The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Problem with Passion

At some point over the last few months I saw all six Star Wars movies. Not in any order or with my full attention, but no matter; I've seen them all enough times in the past, especially the original trilogy.

It drove home a point that I'd thought about since I first saw Episode III. Not that Harrison Ford held the whole original trilogy together in a way that Ewan McGregor could have if the stories of the newer trilogy weren't so convoluted and silly, but that it made a pretty good case for the dark side. I actually wrote a parody Episode VIII blog post a little while ago that addressed some of my problems with it.

The system of government of the old republic in Episodes I to III was obviously irrevocably broken where absolutely nothing could get done and someone as ignorant on interplanetary affairs as Jar Jar could have the power to affect galactic policy. With a clone army and a planet obliterating space station, the planetary systems fell into line like second graders being threatened with no recess. The Empire may have been oppressive and cruel, but at least they made the spaceships run on time. This is by no means an endorsement of oppressive governments, please hear me out.

Enter the rebellion, people from all over the galaxy united under their passionate hatred of the Empire. Their goal is simple to see, if not simple to reach: destroy the leaders of the Empire and their mechanizations of doom. With cunning and, um, walking teddy bears, they finally do it and the galaxy rejoices. (yea.)

Now what? Do they reform the same impotent system that caused the Empire to rise in the first place? How do they deal with the people who actually preferred the Empire and was more than willing to give up their civil liberties for the order and security that it provided? Happy endings don't require that these questions be answered, so we can safely assume that everything is gonna work out fine.

That's the problem with passion in the real world, it doesn't need ideas or reason to exist, but it is awfully powerful nonetheless. I believe that things like Anarchist organizations exist solely because real anarchy is a goal that can never be reached, structured societies exist because societies want them. This is true even among Anarchists, they have meetings and leaders, don't they? This might be being simplistic, but they're the ones calling themselves Anarchists.

Trying to make a point using Star Wars as a metaphor might be awfully nerdy, but it was impossible for me to illustrate this point from just one example from the real world; there are just too many. I think right now it applies to the Democratic Party, just like it did for the Republican party in 2000.

Passion is what an underdog has that the "overdog" often lacks, the rocket fuel for their rise against the status quo. But the Overdog has had to do the actual job that the Underdog wants and passion-as it sometimes does- gets in the way of responsibility. The underdog fights the good fight with both loyal and hesitant supporters. But after the fight is over, promises made are expected to be kept and the bill for all that passion comes due. That is the problem with passion, it can motivate you to try to solve a problem, but not necessarily in the right direction.

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