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by David Mascellani

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

“Y’know" said Joe, after he took a swig of his alfalfa and mung bean wine, "it’s right wing propaganda. The message is clear: get into your boat, row down the stream; don’t worry about the blue-green algae, the sacks of puppies and kittens, nor the guys with cement shoes just row, conform, and be merry”.

“Hardly" retorted Artie after he gulped down his port, farted, and puffed on his cigar, "it’s a left wing, liberal hippie ditty. It’s saying, get out of the city, relax, chill out, and go with the flow, man and your life will be dream”.

“You guys are uncouth" exclaimed Jacques, as he put down his vermouth. "You have the cognitive capabilities of a strumpet who’s had one too many morphine-laced crumpets. It’s an existential dirge. Yes, to row down a stream would be a merry diversion for a time. But then you would scream to be released from this dream become nightmare. Your hands covered in blisters and slivers, the pointlessness of the task coming to parallel the ennui of life”.

“Gentlemen, Gentleman" said Gustav as he put down his Guinness, "It’s an extended metaphor for psychoanalytic practice. the rowing of the boat represents the arduous yet satisfying work of analysis. The stream is consciousness, the dream is unconsciousness”. which leads me to surmise…"

“Sorry to interrupt, but you’re all whacked and cracked in the head" interjected Jed as he belched out a beer burp. "It’s just a kid’s song about rowing a boat and being merry, that’s all.”