Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Dr. King Day

We don't get the day off and the parade through the East Side till Monday, but today is Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. I have a friend, M, who shares this birthday with him.

He used to not like the connection because he didn't like Dr. King. His dad was a little, um, strange, no, not in the way you're thinking, but explaining would be futile as well as privacy-invading. All you need to know is that when I first knew him M had a lot of strong opinions that he though were well-founded that weren't. I told him he should be thrilled about it and bought him a biography for his birthday. He thought the biography a little too reverent but the facts in it reconciled him to sharing his birthday with a Great American. IMHO, the Greatest American of the 20th century.

One of his life stories is how the first time he voted he got up out of a fever bed to vote for George Wallace. During this last election, he not only voted for Obama, but he kept talking about getting a t-shirt that read "Obama: Because it's about F------ time." And that's America, folks!

It's also what we in the fiction business call a character arc, but he doesn't see it that way. He'll explain to you in tedious detail how his behavior has been consistent and logical throughout and that he's exactly the same person now he was the day he voted for Wallace. There sure wasn't any dramatic moment of revelation or plot-like series of transformative events between those two points in time.

Life is messy and unstructured and not obliged to make any logical sense. That's one of the things we want fiction for.

Come to that, it's why we like holidays. They provide a satisfying illusion of narrative structure for the year.

Anyway, peace out, y'all, and have a good day!

No comments:

Post a Comment