Home > Sour Red Grapes: Contest 2004
In a recent article regarding the Ohio re-count effort called "Election Lawsuits Not Constructive ," we hit upon that quirky expression employing that resonating image of sour grapes: "A substantial number of the complaints and lawsuits appear to be frivolous, serving no good purpose. Often, they sound like sour grapes complaints voiced by those who simply can’t cope with the fact that their candidates lost the election."
Yikes. Could this be true? Are we insane anti-fascists solely motivated because we are bitter about Mr. War Church’s success?
So I googled "sour grapes" to find that it does indeed mean to offer an implausible excuse for not achieving a goal; to be a little bitter about someone else’s success. This comes from one of Aesop’s fables in which a fox, having unsuccessfully tried to get at some grapes in a vineyard, went off saying "They’re probably as sour as crabs, anyway!" A strange answer, but crabs’ is likely to refer to ’crab apples’. http://www.briggs13.fsnet.co.uk/boo...
Uh, oh. This fable could appropriately be employed to imply that we compassionate liberal democrats are a little bitter over the outcome of the election.
I beg the assessment by retorting we are not a little bitter, we are absolutely and officially a lot bitter! We resemble that remark. Forget about crab apples, this election HAS personally given ME an all-out case of the CRABS. Yes, those crabs.
A mission is born. Ok, if I were to persuade any red-Stater to see the light of election follies in battleground counties, I realized I would need to squish this shape-shifting sour grapes argument. I needed something better than my first refutation which was the #2 Argument in the article "37 Reasons to Ignore Election Fraud and the Ken Starr Rodeo" http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php..., in which I did not deny being a bad sport and exclaim: "Yep, that’s true. See ya at the counter-inaugural," crab apples notwithstanding.
So like Billy Graham (who would make a great running mate for John Edwards in 2008), I turn to the scripture to find that Ezekiel ironically uses grapes to focus on the dilemma of individual versus national responsibility: ‘the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children teeth are set on edge’ (Ezekiel 18:2). You see, there was that little problem that Israelites were not assuming personal responsibility for their bad situation by blaming their ancestors.
Well, well, well. How does a Mr. Graham feel about election snafus — if they do exist — and the individual’s role in accepting or fighting against entrenched American injustice, such as enduring voting machines that keep malfunctioning? Should we stay put and accept the punishment or should we attempt to fix the mess, if per chance one or more of the 57,000 GAO reports of election irregularities turns out to be true?
Interestingly, Ezekiel (18:2) and Jeremiah (31:27-30) both struggle with the validity of the grapes proverb and finally assert that Yahweh knows each person individually, not collectively. They mercilessly lecture: "Thus the children who suffer for their parents sins to the third and fourth generation (Deut. 5:9), are actually equally sinful." All people are to be judged on the basis of their own actions. Each person should know that they get what they deserve.
A bit harsh, but, on the positive side, if we repent we can be delivered.
Rather than suggesting that we roll over and play dead, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, speaking for God, seem to be imploring us to repent and to actively attempt to improve our situation by fixing the situation rather than point fingers of blame. That is, we should not be non-constructively insulting Election Boards, Diebold, Triad, Tom Delay, Ken Blackwell, and Katie Harris retards and comparing these machines to Porta-Johns, but we should be working constructively — as the http://www.news-register.net/edit/s... article suggests — within the system and trying to create a fair playing field in which everyone can trust the outcome.
"Like father, like son," we hear, but it depends on who says it and why. There is truth in it, of course, but when someone quotes it to justify the shambles he has made of life, the grapes proverb merely serves as an excuse to "play the victim." This saying blamed Israelites captivity on an earlier generation. "You can’t be serious about asking us to repent," they protested. "It’s our parents’ fault. They ate the sour grapes and we have to bear the consequences."
So God declared through Ezekiel, "You shall no longer use this proverb in Israel" (18:2, v.3). Each person bears responsibility for his own actions (not his Father’s). "The soul who sins shall die," God said (v.4). But "if he has walked in My statutes and kept My judgments faithfully—he is just; he shall surely live!" (v.9).
Perhaps that somewhat-known Louisiana custom that stipulates that the surviving son of a dead-beat father is morally responsible to pay the deceased’s outstanding debts needs some godly review
( www.jumptheshark.com/f/franksplace.htm ).
In this author’s view, therefore, it is only "sour grapes" if you: a) Say you don’t
care when you really do; b) Take no action when action is needed; c) Ignore God’s statutes and judgments; and/or d) Live in Louisiana
Well, we really do care. And 2 out of 10 God-fearing Americans — not living in the ’brown pelican’ state — are taking thoughtful action, through phone calls, faxes, articles, protests, congressional contests, and judicial actions. We, individually and collectively, wonder why couldn’t that proverbial fox reach those grapes in the first place? We see an obtainable goal and it is our job as citizens and as God’s number one species to jump up and grab those damn grapes, the brass ring, the justice enchilada. We welcome those in denial regarding the election travesty to our vision of fair transparent elections that one can ’whine’ about. "Proverbs are wonderful tools for guidance. They were never intended to excuse our bad behavior"
( Haddon Robinson; http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/odb/to... ).
Robin Baneth, M.S., M.A.
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