Author Topic: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)  (Read 1835 times)

Doktor Howl

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The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« on: May 24, 2021, 03:32:39 pm »
Hey, Louie,

Most people think The Happy Prince1 was by Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm.  It wasn't, of course, it was written by Oscar Wilde, and that alone should be a warning, Louie.  The story doesn't end well, even by the standards of the other two authors.

So you're this swallow, right, Louie?  No, you're not a swallow.  You're a human being.  Maybe a prince.  Human beings have a dual nature...They have requirements necessary for them to live, but they also have obligations to their fellow humans.  If this balance isn't met, a human becomes something else.  If the obligations are not met, they turn into monsters, and if the requirements are not met, they die (or, in these easier, modern days, they simply turn from being the swallow or the prince into being the match girl from the story.)

Again, it's all about balance.  Extremism is ugly no matter what you're being extreme about, whether that be the extremists hollering inside the capitol building (swallows) or the ugly-faced politicos driving them on (princes).  The difference in the prince and the swallow in the story, of course, being that one is a reformed exploiter who is still exploiting, and the other is a person addicted to being exploited.  The prince (in the story, for example) doesn't even have to be a bad guy.  Just someone who exploits others to do things in the prince's name to wash away the prince's sin (you're getting the irony right now, I am guessing), even as it loads the prince down with more sin.  Extremism in this tale, as in life, always ends badly...Especially if you don't believe there is a god up there to make it all better when you are destroyed.

Another thing about extremism is that it's not only ugly, but it's boring.  People not invested in your extremism don't want to hear it, so they make polite excuses and go do other things, your group of swallows heads to Egypt for the winter, leaving you with a dwindling set of friends until one day it's just you and the prince.  Then you want to leave, it's getting really cold, but the prince tells you that escaping the cold excludes BIPOC folks or LGBT folks or whatnot.  So you stay.  And you die (or just find yourself broke and alone).

And then, in the story, the people you tried to save via logical, concrete assistance find your remains and the remains of your stripped prince and your frozen body, and they call someone to haul the trash away.  You performative capacities have been stripped, so there's not much use for you.  They won't think of it that way, of course, they're not monsters.

But they'll do it anyway.

Yours Truly,
The drab iron statue of Hamish.


1For those of you barbarians that don't know the story, it can be found here:
https://artpassions.net/wilde/happy_prince.html
Molon Lube

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2021, 04:02:30 pm »
This isn't about the person I've spent a lot of time bitching about.

This is about someone else entirely, with an entirely different set of motives.

Just to be clear.
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 04:47:07 pm »
That brings back some nearly forgotten memories. My parents used to read this story to the family each Christmas when I was a kid. I kind of wonder if they read us a simplified version for kids, or more likely, I just lacked the experience and vocabulary to understand most of it so only the simplified outline remained in my head.

Thank you for the link and the trip down memory lane.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2021, 05:01:04 pm »
That brings back some nearly forgotten memories. My parents used to read this story to the family each Christmas when I was a kid. I kind of wonder if they read us a simplified version for kids, or more likely, I just lacked the experience and vocabulary to understand most of it so only the simplified outline remained in my head.

Thank you for the link and the trip down memory lane.

PBS did it in charcoal animation and it was the second worst TV moment for me as a child.
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 05:30:54 pm »
PBS did it in charcoal animation and it was the second worst TV moment for me as a child.

"Look at this golden statue with it's jeweled eyes" It's grey...
"Look all the gold has been removed from the statue" It's still grey...
Honestly, it's quite the story to tell young kids. "Rich people are terrible and poor people suffer and die early. But, God! So, heartwarming. Right?"
But I guess kids have to learn these things eventually.

If this was the second worst, what was the worst TV moment for you as a child?
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 06:11:35 pm »
PBS did it in charcoal animation and it was the second worst TV moment for me as a child.

