Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Unlike Gawain

Blogbook's intention has always been to inch along the edges of enigmas inside emotions, language and logic. Resembles mountain biking within broken crevasses or riding streets as if a rider suddenly miniaturized, which would render most of what humans endure impossibly hostile. But after this year's Christmas Massacre of Innocents, feel almost as unsafe on own couch watching countless repeats of that story where delusional boy covets a beebee gun; you'd think advertisers and lineup programmers would choose something less pathetic for a nation in mourning.

Fears can and will be exploited. TD Ameritrade's 'pataphorical ad with a bicyclist dodging beasts hopes to appeal to your intelligence (smart traders ride, right?) but makes no sense whatever (maybe instead dodge insatiable billionaires or pompous Trump). A for-once gratifying bike placement is the boy climbing to his mountaintop challenge on Quaker cereal, courtesy of iSpot.tv. Suppose such concrete challenges appeal more to Labann than mythical threats easily avoided by not investing in scams SEC still allows.

Writers go wrong at the first simile, succumb to self indulgence through metaphors, and work agendas with allegories. Readers are hardly aware they are so being used.

Among the venerable jewels of English literature is the medieval allegory "Gawain and the Green Knight", whose deadly challenge Sir Gawain shoulders for Camelot's sake but shows things are never what they seem. Set between successive Christmases and worth a reread, it's about man versus nature, opportunities for growth, and persistence to a respectable code of behavior despite temptation. The Green Man continually rejuvenates and so becomes an invincible yet merry foe expecting a bargain made to be repaid. His elvish evergreen, ivy and mistletoe may be thought subservient to Santa and taken for granted but do get job done. Hope springs eternally, and those who bring it deserve honor.

Labann knows legends of knights errant and their lonely quests of assumed responsibility get replayed during every outbound bike commute, right down to the exposed progress and uncertain outcome, especially among these coldest, darkest days. But all they do is impart lessons in loyalty undeserved by today's leaders. When they begin rewarding patriotism and showing good examples of fulfilling their oaths to majority, issues facing society will fade into history.

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