The Woods Always Mean Death (2000)
From "Into the Fairy Tale -- The Forest of Eden" by Frank Dwyer:
“In fairy tales,”[Bruno]Bettelheim wrote, “being lost in the forest symbolizes not a need to be found, but rather that one must find or discover oneself.”[...]What else do we know about the forest, from the fairy tales? It’s a place where kings lose their way and don’t know how to get home...
Mmmm. Let's see. Employing the war in Iraq as a metaphor for being lost in the woods, who might be using the conflict to discover himself -- yet who doesn't have a clue how to "get home"? Someone, with codpiece thrusting, who enjoys dressing up and acting kingly? Someone, as the tales tell us, who is known for huffing and puffing fits?
Could it be...this guy?
My what lovely oil you have...
From Capitol Hill Blue -- "Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides" by Doug Thompson:
While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.“I’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. “She can go to hell as far as I’m concerned!”Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them “motherfucking traitors.” He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore “bullshit protectors” over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to “tell those VFW assholes that I’ll never speak to them again if they can’t keep their members under control.”White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President’s honesty.
“Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,” he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. “I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.”Bush, while setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often “flips the bird” to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to “go to hell” or to “go fuck yourself.” His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.
Bush’s behavior, according to prominent Washington psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, is all too typical of an alcohol-abusing bully who is ruled by fear.To see that fear emerges, Dr. Frank says, all one has to do is confront the President. “To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear,” he says.[...]Dr. Frank explains Bush’s behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial:“The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality; it's rarely limited to his or her drinking,” he says. “The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat.”
You can go to grandma's house...once you've been pre-screened...
[Illustration by Gustave Dore]
Hopefully, our own experience in the woods of Iraq, as well as this revealing peek into Bush's backstage temperament, will lead us to the same conclusions Red Riding Hood reached in Into the Woods:
And I know things now
Many valuable things
That I hadn't known before...Isn't it nice to know a lot
...and a little bit not...
And, as today's image states, although some neoconnish children may try to twist the meaning of the woods to mean ridding the world of stockpiles of (mythical) WMDs or regime change or nineteen other reasons, fairy tales consistently show the woods are symbolic of one thing. It's always
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Reaper and the Flowers"
[Sketch of the Grim Reaper found on firstworldwar.com]