I was nominated to post 3 quotes over 3 days, some time ago, and I’ve just been reminded to do it, today seems a good day to start. My challenger is the lovely and talented La Sabrosona, see her first quote here. Her blog is excellent, I recommend a follow, or at least a thorough examination. I couldn’t find a translation for Sabrosona but she says it’s something about being curvy. I’m supposed to challenge other writers, we’ll get to that.
What to quote, though? I’ve got nothing good going on emotionally, so perhaps something that flips my trigger: Self Entitlement. It pisses me off, and my society is full of people who are this kind of full of themselves. Ass Holes! But, something amusing and light hearted I think.
Our quote today is from Roald Dahl, one of my favorite children’s authors. As I grew up my parents with their wicked little senses of humor read me not just fairy tales, but Grimm fairy tales, and they were grim. They included topics like cutting off one’s own heel to fit a glass slipper three sizes too small. They also had books of rhyme, including darkly humorous poems that, read today would certainly make the banned-book list, subjects including things like parents drowning children when they disobey, beating them, etc., but intended to be taken humorously and as cautionary tales. Thus, I rooted for the dragon a bit in The Hobbit, the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, and still laugh when I read the following excerpt from Dahl:
http://allpoetry.com/Excerpt–Goldilocks-and-the-Three-Bears tells more of the tale than I do here.
‘Oh daddy!’ cried the Baby Bear,
‘My porridge gone! It isn’t fair!’
‘Then go upstairs,’ the Big Bear said,
‘Your porridge is upon the bed.
‘But as it’s inside mademoiselle,
‘You’ll have to eat her up as well.”
I can’t help to speculate it’s stories like these (The original, not the story as redacted by the brilliant Dahl) in nursery rhymes and fairy tales that give rise to people having strong senses of self-entitlement.
I live in America. Land of opportunity, if you’re lucky or tenacious or smart enough to get yours. But I also live in America, land of selfish ass holes who feed my rage every time they do something selfish and stupid and potentially dangerous, especially when their selfishness robs me of fair treatment. When you take cuts ahead of me in the line. When you cut me off in traffic. When you run the red light because it just turned red and make the people whose turn it is wait for you. A fucking 18-wheel semi truck with trailer did that to me and my fellow commuters this morning. When you over charge me for a meal, by insisting that a soft drink isn’t part of a “meal.” I don’t mind being charged for a refill, but if I bought a “meal,” it should come with a drink. Or maybe the business owners don’t have a drink with their meals. They go around dehydrated and thirsty. When you cheat me of overtime by calling it straight time because there’s a holiday that week and I didn’t actually work a full forty.
We’ve read Goldilocks and thought almost nothing of naughty little blondie going in and stealing the porridge or taking a nap in little bear’s bed. We might have been offended because she broke his chair. But we all breathed a sigh of relief when the cautionary tale ended with her escaping the bears’ wrath and getting safely back home to mummy and daddy. Unless the bad things she did are given proper weight and conscience, we only learn, if you do a bad thing it’s ok, as long as you don’t get caught and never do it again.
Someone’s dog is shitting on my lawn. It’s not my responsibility to pick the shit up, but I have to do it because the damned owner feels a sense of entitlement for his or her dog to use my yard as its’ personal toilet. Shit and run. Bastard. Bitch, whatever. Bitch, please, stop it. I don’t want me or my wife or my kids to step in that. Nothing gives you the right to do it, so where the hell do you get the entitlement to do it? It’s not your damned yard and I shouldn’t have to defend it. I’ll fix it. I put medium-hot chili powder all over the “easement” the dog was using. Fucker. And by that I mean the owner. It only gets hotter from here.
I don’t get self-entitlement lessons from the Bible. When Amnon raped Tamar, she got justice. It took a while, but Amnon didn’t get to be king, as heir apparent to David’s throne. Instead, he got dead. David’s sense of self-entitlement brought a curse down on his whole family, and allowed the second son of Bathsheba, Solomon, to take the throne. What? You thought God should punish Bathsheba and both of her kids? I can hardly judge her, here. He was the king. She lost the firstborn son. The second gets to be king. In the New Testament, the woman “caught in adultery,” which was stupid because you can’t commit adultery by yourself, it takes two, and the polyandrous Samaritan woman, who represented strong racist tendencies for Jewish people who thought they were “holier than thou” about them, both were blessed and loved by Jesus in spite of their actions. Even in the Old Testament laws, if someone does something bad they are instructed to make it right, by paying money sometimes for what was done.
I’m saying that our fairy tale stories give false securities to our kids, who grow up to think they deserve whatever they can take, or they can grow up to be the princess or the noble knight, even if they do a little theft or money laundering or cheating on the side to get there, as long as they don’t get caught and as long as they only do it once. The bankers a few years back who rewarded themselves for getting away with their scams and got paid off by the US Government are case in point.
We shouldn’t have a sense of self-entitlement, on the contrary we’re not really entitled to anything unless we put in the honest work for it. We should have a sense of responsibility for our actions, a conscience that bothers us when we’ve done something wrong, and a sense of fairness that demands we take personal efforts to make whatever we’ve done wrong, right.
Dahl got it right, and that’s why I chose him for quote #1. Someone eats your porridge, they should buy you more porridge, or you should eat them.
Thank you, La Sabrosona!
I’m supposed to nominate 3 Nominees, who are supposed to nominate 3 nominees… Hmm. A pyramid scheme… It’s a pity I’m not figuring out, in a sense of my own personal entitlement, how to make some money out of this kind of thing.
I’ve noticed you and enjoyed your writing. This should be interesting.