(Well, so much for the peaceful, quiet relaxation.)
First it was a migraine, then it was personal/professional issues…maybe there are forces out there that don’t want me to say what I was originally going to say about the Fraggle Rock episode “Manny’s Land of Carpets.” Or maybe last week, or even yesterday, just wasn’t the acceptable time for me to be able to do it full justice. In any case, I think I’m ready now, and I feel compelled to revisit my original ideas about this episode:
GOBO: Why does the Wish-Granting Creature promise so many things in so many different voices? Something’s wrong here! […] I wish I knew which voice to believe.
GOBO: All of a sudden, I know which voice to listen to!
We live in a schizophrenic society. There are more voices now than ever before, all saying different things and all with different–and often sinister, or at least selfish–motivations. We live in a world in which foreign agitators promulgate fake news stories across social media platforms to influence our elections. We–well, I and at least some of you–live in a country in which those in authority try to undermine the credibility of those journalists who are actively TRYING to be truthful–or, at least, accurate–by disingenuously calling them “fake news.”
In the words of Jon Stewart, “Bulls#!t is everywhere.” People lie. They prevaricate. They twist and distort the truth to serve their own purposes. They remember things selectively. They exaggerate the facts, perhaps without even realizing that they’re doing it. Life plays tricks, and they’re mean.
GOBO: There’s a whole bunch of voices inside that little box, and they all promise something different! […] Never mind the voices in the box; listen to the little voice inside yourself!
Very wise words, little Fraggle. And yet, is there only one voice inside ourselves?
This brings me back to Madeleine L’Engle and her notion of the human psyche being comparable to the planet Mercury, with its “sunside” of intellect and its “nightside” of intuition. I’ve already demonstrated how one side is not more important than the other, and that we need both in order to function.
But we can’t function if the two sides are working against each other. We need to find the “temperate zone” that integrates the two, so that the two disparate sides are working together as a single unit. Only then are we equipped to perceive the truth of the world around us.
In my case, my intuition tells me that that Steve Whitmire is a good man and an innocent man who has been the victim of an organized, premeditated campaign to destroy his reputation and make him out to be a “monster.” However, I need my intellect to confirm that, and I do that in part by rereading Jim Henson: The Biography, by rewatching every available interview that Jim gave during his all-too-brief span of time on this earth, and by doing some very focused critical thinking in which I synthesize all this information and draw informed conclusions about who Jim was and what he stood for. Finally, I look again at all the statements that have been made by all the significant players in this sad little drama through the lens of what I know to be true of Jim Henson, and the way that he conducted himself, and see whose words match up the closest to my understanding of Jim’s worldview.
Having done all that, I can find absolutely no verifiable incident of Jim ever holding a grudge or badmouthing a former colleague, as his children have done to Steve.
But I did find this:
“I try to forgive the people that I’m feeling negative toward. I try hard not to judge anyone, and I try to bless everyone who is part of my life, particularly anyone with whom I am having any problems.” (quoted in Jim Henson: The Biography, page 459)
I hope we can all agree that Jim’s voice is one that we should all try to listen to.