Friday, March 22, 2019

A narcissus and a dung beetle ...

I've been keeping my nose to the ground lately, scouting for the first signs of the various expressions of the genus Narcissus that soon will be flowering in Iowa gardens. I photographed these during early April last year, so don't get your hopes up --- we're a ways away from this stage this year.

And then George Conway went and spoiled it a little by posting to his Twitter account several days ago this description of the narcissistic personality disorder that afflicts that sad little creature who currently occupies the White House --- preoccupied this week with kicking the tombstone of a dead senator.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, demonstrates how someone capable of leadership goes about it.

Actually, the description is extraordinarily accurate --- and helps us understand some of the personality disorders that are causing the president to spin increasingly toward madness. It's just too bad these lovely spring flowers have been implicated.

Basic mythology shows how this happened and we have Ovid to blame. According to that teller of mythological tales, Narcissus was a hunter renowned for his great beauty. After he spurned the mountain nymph Echo, who had fallen in love with him, Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, decided to punish him.

Nemesis lured Narcissus to a pool where he saw a reflection of himself in the water and fell in love with it --- hence the narcissistic personality disorder. Once Narcissus had melted away because of the misguided passion burning inside him, he turned into a gold and white flower --- the products of our spring-flowering bulbs.

It seems unlikely that our president will be reincarnated as a flower once he's pushing up daisies himself, however. But what? A dung beetle perhaps?

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