn’t know it (hilarious), and because a kid schooled the grown ups (naturally). But good God, I had no idea back then how real this story was.

I’m still reeling from the Bayer explosion denouement. The New York Times editorial this weekend further pricked my feelings of WTH. (See “Chemical Plant Safety,” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/opinion/17sun2.html?_r=1) I think it’s that bizarre phenomenon of thinking there is no way this many people are just going along with this, that would be insane, it must be me so I’ll try to keep my freak out to a dull roar. Then this editorial comes along, and I’m reminded all over again that YES, this very situation killed thousands of people; that YES, chemical plants are well known terrorist targets; that YES, the chemical industry is focused on profits above all else; and YES, the procession continues.

What good are jobs is we’re all dead, or in such bad shape that we wish we were dead?

Like the Andersen story, try this litmus test. It’s never let me down. Explain any given situation to a four year old and ask their opinion. They’ll tell you the truth.


Trconnie said...

Through the eyes of a child...(name that tune...somehow I think *you* can.)

BTW, I don't do television these days and never did do Idol, but that Lambert is certainly a very talented cutie-pie boy. I particularly like his rendition of Ring of Fire.

The EDG said...

Thanks, TRConnie! Lord yes, Ring of Fire, someone throw a cold bucker of water on me. That version is too hot to handle! And most original. That's what I really love about Lambert, he is so great at interpretation. Really makes old songs new, and owns them.