WHO, WHO, WHO – ‘Who… are… you?’

WHO, WHO, WHO – ‘Who… are… you?’

‘Who… are… you?’
Contemptuously the caterpillar asks Alice
Through a hallucinogenic haze
Smoking a hookah pipe
Resting on a giant mushroom
[Isn’t it strange how quickly times change
Britain fought two wars in the 19th century
In favour of the opium trade
Crushing Chinese efforts to restrict its importation
In the mid-19th century walk into a chemist
to buy opium, cocaine and even arsenic]

‘The Moon is made of green cheese’
[Credulity tested to the limit… Moon’s reflection
In a bucket of water mistaken for cheese]
Nursery rhymes to scare little children at bedtime:
‘Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St.Clement’s…’
‘Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!’ [death]
‘Ring a Ring’o Rosies, A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down’ [plague]

A penny for your thoughts? [What’s on your mind?]
Respect the dead
Pennies laid on their eyelids to keep them closed
Until rigamortis sets in
Lest they remain open
Seeing our own death captured in their eyes
Vilify black cats… persecution of witches… watch out
You might be next… ‘watch your back’
Don’t ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’

I might be ‘losing the plot’ but
‘All’s fair in love and war’ [deceit to get what you want]
‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away’
But displeases the dentist with tooth erosion
Acid attack… not a band name, something more sinister
Who would have thought that all fruit was bad for us?

WHO, WHO, WHO? [World Health Organization]
‘judge, jury and executioner’
‘Saving your bacon’ [saving your body from harm]
‘you’re too smart for your own good’
WARNING: WHO is bad for your health
Who are you to tell us what to day?
Beware of being ‘improoooved’ upon
The cheerful grin, with gently smiling jaws:

“Caterpillar: Who are you?

Caterpillar: Recite.
Alice: Oh. Yes sir. How doth the little bumblebee improve each…
Caterpillar: Stop. That is not spoken correctically. It goes: How doth the little crocodile improve his shining tail. And pour the waters of the Nile, on every golden scale. How cheerfully he seems to grin, how neatly spreads his claws. And welcomes little fishes in, with gently smiling jaws.
Alice: Well, I must say, I’ve never heard it that way before.
Caterpillar: I know. I have improoooved it.” [deception and predation]

© 2015, Lesley Saine [except Alice in Wonderland (1951) excerpt from Caterpillar quotes: http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0012254/quotes%5D

This started off from seeing the WHO’s latest ‘health’ attack, this time on pork, which started me thinking “who, who, who are you, to tell us what to do?”

[Just for interest:
100 years of the war on drugs: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16681673
The Moon is made of green cheese: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon_is_made_of_green_cheese
Oranges and lemons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oranges_and_Lemons
Ring a Ring’o Rosies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_a_Ring_o’_Roses%5D
“How Doth the Little Crocodile” is a parody of the moralistic poem “Against Idleness and Mischief” by Isaac Watts, which is what Alice was originally trying to recite. Watts’ poem begins “How doth the little busy bee …” and uses the bee as a model of hard work. In Carroll’s parody, the crocodile’s corresponding “virtues” are deception and predation, themes which recur throughout Alice’s adventures in both books, and especially in the poems.
WHO (World Health Organization): The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization%5D


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