The Pig Who Loved Mud Wrestling: A Short Story

muddy-pigLong ago, in a land far away, a young boar named Bart went to a Swine Party. In villages and towns, a Swine Party—usually held in a large barn—is where young single pigs went to meet.

As soon as Bart walked through the front door of the barn, one sow standing alone in the corner caught his eye. She had pink ears, a pink snout, a perky pink tail, and she was wearing a pretty pink dress. Her name was Wilma.

His heart racing, Bart walked up to her and asked, “Will you dance with me? You’re the prettiest pig I’ve ever seen!”

Wilma blushed and said, “Sure I will!”

Then Bart, offering Wilma his forearm, walked her to the dance floor.

In the center of the barn, a three-boar band was playing hillbilly music with a banjo, fiddle, and drums. The dance floor encircled the band, and dozens of sows and boars were stomping and swinging to the beat.

After dancing for seven straight songs, Bart and Wilma were sweating from head to hoof.

“I need to take a break,” Bart said, out of breath.

“Okay,” Wilma laughed. “You sit down, but I’m just getting started!”

Bart sat on a bench beside several other boars, and watched Wilma dance, shaking her body and stomping her hooves on the dance floor.

After that night, nature took its course, and six months later, Bart and Wilma got married.

For their honeymoon, Bart took Wilma to a resort with hot springs and mud baths. On their first night, when they were sitting up to their necks in mud, Wilma said, “Ever since I was a little pig, I’ve wanted to be a mother.”

Bart smiled and said slyly, “Ever since I met you, I’ve wanted to make some little piggies!” And then he grabbed Wilma and carried her out of the mud bath.

Following their honeymoon, Wilma and Bart bought a barn just outside their village. It was a small barn with four bedrooms and a loft, but big enough for them to start a family.

Bart had a job in a corn mill, grinding corn with his feet ten hours a day. Wilma stayed at home, made the meals, and planted a garden; and three months after they were married, she gave birth to twelve healthy piglets.

Bart and Wilma were a happy family. Bart worked hard and was promoted to boss-hog. Five years went by, and their piglets became full-grown. And then, as all young pigs must eventually do, they moved out, got married, and lived in their own barns.

The day after the last pig left, Wilma was sitting with Bart at the kitchen table, when she said sadly, “Our barn feels so empty without our little piglets.”

“I know,” Bart sighed. “What’s life all about? What’s the meaning?”

Wilma thought for a moment and said, “We’ll both grow old together, go for long walks, and enjoy each other’s company.”

“Yes,” Bart said, forcing a smile. “Until death do a pig part.” But in his heart, that didn’t sound very exciting.

One Friday after work, Bart was trudging home, when Fred, a boar he worked with, caught up with him. Fred was middle-aged and divorced.

“Hey, Bart! You want to go to mud wrestling tonight?”

Bart shook his head. “I don’t think Wilma would approve.”

“She doesn’t need to know. Just make up an excuse.”

Bart thought it over and grinned. “What the heck? Every boar deserves to have a little fun now and again.”

Fred slapped Bart on the back. “You got that right! You won’t be the same pig after tonight.”

Bart went home, and after supper, he told Wilma: “I’m going to play cards tonight with Fred and some of the boars from work.”

“Okay,” Wilma said. “But please be home by eleven. You know I get worried if you’re out too late.”

“I’ll be home on time,” Bart promised, and then he and Wilma rubbed their snouts together.

After dinner, Bart met up with Fred at a place called The Mud Pie. It was a sand pit with a large pool of mud in the center and stadium seating on one side. A hundred other boars were there, and most of them were drinking swill. Fred bought tickets for the front row, and he and Bart bought a bottle of hogwash.

Not long after Fred and Bart sat down, a massive boar, holding a hammer, struck a bronze gong beside the pool of mud, and the first match began. Two young sows came out of separate tents in the corner of the pit. They were both very beautiful, had shaved bodies, and weren’t wearing any clothes.

Fred said excitedly, “Look at the ham on the short one! Oh, yeah!”

“I like the tall one better,” Bart blurted. Then he counted. “She’s got twenty teats!”

The two sows walked around the pool of mud, taunting each other with angry stares, and when they wiggled their rumps, all the boars roared.

