In the late 70’s, during my first attempt at “higher education,” I wrote an essay on how I thought that Pink Floyd’s Animals album was an accurate reflection of our modern world.
Sadly, I don’t have a copy to share with you today. I do, however, find it sweetly ironic that now, some thirty-two years later, the Pigs are in the air with no place to land while the Dogs are in a drop-dead panic because the Sheep are on the rampage.
Please allow me to translate into language more suitable for “modern” thought:
The Dogs are those well-trained individuals who work so hard to squeeze every penny of profit they can out of the system we (the people) provide at the behest of the Pigs.
The Pigs are those whom we (the people), for one reason or another, have granted “positions of authority” in our lives. While the Pigs are mainly elected officials, all those who are looked to for leadership and guidance fall into this category as well.
The Sheep includes pretty much everyone who are not Dogs or Pigs, including the wannabes.
Now it is possible for a member of one group to move into another. And because of the “special” nature of this wonder-land we live in, it is even possible for a player to exist in more than group at the same time. Isn’t that cool?
Sadly though, there is trouble on the board. Paradise has turned into a ball of confusion. The Sheep are out for the Dogs blood now that they’ve realized their true place on the food chain. The Dogs are begging the Pigs to bail them out now that their victims are circling around with leash/noose in hand. And the Pigs are fluttering about like wounded ducks while simultaneously wagging their fingers at the Dogs and crying for the Sheep to show more of that “patience” they’re so famous for.
As Pink Floyd sang:
“Now it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around
So have a good drown
As you go down
Dragged down by the stone.”
How unfortunate it is that the “you” in that prose might well be all of us. Sometimes I envy the dinosaurs. At least they didn’t know what hit ’em.
I want ice water.
I decided to update this article after watching John Oliver’s (The Daily Show) stand-up performance on Comedy Central. With his being British, and with Pink Floyd being British, and with my fascination with that British accent (I think in a British accent at times don’t you know), it just seemed appropriate that I include his closing thoughts as an update to this article.
John, and his comic “scientist” sidekick, made the point that perhaps the reason the U.S. isn’t working harder to solve the problems of the world is because, according to the rules of this crazy competition, the “winner” of the game is the country that is on top when the world ends. Well now, being the die-hard and fatalistic American patriot that I am, I’m obligated to consider that perhaps this is a good thing. It’s just a damned shame that no one will be around to celebrate our glorious achievement.
But, again, being the die-hard and fatalistic American patriot that I am, I am also unwilling to give up on fame and fortune – regardless of the cost! Perhaps we can leave some sort of Great American Monument to brag about said achievement for future alien visitors to find and be awed by. Won’t that just wipe the smirk right off their proud, little, grey, planet-hopping faces!
I want ice water.