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(Slate)   So it turns out that the children's book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" might not, in fact, be a deeply symbolic parable of the welfare state's questionable role in our modern society and, instead, is just a story about a mouse who likes cookies   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Mouse, The Washington Post, Milk, Rat, Rodent, The Slippery Slope, Howard Talbot, Lionel Monckton  
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1910 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jul 2020 at 2:36 PM (20 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

 
2020-07-14 1:43:07 PM  
39 votes:
If you give a book a subtext, it's probably going to want an explanation.

And if you've got an explanation, it's probably going to need some cultural criticism to contextualise it. So it's going to demand a theory.

If you've got a sociological theory, it's going to need to go somewhere. And it might decide there's no money in optimism. So it'll probably demand a teleology of cultural decline.

When you've got a teleology of cultural decline, you'll probably going to want to argue for it. So you're going to need some pundits.

Of course, if you've got pundits, they won't have anyone to argue against. Pundits always need someone to argue against. So you'll need some other pundits.

When you've got two groups of pundits, you'll probably wind up with a culture war. And if you've got a culture war, well, you're probably going to want to comment on that war. So you're probably going to write a book expressing your feelings on it.

And if you want to write a book...

...it just might ask for a subtext.
 
2020-07-14 2:53:12 PM  
20 votes:

Rapmaster2000: In my house, we only read capitalist books!
[Fark user image image 600x695]


kottke.orgView Full Size


The pig selling ham, pork chops, and bacon is a metaphor of late-stage capitalism.
 
2020-07-14 2:40:07 PM  
19 votes:
If You Pass Laws Mandating Living Wages, There Will Be Little Need For "Welfare."
 
2020-07-14 3:08:05 PM  
12 votes:
The Post's sources were neither children nor the book's creators, but instead an economist from the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Ron Haskins, a former congressional staffer who helped design federal welfare programs during the Clinton administration. If you give a mouse a cookie, Haskins warned, the mouse begins to expect the cookie, and next thing you know, you've created a culture of dependency and he's sleeping in your bed.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-14 2:46:31 PM  
6 votes:
Oh shiat hahaha
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-07-14 2:49:15 PM  
5 votes:
I read this in a college business class but it was geared toward marketing and upselling the customer.  So basically you can ascribe any meaning to anything if you try hard enough.
 
2020-07-14 2:40:15 PM  
5 votes:
Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.
 
2020-07-14 3:46:28 PM  
4 votes:

skyotter: So that whole "We don't hate PERSONAL charity, we just hate when the GOVERNMENT does it" claim was a lie.

I'm shocked.  Shocked, I say.


When it's explained to people who hold this particular view that if PERSONAL charity could handle those in need there would be no reason for GOVERNMENT charity, it freezes what few brain cells they have working. Private charity has never worked for all and it never will due to two factors - capitalism as practiced in this country means that will always be more poor people and people in need than any private systems can deal with, and those who push private charity will always pick and choose to whom they give while government charity makes no distinction - only that your need is great enough.

The mere fact that the people who push private over government shows that they don't want "their" money going toward helping certain people, usually for discriminatory reasons. That is what makes government charity necessary.
 
2020-07-14 2:47:24 PM  
4 votes:
You know how you get rid of mice and rats?  You stop putting food out for them.  Clean up your garbage.  Remove their shelter.  Make sure to introduce predators.

Take the mega cities for example.  Stop putting tons of garbage on the street.  Then the rats have to start eating each other.  They become the predators on themselves.  Since corona lockdown shut down the restaurants and stopped putting tons of garbage on the streets, the rats have started eating each other.

The same will work for people.  Stop giving them food.  Then they will eat each other.  The earth will heal.
 
2020-07-14 2:44:41 PM  
4 votes:
So that whole "We don't hate PERSONAL charity, we just hate when the GOVERNMENT does it" claim was a lie.

I'm shocked.  Shocked, I say.
 
2020-07-14 2:42:19 PM  
4 votes:
Anything can be a deeply symbolic parable of the welfare state's questionable role in modern society if you're brave enough.
 
2020-07-14 5:15:17 PM  
3 votes:

elaw: If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish, and he'll sit in a canoe and drink beer all day.


If you give a man fire, he'll be warm for a day. Set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

/Sir Terry Pratchett
 
2020-07-14 3:17:45 PM  
3 votes:

GrogSmash: gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.

Which reminds me of any number of time travel stories, where there is a middle aged man, dressed in medeival clothing and a neck ruff, sitting in the back of a university English class, staring confused at a failing grade following an exam on Shakespeare's works.


The Immortal Bard- by Isaac Asimov

http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Asi​m​ov_TheImmortalBard.html
 
2020-07-14 3:06:47 PM  
3 votes:

gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.


Really? Mine said the author'a intent was just one voice and that the symbolism the readers find is as important or more important than the authors intent.
 
2020-07-14 3:01:55 PM  
3 votes:

Oreminer: GrogSmash: gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.

Which reminds me of any number of time travel stories, where there is a middle aged man, dressed in medeival clothing and a neck ruff, sitting in the back of a university English class, staring confused at a failing grade following an exam on Shakespeare's works.