The two young sows pushed, slapped, and tried to trip each other until they both fell down and rolled around in the mud. Each sow scored a point when they pinned their opponent. The match lasted for a half an hour, and Bart enjoyed every minute of it. He felt like a young boar again, grunting and squealing at the top of his lungs.

After that, there were three more matches. When the wrestling was over, Bart thanked Fred for inviting him and hurried home to Wilma.

He found her sitting on the bench in the living room, pigging out on a bowl of buttered corn. “Did you have a good time with your boar friends?” she asked.

“I sure did!” Bart said, his face beaming.

Then he grabbed Wilma, and he tried to pick her up, but she was too heavy. So he offered her his forearm, walked her into the bedroom, and they made wild pig love.

The weeks went by, and every Friday, Bart went with Fred to mud wrestling. One night, after he got home, he said to Wilma, “I think we should start exercising.”

She frowned. “Why? Do you think I’m fat?”

Wilma and Bart’s jowls had tripled in size since they first met. They were both fat pigs.

“Not at all,” Bart said. “But we’re getting older. If we don’t exercise, we might get — heart disease.”

Wilma exploded in anger. “I work hard in the garden, walk to the market every day, and you think I’m a fat, lazy pig! I hate you!”

Bart tried to stay calm. “That’s not what I said, Wilma.”

“That’s what you’re thinking.” Then Wilma started crying, ran to the bedroom, and locked the door.

No matter what Bart said, Wilma wouldn’t change her mind. She didn’t want to exercise, and she was hurt and angry every time Bart suggested it.

So Bart exercised on his own. He lost a lot of weight, lifted sacks of corn, and became really buff.

The weeks went by, and Bart continued to go to mud wrestling with Fred. One Friday, after the final match, he was about to go home when Sally Strong—the number-one wrestler—sashayed up to him. She wore a beautiful red dress, and reminded Bart of Wilma when she was younger.

“Hi there,” Sally said. “I see you here every week.”

“I come to see you!” Bart said with a big grin. “You’re an amazing wrestler.”

“You should be a wrestler. You’ve got the muscles for it.”

“Yeah, I’ve thought about it,” Bart said offhandedly, “but I’m happy doing what I’m doing.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m a boss-hog at the corn mill.”

“I like a boar who can command other boars,” Sally said, fluttering her eyes.

“I am a powerful pig!” Bart boasted. “Look at these.” And then he flexed his chest muscles.

Sally giggled. “Ooh! My tail is wiggling!”

Bart and Sally talked for a while, and then she asked, “Do you want to get a glass of swill?”

“Sure I do!” Bart said.

They walked to the Wild Boar Inn, sat at the bar, and drank several glasses of swill. Then, at one in the morning, Bart realized how late it was.

“Whoa, I gotta go!”

“Oh,” Sally said, disappointed. “Will I see you again?”

“Maybe. Probably. I’m not sure.” And then Bart put money on the table and ran home.

When he unlocked the barn door, Wilma was sitting at the kitchen table, wrapped in a blanket. “Where were you?!” she asked angrily.

“I—uh… Fred and I had a few glasses of swill at the Wild Boar.”

“Is that the truth?”

“Yes, what did you think I was doing?”

Wilma frowned. “You can sleep in the loft tonight.”

“If that’s what you want.”

“It’s what you deserve—for being so inconsiderate.”

Then Wilma trotted to the bedroom and locked the door.

The next morning, Bart and Wilma didn’t eat breakfast together, and when he came home after work, they barely talked to each other.

That night, Bart decided he would sleep again in the loft.

“I think I’ll sleep better tonight if I have my own bed,” he explained to Wilma. “I’m getting older, and I toss and turn when I sleep.”

Wilma sighed. “Sleep wherever you want.”

For the next week, Bart continued to sleep in the loft. Then on Friday, after the first wrestling match at The Mud Pie, he said to Fred: “I’ve got to be honest with Wilma.”

“Are you crazy? She’ll kick you out of the barn. That’s what my wife did.”

Bart shook his head. “I’m not going to tell her about mud wrestling.”

“What are you going to tell her?”

Bart didn’t answer Fred. He got up and left, and as soon as he got home, he went into Wilma’s bedroom. She was sitting on the bed in her pink pajamas, reading a book.

