Archive for August 4th, 2009

Human Frailty

2009 Aug 4

When brainstorming the premise for a Geiger Counter scenario, it might be helpful to think of everything that happens, plot-wise, as a stage on which humanity’s strengths and failings are performed. Sure, some of the characters will demonstrate capacities that you didn’t know they had, for self-sacrifice, for compassion, for courage, for killer instincts — but still others will demonstrate just how cowardly, selfish, ignorant, stupid, arrogant, and petty humans can be. Sometimes, the same characters may well demonstrate both capacities.

Frequently, the premise itself will be a clear demonstration of human failings: “entrepreneurs breed dinosaurs for an amusement park, sure that nothing could possibly go wrong.” Frequently, human frailties are contrasted with the cold, heartless, savage or even “mechanical” workings of fate, the universe, and the natural world, which humanity arrogantly struggles to control. The deaths of most of the characters in these stories is a form of justice, the proper order of things reasserting itself, crushing humanity for its pride. Watch Titanic again, even. It’s there.