Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No Rhyme or Reason

So let me get this straight...

A monkey chases a weasel around a bush. A mulberry bush, if you will. The monkey's laughing, having a good time. They're playing. "It's all in good fun," he thinks to himself.

Then, out of nowhere... POP goes the weasel. WHAT?!? From what I gather, translating this rhyme into the modern vernacular, the weasel ends up punching the monkey in the face. This seems like a disproportionately violent response.

Dude, he was playing a game! He was fooling around. It was all in good fun, remember?Relax!!! That weasel was out of line, and totally blew his chance at making any more monkey friends.

You don't just go around punching people in the face just because you don't like how they're playing. That's unsportsmanlike.

Furthermore, thanks to my friend Wikipedia, I learned that earlier - or alternative - verses indicate that this was indeed an ambush that took the poor monkey completely by surprise. Those verses reveal the monkey may also have either "stopped to scratch his nose" or "stopped to tie his shoe."

So, at the time of this unprovoked attack by the feckless weasel, the monkey may not have even been chasing him. "Time out," says the monkey, "I've got an itch" or "my shoe's untied." But the weasel wasn't following the rules. And proceeded to punch the defenseless, unsuspecting monkey in the face.

Now, I'll admit, most if not all monkeys are troublemakers. Maybe we can safely assume that there was taunting involved, and maybe the weasel was pushed until he didn't want to be pushed anymore. But then again, it's unfair to all monkeykind to speak in generalizations and stereotype ALL monkeys as troublemakers. Maybe this particular monkey was just innocently playing, chasing the weasel in a game of tag.

Regardless of whether the monkey was asking for it, to punch a guy in the face is just wrong. And it is the wrong message to send to children.

This rhyme is providing children with an abrupt and cruel option to end the games they're not enjoying. Instead of taking your ball and going home, just punch a pal in the face. POP!!

Good job once again, Mother Goose. Maybe she should get a punch in the face.

Hey, remember when I railed against Mother Goose, and nursery rhymes in general, the first time? No? Then click here: http://penelopemannato.blogspot.com/2007/10/goose-is-cooked.html

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