Mailbox: Reader Wants Us to Explain Fairytale

We don’t always share the anonymous emails that come into the Fishbowl because some are laced with profanity or rated XXX and would offend the many children under 10 who read our site. But this one screamed out for response. So here we are.

Please explain the apparently offensive (even by your standards) graphic accompanying your “Where Does TWT’s Solomon Really Work” item.

First off, our standards? What exactly do you think “our standards” are? I’m going to consult Eddie and Peter on our standards pronto! But now that you’ve asked, since when is a cartoon graphic of a fairytale depicting Hans Christian Anderson‘s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” ever offensive? Secondly, we think you may need new standards or else a new perception of ours. We hardly ever get offended by anything. Just look at FBDC’s Peter Ogburn‘s depiction of Titty City. Offensive? Or, just telling it like it is? And how about this image. Still offended?

To answer your question, I think we first need to set you up on a rug with milk and cookies. All comfy?

So, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a Danish fairytale written by the aforementioned Anderson in 1837. The emperor in the book was something a clothes horse. Think Kim Kardashian in the 1800s on a horse. One day villains rolled into town and told the emperor they could make him clothing that would be both beautiful and invisible to imbeciles. The cloth was supposed to be the finest in all the land. No one would admit they couldn’t see the clothes, not even the emperor out of fear of acknowledging his own stupidity. The picture we used depicts a procession through town in which the emperor was effectively nude.

The metaphorical meanings are plentiful, but “the elephant in the living room” comes to mind (i.e. everyone’s too afraid to admit what’s actually going on, even and maybe especially, to themselves.) Hopefully you don’t find that image too offensive.