Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bed-time stories

No wonder people are evil.

Have you ever thought about the horrifying stuff you are told when you are most impressionable, when you are a wide-eyed innocent child? ...Actually, I take that back. Kids are far more evil than grown-ups. As soon as their parents' backs are turned those little darlings go into overdrive: they kick you in the shins, dig out crayons from God knows where and scribble all over your pristine walls, and insist that you have the funniest face they've ever seen. They'll look at you unblinkingly for some four minutes before saying "You're really fat." Then walk away from a visibly shattered you with the greatest nonchalance. But wait - that isn't even remotely my point.

So let me alter my opening statement and say...No wonder some kids are pint-sized psychopaths who grow up to drop bombs (from a safe distance) on other people.

They are taught the most grisly rhymes by unsuspecting adults, for example "Ring-a ring-a roses." A little research will tell the curious adult that this is actually a poem about the 'Black Death' in Medieval England. ( don't write sniffy comments to me saying I've got my dates wrong...this is not a history lesson, so shut up.) Or the bubonic plague as it is more popularly known nowadays.
Red rings would appear on the skin of people afflicted by it, hence the first line. People used to carry posies in their pockets to ward off the disease, and would have violents fits of sneezing (hush-a, hoosh-a) before death eventually overtook them. "We all fall down."

Simply charming, isn't it?

What about Little Red Riding Hood? A story grusesome enough when taken at face-value, has all sorts of sordid interpretations if you check good ol' wikipedia. (Check it, lazy!)

Hansel and Gretel is a shocking tale of parental abandonment and cannibalism. The list is horrifyingly long...(Read: I can't remember the other ones, and I couldn't be bothered to do a google search right now.)

Right before kids fall asleep, their loving parents tell them these ghoulish stories of murder and madness. Think of the psychological ramifications of this, think of the nightmare worlds they visit after they are lulled to sleep with stories of witches chomping on little kiddy legs.

A child's subconsciousness must be a cesspool of criminal instincts, thank God they're not tall enough to perpetrate any serious crimes.

So, they nurture evil thoughts suggested to them by these devilish nursery rhymes and bedtime stories until maturity. Some snap out of it, and others become full-blown psychopaths.

So the next time you hear of a serial-killer blaming his childhood, don't be cynical - it just might be that his parents read to him every night!

:) :)


Nisho said...

Wow.. never thought of it this way... I shall remember never to read Red Riding Hood or any of the stories you mentioned, to my kids.. i.e, whenever I have them (kids I mean, not the stories).

Your blog is very informative and educative, I must say. Love it!

Debjeet said...

ah good! at least i can blame it on my childhood then:)

Diya said...

if you're looking for even more cheerful children's stuff, read your kids (when you get them) stories from hans christian anderson. (my mum did to me, hmmm)i still think no story makes me howl like 'the little match girl'. AND my book had the most miserable pictures as well!

Abhipraya said...

Came here thor' Nisho's blog...good stuf here:-)

BTW have you read the story behind the arabian nights? its positively horrifying!

Ushasi said...

To Abhipraya: Is it something about a person delaying being executed by telling stories? Or something like that?

Abhipraya said...

Its about two brothers (Sultans if I remember it right) who because of some crazy situations and equally crazy thought process decide that women are evil and hence will marry a new woman everyday and kill her the same evening. Their minister is responsible for finding wives for them. Soon there is no one left but minister's daughters. And the eldest duaghter convinces her father to get them married. And she comes up with this idea of telling the stories minus the climax everynight and thus stays alive for 1001 nights.

The story tells in detail on why women are evil and how beating them and killing is the only way to keep them in check!