Dr. Seuss weighed in on the news about the 47% of “dependent” Americans and “the distribution of wealth” and power with the non-partisan story of Yertle the Turtle.
A comment on “Uproar over video offers a warning about what happens when fundamentalism wins” (MPR commentary September 18, 2012) on religion as a tide pool).
Here’s an edited version of what someone named Dan Brunner wrote:
I think tide pools vary but are basically the same-1 source, (1 God) bound by laws of nature (God/humanity/morality) composed of bits of the ocean’s ecosystem (people/works). Tide pool waters are nature being apostolic; even if the ocean isn’t within eyesight, people are instinctively drawn to the marvel of and connection to it, and at the core are likely to believe the tide pool is evidence that there is something greater beyond.
There should be simple joy/peace in such a marvelous place, given space and freedom, there probably wouldn’t be conflict, however a turtle without good motive, without talent or merit can make itself king of a pond, can control and oppress other turtles to elevate oneself/opinion. With the myth that Yertle has achieved the height required for the greater vision, he’s given the power to create arguments around whose tide pool is better, bigger of more virtue; Yertle can burn Korans, yell God hates __ and misrepresent both history and what other Yertles say.
In the book, supporters supported until they physically couldn’t, but sometimes, in real life, Yertle supporters crawl out of the pond and get on a bus. Each tide pool can have its own Yertle and Yertle-supporters….
The Yertles argue; supporters support. Like a commodity, the tide pool can be fortified, quartered, used, harvested and polluted. The spiritual draw is weakened, but we sit there content and convinced we are right, or we feel obligated to follow tribe/tradition/peers to the point where we end up like the water you describe – slimy, stinky and immune to the stench. It’s good to be part of the tide pool, but isn’t our quest to be towards the ever-fresh ocean? Could/would Yertle ever explain that, if it meant he would no longer be seen as king of the pond?
Join Dan and chime in on the discussion of the tide pools (ponds), the kings, and poor little Mac at the bottom of the Yertle tower (the Tower of Babel) whose burp saved turtles from the tyranny of Yertle.