Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Pushmi-Pullyu of the Middle East

The "Pushmi-Pullyu" is a character from Dr. Dolittle - a two-headed animal joined by one body. At one end is the gazelle, at the other the unicorn. Quite an interesting combination when you consider the following:
  • The gazelle is known as the plucky underdog of the animal kingdom - fast and agile enough to escape the jaws of its predators; an intelligent animal that adapts, has keen vision and rather quickly senses enemies in its vicinity. They can sprint, stot (straight-legged bounce) and have permanent horns. They are resilient, graceful beasts.
  • The unicorn, while thought of in mythical terms as exceptional, appears in the Bible nine times, where it is mentioned that it is a wild and dangerous animal and cannot be tamed. It is thought that the unicorn is fashioned after the wild ox and/or rhinoceros. Myth states that darkness and winter will ensue should the unicorn's horn ever be broken or lost.
That is how the Pushmi-Pullyu is portrayed in the first Dr. Dolittle movie. 

In the remake the beast is a two-headed llama, both heads at the same end.

The Gaza Strip is one body of land with political and religious polarities not unlike the Dr. Dolittle character – the "Pushmi-Pullyu" of the Middle East, so to speak. One head chews its cud while the other speaks. 

One group of people wants to maintain peace through intelligence and vision, and one group wishes to remain wild, untamed and oblivious of the terror and devastation left in their wake. One side brings improvements to health, technology and quality of life, the other snuffs out life.

The Israelis are plucky underdogs. They do not know the meaning of defeat and do not bow to any aggressor that wants to uproot their forward way of thinking and lust for life.

May the "gazelles" of the Middle East continue to combine their intelligence and agility to outwit the beast at the other end. Or even better, may they live as portrayed in the second version of the film, as two heads, two peoples in harmony, both on the same side.

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