“Mum, why does that little boy’s nose keep getting longer whenever he speaks?”
“Man up, kid. Time you learned that everyone tells lies.”
If your only introduction to the character of Pinocchio was Disney’s animated adventures, you were assumed not to be “man enough” to handle Carlo Collodi’s original and far more brutal fairy-tale. In fact, you were lied to by a character who was himself a lie. Collodi [the nom de plume of 19th century author and journalist Carlo Lorenzini] aimed to present the salutary tale of an intriguing object of desire. Freed lovingly into human form from a cursed log by Geppetto the shoemaker, the wooden boy was created to conform to the bliss of a protective and loyal family.
But the whole enterprise was never meant to be a metaphor for the cleansing nature of truth. Instead it hid a far more political subtext, namely that only by educating the young can they gain the insights required to resist Italy’s take over by invading nations and tyrannical philosophies. That goal was Collodi’s lifelong passion, explored in much of his writing.
In fact, Collodi’s kid, a far cry from Disney’s adorable little puppet, proved a menace from the start. Never tied with strings, he was a stand-alone figure who not only bit the hand that carved him, but who abused animals, expected his every whim to be met, ran away, fell in with a passel of bad guys, and lied about everything.
You were even lied to about that nose, which may have been drawn as pointy by Enrico Mazzanti, the original illustrator, but never grew any longer. No wonder he was hanged from a tree by duplicitous betrayers, unable to escape on the wooden feet which had burned off in an accident. And yet, with the inexhaustible love of his ‘father,’ the kid was rescued by Geppetto and realised at last the changes he must adopt with all his heart in order to become ‘a real boy.’
Even today Pinocchio’s nose continues to promote the morality myth. Currently in production are two mainstream films featuring the wooden child – an animated version from Guillermo del Toro, and Matteo Garrone’s feature starring Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni. Disney itself may or may not be developing a live-action re-telling of its own 1940 animation.
Children Are Not Snowflakes
Guess who hammered and clamoured for Collodi’s story to be restored when the publishers aborted the serialised version in its magazine? Yep, it was the kids, in their hundreds of thousands. If you’ve ever felt the fist of pester power at a supermarket checkout, imagine how futile it was for Victorian parents to resist the hunger for ever newer chapters in the adventures of the horrid wooden boy.
On the surface those small readers couldn’t give a fig for the political implications, but Collodi had cleverly drawn a parallel between the absolute reign within the family and that of Italy’s monarch.
Supported by those of all generations who are currently contemplating their burned-off feet, it’s the children of Extinction Rebellion [XR] and advocates of The Green Party leading calls of resistance. Their focus, unwavering, is on the future of the planet; the very existence of all living things. Their fields of battle are the dwindling hectares of green, and the fast-drying pools of clean water, all connecting corridors to sustain healthy life: carbon capture by trees and locked under permafrost, using the resources of earth to protect itself. The problem is that time is well and truly up. Forests are being sacrificed to the palm oil god, and even the permafrost is melting before our eyes.
Arbitrary ridiculous deadlines of 2050 allow incumbents to leap from the global warming flames, as their descendants sizzle.
When so many people around the world are so determined to resist the headlong march into oblivion, it’s a measure of their heroism that keeps their marches and direct action so free of violence. Arrests can at least partly be ascribed to paid agents provocateurs. With Greta Thunberg as XR’s soft-spoken yet passionate Joan of Arc figure, their message resists the easy sound-bite solutions so practiced by legislators and reality deniers. One of their key demands is Tell The Truth. This woke generation sees past the words, slippery as eels, that have been crafted at obscene expense by the legal teams advising politicians, policy makers and BigBiz lobbyists. They know that money won’t help, because you just cannot buy your way out of the mess. Though they sure are trying!
Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil
Vigilant about the world’s acknowledgement how quickly time is running out, the forces of peaceful rebellion emphasise media examples of barriers to change. There are graphs and bar-charts and comparative statistics all across the Net, citing the inadequacies of those with dangerous delusions. Below are a handful of cogent web examples probing – among other disgraces – America’s annual accumulation of two million tonnes of solid waste, or of the increasing levels of Sargasso weed algal bloom coating our oceans, which a 19-year study by the University of Southern Florida Marine Science concludes has devastated the economic development of the Caribbean. So, even on its own false terms of governance, Capitalist tactics are failing.