“You’re home early,” she said.

“Wilma, I’ve decided something.”

“Oh? What?” Wilma asked, a nervous expression on her face.

“I want to live on my own.”

“What?!” Wilma said, her face stricken. “Why?”

“We’ve grown apart. I don’t love you anymore.”

“You’re seeing another sow!” Wilma yelled. “Who is she?”

“I’m not seeing anyone,” Bart said, and then he left the room and packed his things in a sack.

Before Bart left, he went back to Wilma’s bedroom and said, “I’ll send you some money—until you can make it on your own.”

“I don’t need anything from you!” Wilma said with contempt, but after Bart was gone, she broke down and cried.

The next day, Bart rented a small barn; he started seeing Sally, and he soon discovered that she was totally different than Wilma.

Bart and Wilma often went for walks in the woods, but Sally liked to run through the fields and wrestle with him, and he got a sore back.

On weekends, Bart and Wilma went to sleep before midnight, but Sally liked to party until sunrise, and Bart felt exhausted when he went to work.

When Bart got home from work, Wilma always had a hot supper waiting for him—corn, potatoes, or onions—but Sally didn’t know how to cook, so they went to a cook-house to eat.

Although Sally earned a lot of money as a wrestler, she wasn’t a smart shopper like Wilma, and didn’t save anything. She often asked Bart if he could buy her new clothes.

The weeks went by, and Bart woke up one morning and realized how much he missed Wilma. So that same day after work, he went to see her and knocked on her door.

Wilma opened the door and said calmly, “Hello, Bart.”

“Hi, Wilma,” Bart replied, and then he just stood there, not knowing what to say.

“Is there something you want?” Wilma finally asked.

“Wilma, I made a mistake.” Bart said sadly. “I love you, and I’d like to come back. Will you forgive me?”

“It’s too late for that,” Wilma sighed.

An old boar with white hair came to the door and put his arm around Wilma.

“Bart,” Wilma said. “This is William.”

Bart was shocked. “You have a boar-friend?”

“Yes,” Wilma said with a smile. “We met a month ago.”

“At a Senior’s Swine Party,” William said.

“But he’s old,” Bart said, wide-eyed.

“Yes; and I’m fat,” Wilma said.

“She makes me feel young again,” William said with a big grin. “She’s full of energy and spunk.”

Bart couldn’t argue with that.

So Bart left, went back to his barn, and he asked Sally to move in with him. Day after day, he tried to change her, but she was who she was.

And six months later, Wilma married William, an old boar who loved her just as she was.

Image Credit: https://www.livescience.com/13953-pigs-evolved-mud-wallowing.html

The Consequences of Acting on Impulse: Psycho (1960)

psychoAn impulse is “a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act.”1 In Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) makes an impulsive decision: She steals $40,000 from Tom Cassidy (Frank Albertson), and plans to run away. The film shows how acting on impulse can have consequences that are devastating.

Marion steals $40,000 to solve a problem in her relationship with Sam Loomis (John Gavin). She wants to marry him, but he won’t marry her because he can barely support himself financially. With a struggling business and obligated to pay alimony to his ex-wife, he can’t provide for her if she wants to have children. Marion takes the money because she believes it will give her and Sam financial freedom. In 1960, $40,000 was a small fortune, worth $330,437.84 today.2

When Marion goes on the run, she doesn’t consider the consequences. However, the following day, she imagines what the likely consequences might be. After reflecting on her decision, Marion decides to go home and give the money back. When a person takes time to think about the possible consequences, they are more likely to make a wise choice.

Unfortunately, Marion’s impulsive decision has consequences that are unforeseeable. During a rainstorm, she stops by chance at the Bates Motel, and meets Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Her tragic death serves as a warning: Bad things can happen to good people when they make one bad choice. Marion is an innocent victim, but if she hadn’t taken the money, she never would have met Norman, a “psycho” who is controlled by violent impulses.

Marion’s actions reveal three reasons why people make impulsive decisions: They have an overpowering desire; they act quickly, and don’t think logically. While it is possible to make an impulsive decision, and not suffer any negative consequences, the individual who fails to think before acting risks making a serious mistake. There is, however, a silver lining to acting on impulse. If the consequences are negative, you may learn a lesson that you will never forget.

