Apr 5, 2014

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

I read Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows a few weeks ago. I was intrigued that Pink Floyd named their debut album after a chapter in the book: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The chapter's an odd one, where our diminutive animal protagonists have a frankly psychedelic and vaguely homoerotic experience meeting Pan. One wonders if Kenneth enjoyed a bit of the "Halfling's leaf" back in the day, while writing his stories for children.

I am intrigued by piper myths, both Pan and the Pied Piper. The Pied Piper rids the town of Hamlin of a plague of rats, it reminded me of this old gosporn post - The Piper Gets an Advance, where the modern bankers and plutocrats have become the rats in our global village, eating us out of house and home. The climax of The Wind in the Willows is chapter 12, "The Return of Ulysses", where Toad and his compatriots retake Toad Hall from a band of weasels.

Another telling spin on the weasel mythos can be found in the Terry Jones-directed version of Wind in the Willows, a live-action 1996 interpretation which re-conceives Grahame's saga as an environmental parable. Here the weasels are no longer a grasping underclass but rather a league of industrialists, plowing over Mole's field to build vast factories and planning to dynamite Toad's home - a historical landmark - to make way for a new processing plant. The Chief Weasel, sporting a Hitler mustache and flanked by Nazi-like "W" banners, is an evil plutocrat with no regard for the natural landscape, the national legacy, or the modest homes and livelihoods of creatures throughout the River Bank. ~Joel Bocko.

Rat, Mole, Badger and Toad sneak back into Toad Hall via a secret underground passage while the weasels are partying it up in the dining room, eating Toad's food, drinking his wine, and telling crass jokes. It was a banquet for the Chief Weasel's birthday.

The League of Weasels

Yesterday, 4/4/14, was the 65th birthday of NATO. The "Weasel in Chief" would be our 44th president. Var and I were walking by the house with the "Big Orange Sync" yesterday and he spied a condom package on the road, a Trojan. We recall that Ulysses sneaked into Troy by hiding inside the Trojan Horse.

I wonder if the invasion from the Id began yesterday? Not the overt attack, but the sneaking in.

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