"More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read"

- Oscar Wilde

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tortoise Beats Hare: Political Icebergs Shift !!!

It has recently come to the attention of this journalist that the race that we have all just witnessed is indeed one for the ages! It will serve as a metaphor for purposes of Democratic and Republican comparison for years to come. These two distinct personality types have competed, with our slow and steady Conservative as the victor, while the hare’s impetuous liberal lifestyle looks to be the cause of failure. Why will this race be analyzed for years to come? Why is Aesop spreading such political propaganda throughout the forest? Let’s examine further…

Hank the Hare’s youthful virility and physical vitality make him a dreamy icon for America’s young adults. In fact, his younger cousin “Harey” Larry Hop-A-Long became spokes-bunny for the Energizer battery company in the late 80’s. Some argue that his great uncle Hugh the Hare is the original bust for Playboy’s antiquated bow-tie bunny. And was it not the late J.F. Bunnedy who shocked conservative Elmer Fudd in the 1960 Pine Grove Forest presidential election? Hank’s ancestors, the Leporidae, are sprinters by nature. They apply short bursts in unpredictable directions with the intent to thwart impatient predators. A withdrawn Fudd lamented after the votes had been tallied, “I just couldn’t catch that wascally wabbit.” This is true Elmer, but your efforts would inspire one young tortoise who was a student at Boston College in the early 60’s.

His name…Tex Tortoise. Tex served in the amphibious army as part of any elite SEAL team during the Lilly Pad war of 1968. Today we link him to that familiar stereotype of old age and tiredness. As he heads to sunny campaign stops along his travels he stubbornly never leaves his shell. He’s portable, yet stagnant…mind boggling. However, have we not always used the turtle as an image of lasting toughness in our marketing in such products as Turtle Wax? We can find him on television symbolizing “wisdom with age” in the credits of the television show One Foot in the Grave. It was actually Tex’s great-great-grandfather, Sid the Snapper, who doubled as a reliable coffee table on The Flintstones. Would wax sell so well if it were named after fish eggs? Probably not—and I’d be willing to bet that Dino couldn’t have done so well as a makeshift ottoman.

So I, as well as the rest of the forest, seem to agree on the basic characterization of these two creatures. One of my colleagues recently argued with me at the water cooler that the Chinese Zodiac refers to the rabbit as reserved and thoughtful, but I was quick to discern that this is usually only when the rabbit is enjoying solitude like on weekend trips with his family in the mountains in their cabin on the banks of Mirror Lake. I also made the point that as soon as the hare returns he realizes he is back in public spectacle. Needless to say I won the argument and Mallard the Mail Guy owes me a beer after work.

In a recent interview presidential elect and former SEAL officer Lieutenant Colonel Tortoise stated that, “…the hare’s youthful impudence matches most Conservative critical rhetoric that is directed at liberals. Liberals are demographically youth-rich and want social change, an idea which is typically chastised for being short-sighted and na├»ve by Conservatives like me and my wife Trixy” (no relation to that crack addict that sells cereal). Tex further stated that, “True, most of us Conservatives are older and typically opposed to certain social progress, but Democrats are wrong to accuse us of being “cold-blooded” and “old-fashioned”. One could easily agree with the triumphant Tex who is proving over and over that his story can be a source of pre-election propaganda for many elections to come, as well as a lesson in life from elder to junior. I believe it was Winston Churchill who stated, “If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.”

The dichotomy created for the allegory that is this race has demonstrated the effective use of a metaphor as a platform for comparison. These two anthropomorphized characters, Hank Hare and Tex Tortoise, have competed for superiority to establish that soupcon of fame. Dr. Edgar Antelope from Princeton; a Tortoise supporter, law professor, and avid leaf collector; gave his insight in a brief interview shortly after the race, “Hank the Hare is left to stew in his own disgrace. He failed to heed the jurisprudence so well exemplified by Tex the Tortoise on matters of effective Pine Grove presidential racing strategies.” Well stated Dr. Antelope.

There you have it, “Slow and steady wins the race.” concluded Aesop. This lesson served by dueling metaphors will be a Conservative election platform for years to come in Pine Grove. Interestingly enough, Aesop wrote a similar story 2500 years ago. You can find me in next weeks edition of the “Early Bird” on location in the Amazon where a similar story is taking place; and those two old foes the Ass and the Elephant are head to head in yet another Darwinistic Debate. So long everyone, and happy trails!