The Good Ship Lollipop

You may have heard of, if you are old enough you may have even seen, the Shirley Temple film where the little darling sings a delightful song (delightfully) called “The Good Ship Lollipop”.  My father, may he rest in peace,  adopted the title for sarcastic, ironic and cynical comments on the state of things, thus, “This is the good ship Lollipop we are all on.  It has eighteen decks and no bottom.  Enjoy the ride, but don’t put your feet down.”

I used to laugh as a little boy at the thought of a big lollipop shaped vessel filled with people and things, all eighteen decks, trying to stay afloat and get anywhere without a bottom.  The idea amused me greatly.  It still does.

We refer in some vague way to our government, and by extension our nation, as the Ship of State, it’s a convenient metaphor, a vessel carrying all of us to a certain destination ably captained and crewed, prepared for rough waters, seaworthy and sturdy, and steering a true course, sailing towards our destiny, which was once referred to as Manifest.

Oh, yeah?

Last week, I think, The Great Reverser (that’s the guy who’s at the helm, now, and hereinafter referred to as “the GR”) ordered a turn about in our national policy on medical research using stem cells derived from human embryos.  Under the brutish Bush regime, such things were banned and millions suffered needlessly, thereby.  Now, under this executive order, we may confidently expect that all of our medical problems will be solved.

Oh, yeah?

Yesterday I’m wandering through the desert (read Internet) and I come across an article in a recent issue (maybe the current one) of the U.S. News and World Report.  (Since I can’t do it I’ll refrain from blue noting the link to the article under the magazine’s title.  You’ll have to trust me.)  This is an article which lists ten horrible and threatening diseases that stem cells will make go away; just like Mommy’s soothing voice and a glass of water in the middle of the night after our bad dreams used to make us smile and snuggle down in our beds and dream of fairies and angels and ponies.  The list includes Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease and six more.  The Top Ten Causes of Worry and Wakefulness one may name them.  I know a day doesn’t go by that I don’t spend a significant portion of it worrying about them, and contributing to any of the 300,000 charities and funds promising a cure for each of them…anytime, now.

Who is not in favor of making the world a healthier place in which to live?

This is the complete and single point of  the GR’s Exceutive Order altering course.  And the article identifies what’s coming.  In keeping with the GR’s stated plan to restore hope and institute change, the article listing the terrible afflictions even now wracking and ravishing so many of us quite boldly states that not one of the ten “Great Eradications” is beyond curing…anytime, now.  Why rats and mice have, umm, been cured.  The article is so hopeful that not even once does it mention that there is anything beyond the future possibility that something may come…someday…any time, now, which will brighten futures.  Never have so many conditional phrases served to assure so few.

The blind will see.  The lame will walk.  Michael J. Fox will return to West Wing, or wherever he was.  This will all happen…any time, now.  Not a consarned thing has happened yet, but give us time all the researchers say.  Send them money all the shills say.  Cure us all the huddled sick masses say.

We place our hope in you, all the fools say.

In California last year, and New Jersey shortly after them, and currently being planned in Massachusetts, lab coats are on order by the thousands, rubber gloves are being snapped on, curettes and pipettes and beaker and petrie dishes are being set out on stainless steel table tops like place settings for a huge and formal banquet.  Because that’s what is going to take place.  The “researchers” are putting on the feed bag.  And the meal?

Pardon my crudity.  The meal is us.  They will dine on our hope with little appetizers of oocyte in aspic to whet their apetite for the main dish, a lovely green salad of crisp dollars.  Oh, it will cost billions, but what matter?  The end is the fulfillment of everyone’s dream, a trouble free future, heaven…oops…peace…umm, something on earth.

The truth is the meal will cost billions and consist of one course, death served in small portions, microscopic in size.  The good produced will be nothing but the product of death, grief , greed, despair and loss.  Because the truth , and everyone knows this, is that embryonic stem cell research is totally unnecessary, and so far has been totally worthless except as a consumer of money and human lives.

I’ve just visited a site which gives the lyrics for the song “the Good Ship Lollipop”.  There is no mistake that the “ship” in question is an airplane.  I laughed out loud.  Think of this.  We’re thirty thousand feet up.  We have no bottom.  And the fellow at the controls thinks that he’s down on the ocean steering a course for for the Harbor of Health.   It is dinner time on the good ship lollipop.  Enjoy the meal.  Enjoy the trip.

Don’t put your feet down.


5 responses to “The Good Ship Lollipop

  1. That was a magnificent piece, Peter.

    I tip my hat to the master wordsmith.

    • Thank you very much Kevin. Honesty command me to disagree…perhaps humbly…with your use of the word “master”. But, I appreciate the accolade.

  2. A marvelous simile, that with the Good Ship Lollipop.

  3. more mony for embryo stem cell research is like the constant cry for more mony for education. Keep up your fun articles

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