Tuesday, April 26, 2005

But… Billions of Lives are at Stake !

Everyone, please remain calm. The situation is under control, we just need to sacrifice someone in order to save the world--or maybe even the universe if we're working with an ambitious scenario writer.

Just stop and think for a moment. How many times have you had to bear with that particular plot twist? Okay, stop counting. Too many.

It's not that I don't enjoy good character torturing, I do. I love nothing better than a genuine Cornelian dilemma which sends the characters agonizing over impossible choices--but.

Frankly, I've had enough of having to watch Winston Churchill's decision being revisited in every universe available (but with much sexier characters, true; so there might be some merit in that after all, hmmm...).

There's no choice, no question--not in my book anyway.

To sacrifice a life, no matter how many you save in return, simply invalidates the choice. Comparing the worth of lives versus life is absurd. Every life is unique, and precious beyond what words can describe. There's no calculating the worth of one and weighing it against the worth of the other, for a very simple reason : who are you (who is the hero) to decide such a thing? What places you above the others? Excuse me, are you some kind of god or goddess of old? Unless you just sprung out of a book, a game, a TV series, a movie or the imagination of someone else, that's not bloody likely. There's just one exception I can see, when the life you're willing to sacrifice is YOURS.


Of course, I'm as human as the next girl, I kind of enjoy watching your dark and gorgeous character angsting over the fate of the world, and then whipping himself with guilt. Cross my heart. Still, I don't think I care for writers to overuse the theme, and reach the conclusion that, well, yes, it's painful, but if it's to save the [insert "world", "solar system", "galaxy", "universe", "dimension", "multiverse", etc.] then we'll be brave and do it and agonize lots thereafter. It's not an acceptable choice. You can have characters make it, but then there must be consequences--hell to pay sounds rather nice. A hero who can live with him/herself and live happily everafter once he's made such a choice isn't a hero. Sorry.

Why am I whining about such philosophical questions on a Tuesday afternoon? Boredom or lack of motivation at work might explain a part of it. Watching Angel season 5 might explain another part of it, if only in an indirect fashion. And, at least, you've learnt something about me that's not mentioned in my profile:

You know how I feel about Coventry.

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