"Look at this golden statue with it's jeweled eyes" It's grey...
"Look all the gold has been removed from the statue" It's still grey...
Honestly, it's quite the story to tell young kids. "Rich people are terrible and poor people suffer and die early. But, God! So, heartwarming. Right?"
But I guess kids have to learn these things eventually.

If this was the second worst, what was the worst TV moment for you as a child?

Frank Poole's death scene in 2001 A Space Oddessey.  I think I was 5 when it aired on TV.
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 06:24:29 pm »
Frank Poole's death scene in 2001 A Space Oddessey.  I think I was 5 when it aired on TV.

Should I add that one to my list of "Things I need to experience at some point because they are common cultural references but I missed because I had a sheltered/ uncultured upbringing".
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 07:55:50 pm »
Frank Poole's death scene in 2001 A Space Oddessey.  I think I was 5 when it aired on TV.

Should I add that one to my list of "Things I need to experience at some point because they are common cultural references but I missed because I had a sheltered/ uncultured upbringing".

It's pretty bad.  For a five year old, let's just say that I never wanted to be an astronaut.
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 07:56:23 pm »
However, that being said, we're sorta way off topic.
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 08:12:22 pm »
However, that being said, we're sorta way off topic.

True.

Again, it's all about balance.  Extremism is ugly no matter what you're being extreme about, whether that be the extremists hollering inside the capitol building (swallows) or the ugly-faced politicos driving them on (princes).  The difference in the prince and the swallow in the story, of course, being that one is a reformed exploiter who is still exploiting, and the other is a person addicted to being exploited.  The prince (in the story, for example) doesn't even have to be a bad guy.  Just someone who exploits others to do things in the prince's name to wash away the prince's sin (you're getting the irony right now, I am guessing), even as it loads the prince down with more sin.  Extremism in this tale, as in life, always ends badly...Especially if you don't believe there is a god up there to make it all better when you are destroyed.

I'm curious about reasoning that the happy prince's actions in this story loads them down with more sin? Is it because the sparrow (the exploited) dies at the end of the story because of the interference by the happy prince?
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 10:00:34 pm »
Here's me probably missing the point or putting my own dumb spin on things:
The mediums of communication of activism, in all its current forms, gets locked into the pattern of the Prince and the swallow.
Every single group over the last five years that starts out with reasonable and useful (or fuck it, even malevolent) intentions has gradually consumed its followers, at a minimum polarizing and isolating them from others who do not share the same modes of communicating, it has a way of breaking down the lingua franca and reducing it to specialised narrow scope.

I emphasise that this is the medium of communication of activism and not activism itself because there is a distinction there:
1) I refer to those who use the mediums of communication for these groups, talking about doing vs actually doing, the busier you are the less time you have to fall into this problem
2) There is plenty of activism going on that relies almost exclusively on not interacting with the majority of groups who supposedly represent its interests

This has been widely dismissed by the right wing locked in their own feedback loop as what they call Virtue signalling, itís easy to dismiss this behaviour as someone doing this for social credit or fear of being pilloried, but I donít believe either of these is the motivator, once locked into a loop and pattern of communication it gets harder and harder to break out

I'm likely way off the mark for what you were going for here
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2021, 10:33:29 pm »
Here's me probably missing the point or putting my own dumb spin on things:
The mediums of communication of activism, in all its current forms, gets locked into the pattern of the Prince and the swallow.
Every single group over the last five years that starts out with reasonable and useful (or fuck it, even malevolent) intentions has gradually consumed its followers, at a minimum polarizing and isolating them from others who do not share the same modes of communicating, it has a way of breaking down the lingua franca and reducing it to specialised narrow scope.

I emphasise that this is the medium of communication of activism and not activism itself because there is a distinction there:
1) I refer to those who use the mediums of communication for these groups, talking about doing vs actually doing, the busier you are the less time you have to fall into this problem
2) There is plenty of activism going on that relies almost exclusively on not interacting with the majority of groups who supposedly represent its interests

This has been widely dismissed by the right wing locked in their own feedback loop as what they call Virtue signalling, itís easy to dismiss this behaviour as someone doing this for social credit or fear of being pilloried, but I donít believe either of these is the motivator, once locked into a loop and pattern of communication it gets harder and harder to break out

I'm likely way off the mark for what you were going for here

Nope.  That's almost exactly what I meant.

