Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"The Lockhorns," Chocolate & Social Band Aids

Sisters and Brothers, your Chocolate Priestess saw this comic in her morning newspaper and it made her think.

Here we have Mr. and Mrs. Lockhorn at their front door and the wife says "If you haven't done anything wrong, Leroy, then why the Belgian chocolate?" I want to decipher these words within the context of moderation and purposefulness.

Clearly there is a purpose to what Mr. Lockhorn is doing and the Mrs. sees through it. His purpose is to help him deal with a conflict he knows is going to arise between him and his bride. That he has a huge box and one of "Belgian" variety implies two things. First, this must be a big conflict brewing to require so much chocolate. Second, it is implied that Belgian chocolate is higher quality than what he might get from a local chocolatier, therefore more expensive, and thus again his "error" or their fight is going to be large enough for him to bribe her into calming her emotions.

On the surface the comic is funny. Clearly Mr. Lockhorn has not fooled her. But underneath I see a dark commentary on our society. All around us we get the message in pop culture and commercials that chocolate will make us feel better, will curb our desires, and provide a lubricant for our relationships. We are rightly disturbed when alcohol or drugs are promoted in this fashion... cocoa is a drug, it does affect our minds.

Would I feel the same if Mr. Lockhorn brought flowers? That too is an attempt at bribery rather than dealing with the approaching conflict. But the difference is the potential for abuse. Mrs. Lockhorn is unlikely to eat the flowers but is she starts to associate eating chocolate, the amount increasing with the degree of pain she wants to overcome, she risks either gaining too much weight or denying herself other food that could be more healthy for her. By giving her chocolate, Mr. Lockhorn is sending the message that his immediate ease is more important than her long term health to him.

I would never, ever tell you not to use chocolate and cocoa, Sisters and Brothers, that very thought is anathema to me. When you read my closing words, the ones you see in every post, stop and think about what I'm writing. Chocolate is not a band aid for your emotional wounds. Chocolate is not a bribe to make your relationships function. Only you can heal your wounds and only by working together will that relationship thrive. Obviously the Lockhorns are not a model marriage so perhaps we can see here lesson for us all.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

If you are reading in the eastern half of the Midwest, don't forget The Chocolate Cult's first CONTEST.

3 comments:

bloomingtonaut said...

I think the Lockhorns is such a disturbing comic strip!

the twins said...

hey, i just found your site, reminds me of a story my mom always tells about our trip to spain. did you know in barcalona there is a chocolate museum? while visiting it, my mom said "it is like a temple of chocolate" only to find out that the building was, in fact, an old church.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

First to bloomingtonaut -- you should apply for Chocolate Coconut Acolyte. You are back in B-town enough for that position. It's only when I get a build up of the candies of that nature after all.

To the twins -- I'm so happy you found us. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts and findings related to chocolate. You might find the "Saturday Sacraments" particularly enjoyable. Like having your chocolate without all the calories I've been told.

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