THE CRYING GAME, a 1992 film by Neil Jordan, is about the revolting and endless twentieth century Irish Troubles. At least some of the time, it is also about the strange bedfellows with which we bunk down when we live in the expectation of dying-not dying eventually, but dying any moment now. Forest Whitaker is an endlessly gullible British soldier, who ducks into the bushes with an undercover Irish girl (Miranda Richardson) and is taken hostage by the Irish enemy who plan to execute him if their demands aren't met. A blindfolded Whitaker befriends his captor, Stephen Rae, and tells him the parable of the scorpion and the frog.
A scorpion enlists a frog to take him on his back across a stream, even though the frog is astute enough to protest that the scorpion "will surely sting me and I will die." The scorpion points out that if he stings the frog, he will die too. The trusting frog thus takes on his passenger, is stung by him, and the two creatures drown together. But before the frog drowns he asks, "Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion, even though it costs us both our lives?" to which the Scorpion replies, acceptingly, "It is my nature."
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