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Moral Monday: The Grasshopper and the Ant.

Of course we had to hit the Ant and the Grasshopper one of these Moral Mondays.  It’s THE Classic of Aesop’s “let’s bum kids out” Fables.  As everyone knows, the Ant works really hard all year getting ready for winter, while the Grasshopper is a total fuckup who just wants to spend every second getting wasted, playing his fiddle, and having unprotected sex with flies.  Then winter hits and BOOM!  The Ant’s all cozy and comfy in his cool-ass house, while the Grasshopper’s like “let me in Ant!  Cause if you don’t, I’m gonna fucking die – and not from Gonorrhea as you predicted, but starvation and the fucking cold!  Open up you asshole!   Agghh!  Agghh!”

Which in the original version the Ant – DOES NOT!  Cause the original moral was that hard work pays off, while laziness and sloth leads to a horrific death.  And for a century or two, people were good with that moral … only times change.

So later versions, citing Christian charity, or social responsibility towards those who have less than you – made the Ant let the lazy Grasshopper in his house.  Yay!  Cause we all know how that worked out for the Ant.  Here’s one version:

Ant:  “Grasshopper!  The foods all gone!  Where’s all of our food?!”

Grasshopper:   [Laughing, eyes red]  “I smoked it.  Isn’t that fucking funny.  Oh, and I just blew out the bathroom, dude, so give it 20.  Now I’m hungry.  Go find us food.”

At least that’s how I think it would play out.  But moving on …

There has been a centuries long debate over this story.  Does the Ant have a duty to help the Grasshopper?  Some writers have argued that the Ant represents an unfulfilled,  pedestrian life, while the Grasshopper is the free spirit, the artist … the one who should be celebrated, emulated – supported.

So where do you stand?  Should the Ant open the door?  Should you open the door when your lazy brother needs a place to crash for a month?  Should you give money to the homeless?  Should you pay more in taxes to help the jobless?

Now we’re getting deep!  And political, so let’s finish this up before a fight breaks out.

And close with some modern versions of the Ant and Grasshopper, from the world of Hollywood!

You, Me and Dupree.  Owen Wilson (Dupree) is the Grasshopper, who moves in with married Ant Matt Dillon, and quickly destroys his life, screws his wife Kate Hudson, and is generally really annoying … but he is just so damn Owen Wilson sweet.  But not that sweet.   VERDICT:   Don’t let the Grasshopper in.

Down and Out in Beverly Hills.  Homeless Grasshopper Nick Nolte moves in with Beverly Hills family, lead by Ant Richard Dreyfuss.  Like in Dupree, Nolte quickly destroys the Ant’s life, screws his wife Bette Midler (Grasshoppers like banging wives – even unattractive ones), not to mention the hot latina maid that Dreyfuss is having an affair with.  Based on the women’s noises, the Grasshopper is good at the sex thing.   Nolte also encourages the son to come out of the closet, which really pisses off Dreyfuss.   In the end Dreyfuss miserable, but rest of family happy, and Nolte finally showered and not eating garbage.  VERDICT:  Let the Grasshopper in!

Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black.  Screw that, all JACK BLACK MOVIES.  Jack Black is always the Grasshopper.   Always.  Not saying he doesn’t have range but … his range is … the fucking Grasshopper.  And Jack Black is always fat, drunk and stupid, and messes up a lot of shit.   In Gulliver, he’s also really tall, so he steps on a lot of shit, and makes GIANT farts, which blows tiny Lilliputian houses over.  In School of Rock he … whatever.  The rolls are all the same.  VERDICT:  Bolt the fucking door.

Method master Jack Black in character as The Grasshopper.

Swingers.  Vince Vaughn is the Grasshopper, while Jon Favreau is the Ant.  And Vince Vaughn, as superfriend Trent, is awesome.  Trent’s the most awesome movie buddy ever.  The most awesome Grasshopper ever.  He totally props up humorless Mike at every turn, telling him he’s “Money,” when the Ant is so NOT money.  Ant Favreau on the other hand is the worst.  A total prick.  He’s so self-obsessed, and mean to Vince.  Get over yourself man.  And stop leaving messages to chicks that don’t like you!  VERDICT:  Ant leave, Grasshopper stay!

I’m so confused.  Do I open the door, or close the door?  Is it Owen or Vince?   Ughh!  This is too real for me.  But we need a moral for this Monday, as all of you Ants gotta get back to work,  so … ah, give me a second … and … Got it!

Don’t watch Jack Black movies, because they are all the same.  They are.  Unless you’re really depressed … cause sometimes he’s funny.  He is.  Kinda.  If you’re depressed.

What really happens in nature: badass Ant eats a Grasshopper.
About Marty 86 Articles
Hollywood screenwriter, reformed attorney and worshiper of the tiny princesses on Monster Island. Became a nerd as a child, thanks to lack of athletic ability, which turned me on to fantasy novels, scifi movies, and not having girlfriends. Favorite projects I've worked on as writer - adapting BBC SILK for the U.S., the Japanese anime BLACKJACK and currently my passion project, PANDORA. Soon to be a major comic book.
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