Notes

  1. Oxford Living Dictionaries, s.v. “impulse,” accessed July 4, 2017, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/impulse
  2. US Inflation Calculator, accessed July 4, 2017, http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

Calling a Woman a “Skank”: The Spectacular Spider-Man

The_Spectacular_Spider-Man_Vol_2_16Although never directly stated, an important subject in The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2 No. 16 is whether or not a woman should dress modestly in public.1 The Insect Queen wears revealing clothing: a low-cut black dress that exposes more than half of her breasts.2 In response, Spider-Man calls her a “skank.”3 One theme in the story is that if a woman wears clothing that violates public standards of modesty, people have the right to call her a stigmatizing name.

For Christians, dressing modesty in public is a virtue. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety…”4 It is also a virtue for Muslims. The Quran 24:31 says, “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…”5

For Christians and Muslims, dressing immodestly in public is a sin because whether the woman intended it or not, it can cause men to experience greater sexual temptation, e.g., to commit adultery or have pre-marital sex. Men, having free will, are responsible for how they choose to respond to their sexual desires. Nonetheless, a woman who wears revealing clothing is responsible for increasing men’s sexual attraction to her.

One reason women (and men) wear revealing clothing in public is it increases their self-esteem. If you have a beautiful body, and people look at you and respond positively, you will naturally feel good about yourself. However, when deciding what clothes to wear, it is important to consider how your clothes might affect other people.

Throughout history, women who dress immodestly have been called stigmatizing names, e.g., a slut or whore. Calling someone a stigmatizing name is a form of social pressure, so they will conform to a certain standard of right and wrong. The resulting feelings of guilt and/or shame become a deterrent against committing the stigmatized behavior again. Thus, for good or ill, the stigmatization of women who wear immodest clothing is a means of social control, reinforcing traditional values on modesty.

In The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2 No. 16, the Insect Queen does not dress modestly. Spider-Man stigmatizes her for how she dresses, and also for kissing him against his will. He says, “You have the right to remain skanky. Anything skanky you do will be held against you by the court of public opinion.”6 Urban Dictionary defines skanky as “looking cheap, dirty and nasty. Also acting slutty.”7 Spider-Man is saying that when a woman dresses or behaves like the Insect Queen, she has the right to do so, but people also have the right to follow his example, and form a negative judgment of her. However, the comic was published in 2004; it is now 2017, and times have changed.

In making fun of the Insect Queen for her clothing and behavior, Spider-Man is politically incorrect. In the “court of public opinion”, he would be accused of slut shaming.8 In America today, it is considered offensive to call a woman a skank, even if in reality, she dresses like one. Furthermore, with decreased public shaming of women for what they wear, it has become more common for women to wear extremely risqué clothing, especially among celebrities.9 Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your moral viewpoint on modesty.

Notes

  1. Marie Jackson, “Modest dressing: Why the cover-up?”, BBC News, June 29, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40442478
  2. Paul Jenkins, The Spectacular Spider-Man No. 16 (Marvel Comics: August, 2004), 2, 4, 18.
  3. Jenkins, Spectacular Spider-Man, 5.
  4. 1 Timothy 2:9 (New International Version).
  5. Quran 24:31 (Yusuf Ali). https://quran.com/24/31
  6. Jenkins, Spectacular Spider-Man, 15.
  7. Urban Dictionary, s.v. “skanky,” accessed June 23, 2017, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=skanky
  8. JR Thorpe, “The Long-Term Effects Of Slut-Shaming,” Bustle, June 22, 2017, https://www.bustle.com/p/the-long-term-effects-of-slut-shaming-64302
  9. Natalie Matthews, “See the Evolution of the Naked Dress in 36 Photos,” Elle, July 26, 2015, http://www.elle.com/fashion/celebrity-style/news/g26/naked-dress-celebs-red-carpet

Why Cultural Appropriation Should Be Encouraged

cultural-appropriationOne popular social justice cause today is the movement to stop cultural appropriation: “the adoption of elements or practices of one cultural group by members of another.”1 However, cultural appropriation should be encouraged, not discouraged, because the blending and merging of cultures can improve an existing culture and bring unity to a nation. The movement against cultural appropriation is rooted in envy. It is an unjustified grievance, an attempt to control another person’s actions and restrict their right to freedom of expression.

