Friday, October 11, 2013

Doesn't it seem a bit funny

As the primed minister sped toward the waiting commcar, its boot full of Battlelines and some discarded wedding cake, he reflected on all the things he'd fled since he became leader. He began to wonder whether he should add parquetry to his exercise regime. 

What's different here? Now it's telling a story. Even though we're intent on dishing out the usual variety of stylised scorn to a political opponent, it's no longer reportage, more gonzo journalism.

Another approach would be to move away from the target altogether. The idea of running away is an enduring one.

The Virtue of Running Away

Anyone reading boy's own adventures of any vintage would see the problem in this proposition. Running away has its comedic uses but is not what you want in any action sequence. The brave hero is always moving forward; rushing into danger, or at least constructing an ambush in which they play a pivotal part.

But real life can at best reconstruct the lives of the fallen. It's the ones who turned tail and lived to tell the tale who can give us the best account. Our yellow bellies can tell us a great deal.

The full on coward also serves to remind us that we are not the action hero, and we're not equipped to deal with most of those situations he or she find themselves in.

Think of the scout: they are being relied on to get a first hand account and then get out alive to report back to camp. They can only do this by making a strategic withdrawal. Knowing when to retreat is a valuable skill.

It could be said that if one does a good deal of running away from things, perhaps that is a sign that they are first placing themselves in peril by their actions.


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