Good people, even smart good people, can get sucked into this.  It offers a means by which to expiate real or imagined sin, at the cost of thinking.

It is how smart, good people become monsters or victims or even monsters AND victims.

I am reasonably sure that in another rant, I had mentioned when one of the elder COTSG guys, Joe Cosby, was asked last year to make a poster (gratis, of course) for their climate initiative.  So he had an Hispanic lady holding a sign that said "TIME IS RUNNING OUT."

The committee rejected it because, as one person put it, "It conveys a sense of urgency that might exclude marginalized people."

Wrap your brain around that one.  Marginalized people are the people suffering (present tense) FIRST as the climate takes a shit.  But that wasn't the motivation for the committee, apparently.

Then they got all mad when Joe wouldn't head back to the lab to try again.

In this scenario, Joe is the prince and the swallow, and the committee is the mayor and his cronies.  "The new statue should be me."
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2021, 10:35:02 pm »
However, that being said, we're sorta way off topic.

True.

Again, it's all about balance.  Extremism is ugly no matter what you're being extreme about, whether that be the extremists hollering inside the capitol building (swallows) or the ugly-faced politicos driving them on (princes).  The difference in the prince and the swallow in the story, of course, being that one is a reformed exploiter who is still exploiting, and the other is a person addicted to being exploited.  The prince (in the story, for example) doesn't even have to be a bad guy.  Just someone who exploits others to do things in the prince's name to wash away the prince's sin (you're getting the irony right now, I am guessing), even as it loads the prince down with more sin.  Extremism in this tale, as in life, always ends badly...Especially if you don't believe there is a god up there to make it all better when you are destroyed.

I'm curious about reasoning that the happy prince's actions in this story loads them down with more sin? Is it because the sparrow (the exploited) dies at the end of the story because of the interference by the happy prince?

Yes.  "YOU must suffer to expiate MY sin."
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2021, 11:03:35 pm »

Wrap your brain around that one.  Marginalized people are the people suffering (present tense) FIRST as the climate takes a shit.  But that wasn't the motivation for the committee, apparently.

Then they got all mad when Joe wouldn't head back to the lab to try again.

In this scenario, Joe is the prince and the swallow, and the committee is the mayor and his cronies.  "The new statue should be me."

Even reading about this second hand is tedious and frustrating, and makes me less interested in what they are trying to raise awareness of.
I work with 200MW of systems that can be optimised for carbon minimisation, its literally part of the job to align myself with their cause and I would go out of my way to avoid discourse with them after reading that.
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Re: The Happy Prince (Hey, Louie)
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2021, 11:15:00 pm »

Wrap your brain around that one.  Marginalized people are the people suffering (present tense) FIRST as the climate takes a shit.  But that wasn't the motivation for the committee, apparently.

Then they got all mad when Joe wouldn't head back to the lab to try again.

In this scenario, Joe is the prince and the swallow, and the committee is the mayor and his cronies.  "The new statue should be me."

Even reading about this second hand is tedious and frustrating, and makes me less interested in what they are trying to raise awareness of.
I work with 200MW of systems that can be optimised for carbon minimisation, its literally part of the job to align myself with their cause and I would go out of my way to avoid discourse with them after reading that.

It's all about the cause.  The cause, of course, being the committee members jockeying for The Biggest Savior position.

Poor Joe was used to hanging around with a better class of garbage, and didn't see it coming.  He was honestly shocked...Not that they'd refused the artwork, but that urgency would somehow exclude marginalized people.  It was so dismally stupid that he left the situation entirely. 

The group was 350PDX in Portland, so I am a little puzzled that he was so shocked.
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