Except in instances where a minority culture is being mocked or misrepresented, cultural appropriation is a demonstration of respect and admiration for a minority culture. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, merged “the sounds of gospel, country and what was then called “race music — music by Southern blacks — to make something new.”2 Elvis showed his respect and admiration for black people by writing and performing songs that were directly influenced by their music. When musicians are influenced by other cultures, they can create new forms of music. Cultural appropriation is one way to make an existing culture more vibrant.

In a nation with the right to freedom of speech, the argument against cultural appropriation has no legal standing. Stopping someone from creating works influenced by another culture is a direct violation of their right to freedom of expression. Another reason cultural appropriation cannot be stopped legally is no individual has legal ownership of their culture. Culture appropriation is not copyright infringement because culture is part of the public domain. Because no single individual created their culture, it belongs to everyone, including those who are from a different ethnic group.

Unfortunately, despite having no legal standing, people have been punished for supporting cultural appropriation. In 2017, Hal Niedzviecki, editor of Write, resigned from his job after complaints about an editorial he wrote in favor of cultural appropriation.3 His right to freedom of speech was not tolerated or respected by the readers of the magazine, and he could not continue in his position. Punishing someone for supporting or practicing cultural appropriation is bully behavior. In a tolerant society, citizens should be free to speak and act according to their own beliefs.

Indignation against cultural appropriation is rooted in envy: “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.”4 When members of a minority culture see that someone has created a product that is influenced by their culture, it gives them cause for complaint. They believe they are victims who have been robbed. In reality, such complaints have nothing to do with social justice. It is envy: resenting another person’s financial success, and wanting it to be taken away from them.

The social justice movement against cultural appropriation is based on a double standard: “a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people.”5 Anyone is free to borrow from white culture, while minority cultures are considered “proprietary.”6 One of the unintended consequences of stopping cultural appropriation is white culture remains the dominant culture on the planet. The more that artists and creators are publicly shamed for appropriating minority cultures, the more likely white culture will continue to be dominant because it is the only culture that remains “open source.”7

The movement to stop cultural appropriation is regressive. Its goal is cultural segregation, to prevent the different cultures in a nation from influencing each other. In previous generations, there were people who wanted to maintain racial purity, to stop inter-racial marriages, which invariably result in the merging and blending of two different cultures. Today, social justice warriors want to maintain cultural purity, to stop cultures from merging and blending through appropriation. Fortunately, cultural appropriation is unstoppable. As people marry and make friends from different cultures, they will naturally adopt some of each other’s beliefs and practices.

Every culture on Earth has something valuable to teach us. Throughout history, nations have appropriated elements of foreign cultures, which often resulted in the advancement of civilization. Culture has the power to unite a nation, to bring people together though a shared enjoyment of books, music, film, theater, art, etc. Culture appropriation can unite people because creative works influenced by two cultures are more likely to appeal to people from both cultures. As long as cultural values or practices are not forced upon someone, the cross-pollination of cultures can be a positive thing. When people adopt the “best practices” of another culture, they improve their lives.

Notes

  1. Sebastian Leck, “Magazine editor quits after outrage over column saying he doesn’t believe in cultural appropriation,” National Post, May 11, 2017, http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/magazine-editor-quits-after-writing-that-he-doesnt-believe-in-cultural-appropriation
  2. George F. Will, “The left’s misguided obsession with cultural appropriation,” Washington Post, May 12, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-lefts-misguided-obsession-with-cultural-appropriation/2017/05/12/59e518bc-3672-11e7-b4ee-434b6d506b37_story.html
  3. Leck, “Magazine editor quits,” http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/magazine-editor-quits-after-writing-that-he-doesnt-believe-in-cultural-appropriation
  4. Oxford Living Dictionaries, s.v. “envy,” accessed June 8, 2017, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/envy
  5. Oxford Living Dictionaries, s.v. “double standard,” accessed June 14, 2017, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/double_standard
  6. David Marcus, “All Cultures Are Mine,” The Federalist, October 26, 2015, http://thefederalist.com/2015/10/26/all-cultures-are-mine/
  7. Ibid.