Mar 26: The Harsh Face of Fable

Welcome back to the nightmare world of Aesop. (ATTN anyone who's reading along via Bartelby. There's a million of these in today's reading. For today's reading, I started at the link and stopped at "The Tortoise and the Birds.") It's a world, where, when you ask people to help you, they end up killing you. Or, when you help them, you end up being killed. Where slavery is terrible. But freedom means dark Satanic mills and the inevitable crushing of pride. Where wolves live in sheep's clothing, dogs soil mangers, and boys cry "Wolf!" (I'm tired of making the links, but they're there.) Where is Beauty, where is Truth, where are Other Capitalized Metaphysical Properties? They're reserved for humans -- in Aesopworld, we're all animals.

It's basically the same worldview as "The Wire," I guess. Or, to keep things tony, like Auden on Jane Austen:

You could not shock her more than she shocks me;
Besides her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of `brass',
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.
And they teach (taught?) this stuff to children? Well, they probably should -- the distance between Aesopworld and the schoolyard isn't that much, either.

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