The Impetus of Drama to Gain Significance

Each of us struggles in our own way to feel significant in a world where most of us are doomed to insignificance. Young men hear G.W. Bush with his bull horn at WTC “we will smoke them out” and wax patriotic, join the army, and return a month later as paraplegics never having fired a shot (one said “all I saw were women and children running”) … other take up the fight against environmental pollution, others become Marxists and struggle against the evils of Capitalism, others fight poverty and illness, and yet other seek obscene wealth or power. So, Assange has found his arena of struggle and justifies it to himself in some way whether rightly or wrongly. What is Newton’s law that an object in motion continues in motion? Well, sometimes we set upon a certain path of action and it takes over and we no longer think or moralize or idealize about it but simply continue on our path because it gives us purpose and that purpose gives us the illusion of significance. Even a ponzi artist like Madoff has a sense of significance from his achievement. Rommel becomes a Rommel and Eisenhower becomes an Eisenhower on history’s stage apart from the merits and demerits of the politics and ideologies they represent. Bogie and Bacall are romantic figures burning the candle at both ends whether they are on the side of good or evil. The same may be said for Sartre or Marshall McLuhan or Andy Warhol or Picasso. We may also see this in the protagonist of Camus’s “The Stranger.” What I am suggesting it that there is an impetus and motive to an individual’s drama which is driven simply by the drama and not by the ethics or end results.

Being crucified as a martyr gains much significance apart from the issue of whether or not crucifixion is salvific. If we see the opportunity to do ANYTHING of significance and daring (apart from questions of good and evil; right and wrong) if we turn away our punishment is shear boredom.


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