ethics

Happy Tree Fables

I always wanted to do something with Aesop’s Fables.

Not that I particularly revere them or anything, but there’s a long history of moralist literature dating back thousands of years that seems to just go unquestioned by the majority.

Given that a huge portion of my core self involves seeking alternatives to whatever scenario is in front of me, it’s impossible not to do with the moralizing of Aesop. Plus, it’s not attached to a particular religion, so you don’t have to worry about all the nonsense that comes with pointing out inconsistencies and obscenities in its ethics.

Granted, some of his fable’s morals are legitimately correct, like the one about tyrants always finding a pretext for their bad behaviour.

The best falsehoods are always mixed with truth, right? That’s what makes them so insidious. Parts of them are true, which lends legitimacy to the parts that are made up. Ask any conman.

Some are clearly wrong, like the one about the white guy trying to rub the colour out of a black man’s skin. The moral to that one is “what’s bred in the bone…”, which is horrifying, and unfortunately typical of apparently every era, given today’s insane climate. There’s another awful one that ends with “that’s what you get for listening to women”, which should tell you all you need to know about the moral authority of Aesop and his ilk.

Others are less clearly incorrect. The tortoise and the hare is a good one. The moral is “slow and steady wins the race”, but the moral to me actually has more to do with focus. Focused, the hare wins every time. Instead, he takes a fucking nap in the middle of the race, which means anyone could beat him.

The lesson is stay focused, not be slow and consistent. Speed is irrelevant if you’re focused. I’m sure there’s a bunch of other notes about hubris, arrogance and overworking yourself as well.

If ever I get my hands on a good animator/collaborator, I’ve got some ideas for old Aesop that’ll turn him into a household name once again.

Only, maybe not the way he would have wanted. More Happy Tree Friends that Sunday morning Bible Study.

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