Friday, July 5, 2024

Dark Character Lines

I'll lead this off with a quote from Making Money from Terry Pratchett I'm consuming this week...

"'What have you done to that man?' said Moist.

'I have made him a well-balanthed perthonality, no longer bethet with ancthietieth, fearth and the demonth of paranoia,' said Igor.

Moist glanced at Igor's workbench, a brave thing to do by any standards. On it was a jar with something indistinct floating in it. Moist looked closer, another minor act of heroism when you were in an Igor-rich environment.

It was not a happy turnip. It was blotchy. It was bouncing gently from one side of the jar to another, occasionally turning over. 'I see,' said Moist. 'But it would appear, regrettably, that by giving our friend the relaxed and hopeful attitude to life of, not to put too fine a point on it, a turnip, you have also given him the artistic abilities of, and I have no hesitation in using the term again, a turnip.'

'But he ith much happier in himthelf,' said Igor.

'Granted, but how much of himself is, and I really don't wish to keep repeating myself here, of a root-vegetable-like nature?'

Igor considered this for some time. 'Ath a medical man, thur,' he said, 'I mutht conthider what ith betht for the pathient. At the moment he ith happy and content and hath no careth in the world. Why would he give up all thith for a mere fathility with a penthil?'

Moist was aware of an insistent bonk-bonk. It was the turnip banging itself against the side of the jar. 'That is an interesting and philosophical point,' he said, once again looking at Clamp's happy yet somewhat unfocused expression. 'But it seems to me that all those nasty little details were what made him, well, him.' The frantic banging of the vegetable grew louder. Igor and Moist stared from the jar to the eerily smiling man." (Emphasis bold added)

Continuing the point of darkness discussion, it reminds me of things like The Lego Movie song at the beginning Everything is Awesome where they just ignore the bad things to focus.. rather delusionally on a perceived good that ignores real problems.  You see that in lots of other shows and movies, like Brave New World where the society takes positive pills when they feel bad and as such are easily controlled by those in power.

I get it.  Sometimes, life sucks and blocking all that out for a short time from distraction or alcohol or such is therapeutic.  But, it can also keep you from addressing real problems.  Indeed, a mark of an alcoholic is someone so drawn into the Lotus plant like sooth of pleasure that they fail to do things necessary to pay bills or live.

Darkness gives us character... like the dark lines of a sketch gives us distinction.  Often, it's more the dark periods of our lives that give us depth and capacity than periods of ease.  Take away the struggle, and you erase large parts of yourself.

As Eminem sings in Higher, it is those dark times that drive us forward to grow, and I know in my own life it is the struggles of late that give me a purpose in a challenge to overcome and elevate to become the best version of my future I can be.

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