I haven’t been too angry to sleep for a really long time, and it’s quite a horrible feeling. It’s nearly 3am, and I’m roiling with righteous indignation at perceived injustice. That in and of itself is bad, but I’m posting because I’ve finally managed to articulate some of my frustrations eloquently enough to crack the flawed arguments succinctly. I will take this down in the morning if I have any sense, but here’s a small portion of my situation in the tried-and-tested form of an allegory about a fruit dictator.
1: I take some tests about fruit and am told by the over-arching fruit king I am allowed to start eating apples and bananas again. With impunity!
2. I am observed competently eating my first apple, but the regional fruit dictator then questions whether I might somehow choke in unforseen ways. I can only eat bananas until further notice, and can only do that if someone helps me.
3. I competently eat 11 bananas with 3 different helpers. They all feel I am more than capable of eating bananas and should be allowed to eat apples too. They say this.
3. The response is a no. I might not be safe to eat apples because I have only eaten bananas. (I point out that I was not permitted to try the apples. I am “not listening.”) Furthermore, if I’m not safe to eat apples, I’m not safe to eat bananas either. And if I’m not safe to eat anything, a fruit specialist must be brought in (at great expense) and all fruit must rot til then. (Baffled yet? Me too.)
4. I point out that if bananas are a separate category, and clearly they are by the apple definition, then I should at least be allowed to eat bananas – you know, since there are no concerns with bananas. Nope. Genetic modification occurs before my very eyes, the crops merge into an unobtainable banapple of doom, and a now very angry fruit dictator informs me that all the test-taking and banana eating was just to assess whether I even have the right to ask if I can be considered for apple-eating again. But now I’ve tried to pick an unripe banapple, and if I ask for fruit again without the specialist, I will be a nuisance. I don’t recall eating a bird, but I distinctly spit feathers. I am rendered downright speechless by the banapple. It hasn’t occurred to me to fight it with my own mythical construct. Given all the fruit and the feathers, you’d think I could at least build a phoenix and fight back. Instead, I grow small and miserable and sit down on the pile of banana skins to sulk. I would like to squelch the whole fruit aisle and possibly burn down the apple orchard too. But at least I understand that I will still want the apples someday, and even that an angry, fruit-splicing dictator might turn benevolent again eventually. I just have to make sure someone else pops the banapple bubble and dignity is maintained.