Monday, September 13, 2021

Hakuna Ma Freakin' Tata!

The phrase "hakuna matata" was in my crossword puzzle (I have a big book of NYT Sunday crosswords in the bathroom and go through maybe a third of a puzzle a day, it takes me so long to get anything accomplished on the toilet anymore, and I tend to hang out for a while working on the puzzle since I have nothing more important to do with my life); and as soon as I solved it, the song from the Disney movie was in my head... or at least the parts of it I know, which are basically the title and a couple of other phrases. 

Hakuna matata, what a wonderful phrase... hakuna matata, something something heys! It's a problem-free... philosophy... hakuna matata! (repeat) 

It's like "A Small World" as far as earworms go, but not nearly as annoying. In fact I find I don't mind getting it stuck in my head — which is good, since it gets stuck in my head any time I see the phrase, and I see it a lot more often than one would imagine. Like when I saw the tweet on Facebook pointing out that "Timon and Pumbaa made up the entire Hakuna Matata song just to get Simba to eat bugs instead of them," and the song was in my head for a couple of hours. So, in the interest of seeing if there's anything to be gained from this unfortunate mental tic, let's see if the lyrics give us any deeper meaning:

Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

Timon: Why, when he was a young warthog
Pumbaa: When I was a young wart-hoooog!
Timon: Very nice!
Pumbaa: Thanks!
Timon: He found his aroma lacked a certain appeal,
He could clear the Savannah after every meal

Pumbaa: I'm a sensitive soul, though I seem thick-skinned,
And it hurt that my friends never stood downwind
And oh, the shame

Timon: He was ashamed!
Pumbaa: Thought of changin' my name
Timon: Oh, what's in a name?
Pumbaa: And I got downhearted
Timon: How did you feel?
Pumbaa: Every time that I-
Timon: Pumbaa! Not in front of the kids!
Pumbaa: Oh... sorry

Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
Yeah, sing it, kid!
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

Not real deep. And it doesn't actually say how "Hakuna Matata" (which is Swahili for "no worries," as I'm sure you know) relates to Pumbaa's narrative vignette. Nor does it seem to have anything to do with Simba's non-predatory diet. But it's a good way to live, not worrying. Worry doesn't do much for anyone, and for me it tends to ramp up my anxiety by giving it something tangible to work with, so it's just best avoided.

Now that we've got that cleared up, have a lovely day and I'll talk to you again tomorrow.

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