Opinion: Pressure point


“I do not like green eggs and ham.” OK, the declaration seems reasonable enough. Still, Sam marches on, relentlessly pressuring the beleaguered Guy to conform. “Eat them. Eat them. There they are.” Cars, boats, carnivorous members of the canine family, planes, trains and even the often-persuasive domesticated ruminant animal could not entice the stubborn Guy. To be sure, Sam really, really wants Guy to eat the likely tainted ovoid.

Why won’t Guy relent? Is he stupid? Eat them. Eat them now. Can’t he see that the pressure will continue until he conforms to the tireless demands of the valiant Sam? Although it is never entirely clear if Sam likes green eggs and ham or if he has, one time, tasted them, Sam is, one could surmise, alive with the notion of the unlikely variation on the breakfast classic. He is anointed, by his own importance or by that of the verdant foul and swine cabal, to be the green eggs and ham evangelist.

Proselytize, Sam! How dare Guy resist! Sam must save Guy from his ignorance. Well, bring him into the light or mark him an outsider. Shun him. Punish him. Take away his stuff. Erase him from history. In the tidy wrap to the parable, author Theodor Seuss Geisel tips Guy into relenting to Sam’s onslaught. In tasting the forbidden, Guy is transformed and enlightened. Sam is heartily ingratiated by the repentant Guy.

Imagine that Guy is allergic, or vegan, or full. What right does Sam possess to lift Guy’s ignorance to the fine points of pork products? Is it possible that Sam is wrongly judging Guy’s legitimate intention as slack-jawed idiocy? Is Guy closed-minded or Sam abusive? Do the ends justify the means? Or is the real point that we all must agree with the domineering Sam?


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