Over the years I have learned to adore the greats of literature. No, not all that bronte shit and dickens waffle, although Shakespear was indeed as wise as yoda. No, what I mean are the books and stories of right and wrong, good and evil and little coded (and not so coded) tales of wisdom that are our stories from childhood. It’s interesting how many stories from different cultures have similar root messages, but then they often are created to impart a basic, common sense, message, a universal truth. Think before you act, don’t tell lies, don’t be unkind, listen to the wisdom of people who have been where you are before you, choose your friends wisely, actions have consequences… All those useful tips for later in life so you don’t end up up shit creek without a paddle.
The one that comes to mind most often is Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, mainly as I seem to have taken on the role of Jiminy Cricket over the last few years, the insect given life by the Blue Fairy to act as a de facto conscience and guide to the puppet that has been embued with life. It gets rather tedious though, being the only sane (and this is me talking so it’s a fair assumption that whatever I’m questioning is way beyond nuts) person around. It gets to a point though where there are so many appalling or ridiculous things going on that you end up seeming insane yourself by being the odd one out.
What people remember most about Pinocchio is the telling lies / nose growing business, but it’s more complicated than that. Pinocchio comes a cropper when he falls into bad company and also when he starts to think he knows better than everyone else. He is never a bad person though and like many of us he gets into trouble for a combination of poor decision making and pride. It’s interesting to note that in the original version of the story, Jiminy Cricket’s appearance is incredibly brief as he is despatched from existence by an angrily thrown shoe. Pinocchio, like many of us reacts badly to being told he is screwing up. Sadly, my own experiences have been pretty similar. It’s getting boring now, so many people seem to be acting like complete idiots right now and so many are disappearing up their own arseholes, I do wish it would stop.