the march brothers, morals

A funny afternoon with Moomin. Off to the allergist, Dr. Makestinger, stern nemesis of privet hedges, uncovered mattresses, and indoor pets.

Moomin is now 39 and 1/2 inches high and weighs 33 pounds. (He was 31 in January! Progress!)

In a couple of weeks he will have an allergy test. It’s not as brutal as when I was a kid: you just get 16 small pricks with a plastic thing that does them all at once, and it doesn’t even break the skin. (Instead of the … what… 80 tiny injections all up and down one’s back and arms? christ! It was torture!) So I’m relieved. Dr. Makestinger was slightly horrified at the uncontrolled asthma. We will now be going on inhaled steroids. Rrrrgh, it is foul to think of him having to take pills and inhalers all his life. I swear… it’s like I breastfed for 18 months for nothing…

I showed off Moomin’s reading… shamelessly… On a super old fashioned Aesop’s Fables they had in the waiting room… Moomin asks me to explain the morals of the stories and gets very puzzled. I dig his readings of the fables … like, the raven and the swan, where the raven wants white feathers like the swan and so tries to eat waterweeds and swim around like the swan. Sadly the raven then wastes away and dies. The moral (stated in italics) was something about how behaving doesn’t make it so… in highfalutin’ language. Moomin looked puzzled. “What does that mean?” Um…. “Oh, I know. It means that it is very sad that the raven had to die, because he could have just used some hair dye, I mean some feather dye, for his feathers instead of washing too much.” “Well, that’s not what it means, but you can make up your own morals to the story.” For the ants and the grasshopper, he said, “It means that the ants are very mean not to share their grain.” There’s my good little bleeding-heart socialist! Woot! I agreed 100% and added that the ants probably really enjoyed hearing the grasshopper’s music all summer long and so they should help him out.

We have a request tonight for “more movies with the March brothers especially Harpo.”

I’m missing my board meeting… Rook forgot to come home in time… I could have called to remind him again or I could have scrambled to leave Moomin somewhere or with the Pilot but I didn’t have the heart to leave Moomin, it’s raining hard, I’d be in traffic for an hour and then… well… I’ll try to go next month and then my term is up in May… I called in my vote, based on the candidates’ statements over email.

The person I know and was going to recommend turned out to have a “statement” that was like, a million times more intelligent-sounding than the other person, whose bid to be the program chair was like… “I think the p0etry scene in the B4y Area is disorganized and Sanjo NonProfit is the organization to commandeer it, and I would like to know about p0etry and don’t, so this seems like a good way to get involved.” Hmm. I was suspicious of this… her references for being organizey were from East Polo Alto charter schools… “commandeer” seemed like… just not a good sign…. So, my girlie is already a proven competent organizer. We’ll see what happens. I know those people on the board and I know that a good percentage of them just want the street cred of a “diverse-sounding” last name — they crowed like complete assholes when some white opera-going chick signed on because she is married to a chinese guy and took his last name and so “will look good on our grants”. Yaaaaaaag!

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6 Responses to “the march brothers, morals”

  1. max



    NO, it means that the grasshopper was FUCKING STUPID.

  2. badgerbag



    No way dude. The ants were exploiting the grasshopper! Actually if you read a bunch of the fables all together they’re all about domestic animals who try to get out from under the yoke of their human oppressors and then get bitch-slapped or about wild animals who rebel against predators or the king of beasts. It’s all about the status quo and keeping power structures intact! 8-P

  3. badgerbag



    But more to the point, if you were 4 years old and you read the story, sharing might also be on your mind – it being a hot issue in nursery school and one of the main socialization rules to learn.
    We also discussed the story of the Little Red Hen in relation to the Ants and Grasshopper. The Little Red Hen was much nicer than the ants – she kept asking for help with the wheat, baking, etc. and the other animals kept just fucking off and not helping! And it’s not like she told the other animals that it served them right to starve to death – they weren’t starving. the Hen is about discipline, the Ants are about punishment.

  4. GarGyrrl



    The ants clearly weren’t Red ants, were they?
    Yay for socialism!

  5. max



    What version of that story did you read?
    This is the traditional verision, as far as I know:

    In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
    “Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
    “I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”
    “Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
    When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn from the stores they had collected in the summer.

    I don’t see any exploitation. I see the grasshopper fucking off despite being warned, and paying the price.
    Being an ant in a family of grasshoppers, I take this personally.

  6. badgerbag



    Yah… it was a completely different version, where with no background, the grasshoppper was shivering and starving and asked the ants for food!

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