Friday, May 22, 2009

Who do you Trust?

 In Disney's "The Jungle Book" the slithering snake Kaa makes a near successful attempt to get the man-cub Mowgli to "Trust in me" as he mesmerizes the young boy and lulls him to sleep with his perilous song. Only an intervention by the "bad-guy" Shere Khan prevents Kaa from making Mowgli a sumptuous snake snack!

"You can believe in me." Kaa says. Really. We've heard the words of a few snakes in our day, and unfortunately for us it becomes harder and harder to distinguish the snakes in today's world. It was easy in the children's movie. While the snake was bad, he really wasn't the one to fear. The polished and more slick Shere Khan provided the ultimate menace and even as the story has been re-written a few times since, it is this simple tale that provides the important morals for our island life.

So where did we go wrong? Where did we lose our focus? Who is in fact the "one to trust'? In Bermuda it is now a war between the daily printed media who continues to sing it's song "Trust in me" and the polished slick premier Ewart Brown who really holds all the power. We have seen this before haven't we? The daily gazette has been a constant source of irritation for the premier, so much so that they have been banished for their inability to report the truth, or at least their version of it. The fun has begun!

In the last few years the media has pulled out the PATI idea (Public Access To Information) seeking what they call transparency. Since then it's been (continuing our hollywood script idea) a Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson standoff from "A Few Good Men"...

Jessup: "You want answers?"

Kaffee: "I think I'm entitled..."

Jessup: "You want answers?"



It's almost too funny isn't it? A lack of trust between the ruling government lead by the slick (depending on your point of view) Ewart Brown, and the antagonist Gazette editor Bill Zuill has lead to the point where no official government statements will be given to the Gazette. With a swipe of his paw, Shere Khan has dismissed the nuisance Kaa out of hand, and has kept his mission in line. Destruction of the man-cub. Now we're not sure if Khan or should we say Brown's mission is that clear. With rumours of dissention and possible leadership challenges within his pride, Khan... I mean Brown will have to keep his eyes open and his claws sharpened. He is very busy trying to keep the forest in order, his ducks aligned, and ensuring that he gets the pizza that he paid for!

Stuck in the middle of all of this is Mowgli, the hunted man-cub, protected by a few dedicated friends who try and steer him to safety. They may not have all the answers, but they must keep him going. There is little transparency in the dense jungle. All kinds of traps are set, and if he's not careful Kaa (the media) or worse Khan (Brown) may actually influence him into becoming dinner. His friends push him and pull him and try and make sense of all the craziness of the day. 

At the end, they can save him from Khan, but not from himself. For it is in his own need for comfort and acceptance that Mowgli falls for the blushing beauty of a young girl. Let's hope that we are that lucky. 

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