Communicator (communicator) wrote,

That's what fiction means

A point I was trying to make in the Pan's Labyrinth review was that the uncertainty about the outcome mirrors the uncertainty we feel in political struggle. An individual fascist may die, and yet the Falangists will win (in Spain), and yet the principles of the revolution (no master, no King, no God) survive, and yet they may eventually be extinguished. We never reach more than an arbitrary 'end' of the story.

And of course it is only in the context of uncertainty that courage can exist. This is often a problem in stories (and films, TV shows etc) because there is a tendency for the good to end happily and the bad unhappily. As Oscar Wilde said, pessimistically, 'That's what fiction means'. Hence we 'know', and sometimes the goodies act as if they 'know' that they will win out. This cheapens their struggle sometimes.

'It's a million to one chance, but it just might work.' But IRL 999,999 times it just won't work. In real life courage is shown by 'goodies' who do fight a losing battle.

At this time of year the thoughts of all Blakes 7 fans turn to a planet far far away called 'Gauda Prime'. Gauda Prime was a frontier world, and normal law and order had been suspended. There may have been a fly paper strategy - the Federation wanted to attract the scum of the galaxy to a single location where they could finish them off. Possibly some of the rebels were double-bluffing them. Perhaps the rebel plot was just a bit too subtle. It's long story, but suffice to say that on 21st December 1981 the goodies were slaughtered. By this time they had more or less ceased to be goodies anyway.

How frequently should the goodies lose? Half and half?
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