The Big Red Car of Theseus – Who are the Real Wiggles?
Around 3000 years ago Greek philosophers devised a thought puzzle known as ‘The Ship of Theseus.’ The story goes that this ship was kept in the harbour and as its wooden pieces rotted, they were gradually replaced. The question is, after every part has eventually been replaced, is it still the same ship? 2970 years later, four Aussie musicians decided to wear colourful skivvies and play children’s music. The two stories would then collide to form one of the greatest philosophical discussions of the modern era, but how did it happen?
This morning, yellow Wiggle Emma announced she would be hanging up the skivvy and will be replaced by red Wiggle Tsehay, who joined the group alongside 3 other new diverse members in August, much to the dismay of Daily Telegraph readers and Pauline Hanson.
Today’s announcement overshadowed the news that the original lineup of the Wiggles will be touring arenas around the nation, playing to audiences only over the age of 18. So here we have two separate Wiggles, but who are the real Wiggles? Who gets to drive the Big Red Car of Theseus?
In 2013, all original members except blue Wiggle Anthony left the band, and although the new members continue their spirit, there is no questioning that the Wiggles will continue on even once all original pieces have been replaced. Our greek friends go on to discuss the possibility of restoring the older planks to recreate the original ship itself, just as the OG Wiggles have dusted off their skivvy’s to take to the stage once again.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Obviously, the original lineup is the true Big Red Car of Theseus, and the new group is merely the next generation. However, as the OG Wiggles move their talents to an older demographic they lose the elements that truly make them the Wiggles, they lose their wiggliness.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a time when few young boys on earth adored Greg the Wiggle as much as I did, and I’ll probably go to the gig (mostly for DZ Deathrays and Polish Club), but there are certain things that go down at adult shows that we don’t want our kids exposed to. Swearing, moshing, loud noises, the depressing signs of age and life passing by before your eyes are all things that we shield our young children from, and for good reason.
What if the Ship of Theseus was given wheels and turned into a car? It still belongs to Theseus perhaps, but its certainly no ship. Looking at it from our older perspective, of course, the new group isn’t the true wiggles. But for a young child in their peak days of wiggliness, they see the new Wiggles as the true Wiggles. Despite the fact they may be corporate sell-outs for Uber Eats, I can’t help but agree with them and argue that the true essence of the Big Red Car lies in their youth, their vigour and their wholesomeness.
As our generation edges ever closer to irrelevancy we must tackle these troubling truths about the institutions and organisations that we as a community were brought up alongside. Greg, Murray, Jeff and Anthony will forever be The Wiggles to us, but our children and generations to come will love a different set of Wiggles, just as much as we all did. And as the Wiggles forge onwards to entertain new generations of children, so will the debate about The Big Red Car of Theseus rage on for years to come.
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