Don't get me started on Ernest Hemingway and how everything he wrote is a Christian allegory.
Blech.


/twitch

I'm getting farking flashbacks from HS English now.  I managed to scrape a C+ or B- for the first couple of years, then in grade 12, I figured out the teacher was a bible thumper.  Dug out the old family bible, started referencing it in every essay I had to write, suddenly I was a solid A student in English.
 
2020-07-14 2:40:40 PM  
3 votes:
If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll be fed for a little while. But if you teach him how to cookie, he'll poop in your cabinets.
 
2020-07-14 5:35:38 PM  
2 votes:

rewind2846: You know who else associated people they deemed "undesirable" with rodents?


The people complaining about "plague rats"?
 
2020-07-14 5:21:11 PM  
2 votes:

neongoats: Sure. Next you'll tell me Thomas the Tank Engine isn't fascist indoctrination.


It's not. But what it is is often mired in early 20th century English class. The aristocratic Sir Toppamhat genially leading the underclass Thomas. I swear, I once saw two episodes back to back where the "lesson" was "stay on your track. Don't have ambition. Your station in life has already been determined." I mean, I didn't even think of those puns as I was writing this. They're BUILT INTO THE SHOW!!!

/ Why yes, my toddler has been on a train kick recently.
// And yes, it has affected my sanity.
/// I still think my reading holds up.
 
2020-07-14 3:17:50 PM  
2 votes:
Give a Mouse a Cookie | Robot Chicken | Adult Swim
Youtube gZN4DYytjyw
 
2020-07-14 3:00:27 PM  
2 votes:
The American Enterprise Institute is chockablock with conservative welfare queens writing the occasional poorly researched, lazily written stink piece sucking Koch in return for some filthy, filthy lucre

It's always safe to ignore the AEI, their last big idea was in the 1960s when they came up with the terribly original "Hey let's cut taxes for rich assholes" but to be fair they also came up with "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, let's invade them" but other than that, nada
 
2020-07-14 2:54:48 PM  
2 votes:

GrogSmash: gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.

Which reminds me of any number of time travel stories, where there is a middle aged man, dressed in medeival clothing and a neck ruff, sitting in the back of a university English class, staring confused at a failing grade following an exam on Shakespeare's works.


Or the number of people I went to school with who were fluent in Spanish, yet still ended up getting a B in Spanish.
 
2020-07-14 2:50:59 PM  
2 votes:
It's about unintended consequences.  It could just as easily be about greed:  You give a rich man a tax break, and then he wants EPA regulations rescinded.  Once he can pollute all he wants OSHA regulations repealed.  Once the workers are sick he wants to lower their pay and on and on.
 
2020-07-14 2:47:54 PM  
2 votes:

gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.


Which reminds me of any number of time travel stories, where there is a middle aged man, dressed in medeival clothing and a neck ruff, sitting in the back of a university English class, staring confused at a failing grade following an exam on Shakespeare's works.
 
2020-07-14 4:43:03 PM  
1 vote:

gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.


Yeah... I had a teacher like that.  Yes there is purposeful symbolism in many works of art. There is also accidental symbolism, but when you push for everything to be a symbol, you often misinterpret what the author was trying to say ( see: Fahrenheit 451, Lord of the Rings etc )
 
2020-07-14 3:27:46 PM  
1 vote:
You know who else associated people they deemed "undesirable" with rodents?
 
2020-07-14 3:22:32 PM  
1 vote:
You'd know that if you knew how to read, which Trump supporters can't or won't do.
 
2020-07-14 2:57:57 PM  
1 vote:

gar1013: GrogSmash: gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.

Which reminds me of any number of time travel stories, where there is a middle aged man, dressed in medeival clothing and a neck ruff, sitting in the back of a university English class, staring confused at a failing grade following an exam on Shakespeare's works.

Or the number of people I went to school with who were fluent in Spanish, yet still ended up getting a B in Spanish.


Yup, my buddy explained the class taught European Spanish, not Latin American Spanish (like British English vs American English).
 
2020-07-14 2:53:43 PM  
1 vote:

gar1013: Stop lying Subby.

I had a high school English teacher who insisted that there was symbolism in EVERYTHING we read, and it was intentional in all cases.


Didn't Melville say that Moby Dick is just an adventure story about whaling?
 
2020-07-14 2:48:34 PM  
1 vote:

Marcos P: Idk about yall, but this shiat sent me down the rabbit hole:

[Fark user image image 425x513]
(Dont worry, the monster turned out to be Grover, )


...  I think I had that one, once upon a decade...
 
2020-07-14 2:41:32 PM  
1 vote:
I remember reading something not too long ago about how Paw Patrol is really just conservative Republican propaganda because its about a bunch of dumb rich people constantly needing to be bailed out of bad situations mostly of their own making.
 
2020-07-14 2:22:10 PM  
1 vote:
Now do the one where Goodnight Moon is really Soviet propaganda about being happy and content in your dilapidated communal farmhouse while your parents working themselves to death after the sun has gone down.
 
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