Tom And Jerry, Fuel And Jonathan…

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review

Tom and Jerry is a series of theatrical animated cartoon films created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, centering on a never-ending rivalry between a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) whose chases and battles often involved comic violence…

The series features comedic fights between an iconic set of enemies, a house cat and mouse. The plots of each short usually center on Tom’s numerous attempts to capture Jerry and the mayhem and destruction that ensues. Tom rarely succeeds in catching Jerry, mainly because of Jerry’s cleverness, cunning abilities, and luck.

A longtime television staple, Tom and Jerry has a worldwide audience that consists of children, teenagers and adults, and has also been recognized as one of the most famous and longest-lived rivalries in American cinema. In 2000, TIME named the series one of the greatest television shows of all time.

The cartoons are infamous for some of the most violent cartoon gags ever devised in theatrical animation, such as Jerry slicing Tom in half, shutting his head in a window or a door, Tom using everything from axes, firearms, explosives, traps and poison to try to murder Jerry, Jerry stuffing Tom’s tail in a waffle iron and a mangle, kicking him into a refrigerator, plugging his tail into an electric socket, pounding him with a mace, club or mallet, causing a tree or an electric pole to drive him into the ground, sticking matches into his feet and lighting them, tying him to a firework and setting it off, and so on.

In January this year when I wrote on the fuel subsidy, I stated categorically that government, Tom as it were, the big cat was just telling lies, and looking for rats to make meal of, when I equally penned my admonition on the ‘Occupy Nigeria’ which saw about half a dozen Nigerians die, I said we were just deceiving ourselves, like Jerry we will keep running.

I equally knew that like Tom and Jerry we were just romancing each others’ arms looking for spots of evil compromise at the expense of the ‘reality. While in the cartoon, Jerry often has his ways, escaping Tom, the reverse is our case, as I read my wife’s project on ‘Cinematography, The Art Of Storytelling: Tom And Jerry…I decided to watch again, I laughed in tears, knowing Nigeria is painfully not ready, between Tom and Jerry is just one cartoon tale of pain

I am almost laughing in a most comical manner as I go again through that unSURE document, a pirated version of old SAP paper and NEEDs document.

Fact is, how’s fuel crisis Jonathan’s problem. Its been there before him, will be there even after him. A stage-managed launch of some unpaid for, smoking diesel buses were used to deceive Jerry of Tom’s good intent. We simply forget they lie, the president lied, it is all lies, damned lies and statistics.

The government is doing a Tom. Labour is not left out deceiving the Jerrys while hobnobing with Tom. The industrial players or thieves as I call them and we the docile populace complete the animated series, of mayhem and destruction that ensues, each party playing cleverness, displaying cunning abilities, and luck, but for how long?

Why does deregulation translate to high prices, why is it that its only in Nigeria that these high prices are not reflective of earnings of Jerry. The routine is in the horizon, strike, mass protest and the Toms will be on vacation and Jerry will be the sacrificial lamb, and off course more Tommy millionaires and billionaires will be made.

Nigerians are tired, hungry and not in protest mode. There’s no fuel scarcity but fuel criminality because we are Tom-ing and Jerry-ing with a leadership that lacks will.

Where are the refineries promised–Tomed and Jerried, instead we see budgetary allocations called ‘Turn Around Money’ for the ‘Toms’.

In this Tom and Jerry cartoon, there’s no PMS in the fuel station but unregistered marketers/blackmarkers all have the commodity, subsidy thieves and Toms are negotiating a plea bargain. Nigerians and Jerry are made to suffer.

Our Tom and Jerry is the continued rationalisation and justification of absurdities like a commentator put it. It is even more disheartening when the intellectual effort and voice of elites are at the heart of such theatricals due to ethno-religious cleavages birthed on economic disenfranchisement.

In Tom and Jerry, despite all, they don’t kill each, I dare say pricing of fuel is not the major problem Nigeria is facing. Our major problem is the lack of leadership manifesting itself in every facet of our human endeavors. Some of these areas may be fixable in future if we get the right people with right policies but how do you fix the future of the mass population of our children who are not getting educated today?

The future of Nigeria is bright interesting, but scary if we reflect about it. Teachers are illiterates, students can’t go to school because schools are closed down and alternatives unaffordable, the change is bleak…with minds largely improvished and constantly on the run like Jerry.

In a functional society, a working democracy with a strategic plan, a modern mass transit system, which connect cities to towns, workers to businesses and government facilities, in order to foster the productivity of the entire economy would have been a part recipe. Sadly the Toms are buying jets, while Jerry is perpetually scheming for survival.

The Tom and Jerry cartoon was finally rested, there are times and seasons…The fuel management chain is a lucrative cankerworn of corruption, a serious government can yet tackle it, its beyond committees and white papers. Its action, only action can stop the Tom and Jerry chase.

Jonathan can, I believe he can but he doesn’t know that he can, doubt if he’s ready. The Toms are having a field day but each fleeting moment , three facts of life beckons, the rising of sun, setting of the moon and truth–Time will tell.

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