Yes, there are heartening examples of individual fightback. For over 30 years and almost single-handed, Suffolk’s Joan Girling has campaigned against the profligate and ultimately irrelevant nuclear power industry in an era seeking safer and faster sustainable alternatives, while Laura Sanderson, a Welsh art teacher, is exploring why her country is being choked by plastic residue from the tiny mountain rills of Snowdon to the main waterways that empty into the sea. Such valiant voices.
But even Green Party spokespeople are building their policies on a balance, however precarious, between green goals and jobs. With the acquiescence of those unions protecting sectors of a work force whose very existence actively prolongs climate change, it’s been up to individuals and XR to tell the truth and shame the devil of deceit. And that calls out the lies of Capitalism.
In its 11 July editorial, The Morning Star – the only truly left-wing paper which continues to be totally ignored in every single news review on radio and telly – makes an unassailable case for the way the class-dominated Tory Brexit obsessions have re-painted current British economic figures. Party bigwigs and their corporate string-pullers imply a no-deal option would be just fine, don’t worry your pretty little head about it, dear. What an Eton Mess!
The Nose Knows
Lying has become such a component of public life the rest of us are forever walking around trying to clear the dust of deception from our eyes. The manipulators of our beliefs are exceedingly well-briefed by some of the most rigorous corporate analysts ever to set up shop in every nook and cranny of human endeavour. One of the most respected and best funded is Verisk Maplethorpe, part of the even larger Verisk Group. Here’s a brief quote from their analytical promise: “Our environment dataset consists of 47 indices, looking at dimensions of climate change, environmental pressure, ecosystem services, state response, and exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards.”
Gosh, wouldn’t that kind of unbiased fact-based statistical overview be of benefit to actually help speed the battle against the planet’s destruction? Surely, governments and corporate polluters ought to know about this. Well, of course they do! They’ve known for decades. What Verisk’s findings touch, is the way decision makers can spin reality into self-protection. Capitalism and its devotees must be protected. At all costs – costs which are rising faster than the warming seas.
You bet they know. But when lone voices confront them, whoops, there’s that nose getting longer.
They lied in the early days of discovery, and they’re lying still. Because, just as the argument against smoking met with dangerous untruths and diversions by the tobacco industry, the current resistance to the truth has been led first by climate change deniers and increasingly by culpable manufacturers and service industries. Their strategy has been to issue public relation pronouncements, while doing virtually nothing to move all of us into some better future. In fact, they’re making it worse. And the kids know it. They know it because it’s their future. And that future cannot be about jobs and trade and tariffs. It cannot be about Capitalism in any of its divisive and protectionist forms.
XR understands the disparities between short-term jobs in the car industry and the media celebration of Formula 1 making commentators hoarse screaming out the finishing times, and the daily accumulation of air-borne particulates that invade the cilia linings of our airwaves and clog the alveoli of our lung tissues. They know that the biggest economies plotting to buy their way out of waste disposal at home are no longer able to sell it to countries like China and Malaysia which are full to the brim with our non-biodegradable plastic and other waste. One of Canada’s shipments of 60 tonnes of illegally labelled waste material has just been rejected by Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine President after awaiting disposal for six years! They know that the obscene trade in rhino horn, elephant ivory, hippo tusks, shark fins, green turtles, pangolins, primates, and countless other animal and plant species fuels the decimation of bio-diversity throughout the planet. They know that the widening cracks in the Antarctic ice shelf will split, tumbling a berg the size of Manhattan to drift northwards, affecting the flow of the Gulf Stream, and threatening the balance of ocean salinity. Above all, they know that 2050 is too late. Much too late.
Do not believe the crowing of BigBanking, BigPharma, BigAuto, and every other BigCapital Liars Incorporated when they try to persuade you how green they’ve become and how much they care about the environment and the welfare of us little folk. They do not speak at all without speaking lies.
Don’t listen. Just watch the nose.
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This post was written by outRageous!