Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Bug’s Life: Grasshoppers Controlling Ants

A Bug’s Life: Grasshoppers Controlling Ants

Allow my Conspiracy Reality Tunnel to go wild with this one: It's not just a metaphor for America 2008, but for the entire world since the beginning of civilization. This is what I mean by possible substitution-fiction manipulation. "Here, enjoy this pseudo-revolt you're not having!"

Based on Aesop's The Ant and the Grasshopper, the moral of which is supposedly about hard work vs laziness. I suggest at least some other versions are about working your ass off for the lazy greedy, your government. Check out some of these adaptations and realize how a group of grasshoppers might be laughing hard at the ignorance of sombunall(but much) humans.

"Happier" versions of the fable show the ants taking pity and giving the grasshopper some food, on the premise that turning the grasshopper away in his time of need is also morally questionable. (I'm all for helping the needy especially in world systems that are so screwed up, I'm not for helping the lazy greedy, let the schmucks in office get a real job.) A prime example is the 1934 animated short subject produced by Walt Disney. The Queen of the Ants decrees that the grasshopper may stay in the ant colony, but he must play his fiddle in return for his room and board. (entertainment, entrainment) He agrees to this arrangement, and the ant tunnels become a grand ballroom where all the ants happily dance to the music of the grasshopper, who finally learns that he needs to make himself useful. Notably, this short introduced the song "The World Owes Me a Livin'" (huge balls), which would later become a signature tune for Goofy.

The fable was retold on The Muppet Show in the episode guest-starring Bernadette Peters. Sam the Eagle narrates the story which ends with the ant being stepped on and the grasshopper driving his sports car to Florida.

Elements of the fable were loosely adapted as part of the storyline of the Pixar film A Bug's Life. In this instance, though, there are multiple grasshoppers, and they act as Mafia-like tyrants (aka a metaphor for the government) who demand a tribute of food from the ant colony, even though the ants within far outnumber the grasshoppers.

In the film Things Change, Don Ameche recalls an alternate version where the grasshopper eats the ant in the end.

An alternate version was shown during a wartime cartoon that has the grasshopper not worried about food because he invested in warbonds...

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