As we all know, one of the function of fairytales is to teach children some basic truths about life. That it can be tough and scary. That things are not always what they look like and that you need to be smart and resilient to survive.
Fairytales say more or less the same thing as that grizzled desk sergeant in the old cop show, Hill Street Blues: “Let’s be careful out there.”
I was reminded of the nature of fairytales when I read the following news article. It’s such perfect story book material.
It also serves as a very timely parabel. Yesterday’s results of the European elections showed that those few people who bothered to turn up had decided to give the ruling parties a damn good kicking. What with the economic crisis, the lack of faith in ‘Brussels’ and the widely held view that Muslims and other undesirables are rapidly overrunning cozy Fortress Europe, it were the smaller, more wide-eyed, populist parties that profited most from the voters’ growing fears and chagrin.
Because those smaller parties are telling it how it is… Because they listen to the people… Because they understand where normal folks are coming from… Because they rage against the posh, bureaucratic machine…
People will always fall for snake oil merchants, of course. Nothing new there but it’s still very funny how these good citizens will march behind any banner that promises that ‘things will be different’ if you vote Brand X.
It’s quite insane but your average voter will willingly worship any damn frog that can change its colour for long enough for people to stop noticing it’s still a stupid, old frog but there you go: Democracy and human nature in synchronized action.
As yet another European election result and the following story show:
“A frog that constantly changes colour is being worshipped as a god in India. The creature was discovered in a flower bed and now draws hundreds of followers to the home where it is kept in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Now one of India’s top zoologists has decided he will study the unusual creature – provided it can be kept alive. Reji Kumar, 35, a lift worker, said he is doing its best but the frog has lost its appetite.”
Anyway, back to those fairytales and this inconvenient truth:
You can embrace and kiss most frogs as often and passionately as you want but most of them will stubbornly refuse to magically change into princes.
(They went all the way to the polls and all they brought back was this lousy Geert Wilders…)