PM Justin Trudeau: A Pinocchio or a Dorian Gray?
My devoted readers, I must come to you for help as I am on the horns of a dilemma. I am about to ordain PM Trudeau either a Pinocchio or a Dorian Gray. I can’t decide which is more appropriate so I hope you can take a few moments to send some feedback. You, of course, may decide that my two proposals are totally out to lunch. In which case, I trust you will feel free to send your own and share with the rest of us. These of course must be purely sensible and well-reasoned. No slander, no libel, just some well told characterizations of his star-spangled performance.
All of us have the power of ordination and we may choose to exercise it in some modest way. There are times, and this is one of them, where ordination becomes compulsory, as ordinations and metaphors serve to reveal truths untold.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Pinocchio. The toy maker Geppetto fashioned a wooden puppet who magically came to life. He was though a naughty puppet who frequently lied and committed misdeeds. His nose had the unfortunate habit of growing longer and longer when he lied and misbehaved.
An ever-growing nose can be a serious handicap for a politician as it can get in the way of microphones. In a scrum it might poke a reporter in the eye. When he/she is giving a speech it may bang on the podium and on TV it is not very telegenic.
Politicians have always had a hard time calling a spade a spade and too often this reaches epidemic proportions. For example; when it comes to the term “privatization,” it quickly becomes “asset recycling” or a “fly wheel of reinvestment.” The political long-noses just don’t want the public to catch on to the exact nature of what is privatization. Where I come from it is known as “pilfering the public purse.” But then, I am from British Columbia and we know about such things, as we have another very light-fingered Liberal government here.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel by British playwright and writer Oscar Wilde. Wilde’s fictional character is a young, extremely handsome, London bon vivant who has just inherited a vast fortune. Given his good looks and access to an endless supply of money Gray is free to live as a gentleman and all the sins and pleasures of life can be afforded.
At the outset he is introduced to a well-known and a very talented artist, Basil Hallward, who paints a stunning portrait of Gray. Gray curses the portrait as, “he believes it will one day only remind him of the beauty he lost. In a fit of distress, he pledges his soul if only the painting will bear the burden of age and infamy, allowing him to stay forever young.” He is also introduced to a somewhat older Lord Henry Wotton, who becomes a friend, mentor, and a scoundrel leading him into a life of sinful pleasures, and ultimate tragedy.
This plot can easily be recast as a political melodrama where a young and handsome PM arrives in Ottawa vested with the fortunes of political power and a nation’s destiny in his hands. Another “painting” is done. There is great potential for more lost beauty, a pledge is made, and the die is cast. In this instance though, Lord Henry Wotton is replaced by cunning Neo-liberal scoundrels.
And so, are we left with a Pinocchio, a Dorian Gray, or maybe even a pickpocket?