December 30, 2004
Black and White (by guest blogger Dorian Davis)
Something always struck me about M. Night Shyamalan’s movie Unbreakable. It is a story about a guy, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who is prone to broken bones, and his quest for his exact opposite, a guy who would be unbreakable. He finds it in Bruce Willis. “Now that I know who you are,” Jackson says, “I know who I am. I am not a mistake.”
In her book, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, Catherine Orenstein sums up with the argument of French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss that humans see the world and ourselves in binary opposition: Red Riding Hood, good. The wolf, bad. Without one, it is impossible to see the true nature of the other.
I am put in mind of Einstein’s quote: Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.
Bush simplifies politics. Saddam is an evil-doer. He is an enemy of civilization. It is mocked by the Ivy League. It is mocked by the United Nations. But he tapped into something basic and human: If there is good, there must be evil. And we have seen it. And it is this.