The story of Tantalus has been, since its Greek origins, a consistently applicable metaphor for the human condition. Tantalus angered the gods by trying to feed them the flesh of his own son, passed off as ambrosia. For this, he was chained
to the bottom of a lake that reached to his chin. With luscious grapes drooping from vines above his nose, starving Tantalus was unable to enjoy either food or drink, as they were pulled
away whenever he reached. I won't go on about how I think this relates to American culture today, which suffers from a kind of self-inflicted hunger from unrealistic expectations. Nor will I attempt to make any connection between the story of Tantalus and our current global problem with mercury levels in deep sea fish, and how we are our own gods and are punished by our own actions when we poison our own food supply.
Let me just say, instead, that this piece is about a frustrated fish trying to catch a bug.