Friday, November 4, 2011

Conversations with Rabbit

Rabbit – My fortune says “those grapes you cannot taste are always sour.” What does that mean? Is that like saying the grass isn’t greener on the other side? Why are they sour? And if I can’t taste them how do I know they are sour?

Me – Maybe the logic is twofold. If the grapes you can’t taste were, in fact, bad then one must conclude that they are sour. If the grapes you didn’t taste were sweet, then they were sour for you didn’t taste them. But maybe that only works if they grapes you didn’t taste are always sour, not the grapes you can’t taste… Or we can assume no one is really talking about grapes here and all non-tasted grapes (experiences) are sour (bad). Since the only opposing force to bad is good, it is a battle between good and bad. And if you missed the good, that’s bad, and well, bad is bad – unless of course you missed the bad, then that would be good. Or not. Sometimes bad is good – we need bad for good.

Rabbit – I’m not real sure your interpretations have brought me any closer to wisdom contained in my fortune, but it did make me laugh.

Me – Ok, this proverb comes from one of Aesop’s Fables (The Fox and the Grapes). The fox was hungry and saw grapes high on the vine and tried to get them but couldn’t reach, so he walks away, snorting with derision, saying they were sour anyhow. So on that note, we can say the moral of the story lies in our own disparaging feelings towards those things we want but cannot have, and our way of making the fact we cannot have them somehow okay.

Rabbit – So I guess you were right and I was right in a roundabout right/wrong kind of way.

Me – Well of course we were right. When you obscure the argument with enough rhetoric, what is “wrong” is hard to diagnose and what is “right” is very easy to see.

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