Friday, February 10, 2006

"Frozen" In February

I saw "Frozen" on Wednesday night at the New Rep theatre in Watertown. You can read about it here:

http://www.newrep.org/news/20051229frozen.html

The play had some faults: it's a bit sentimental and pat, and one of the three characters is far inferior in complexity and nuance to the other two. But the play, dealing as it does with the nature of evil itself, is riveting. Nancy E. Carroll gave a smashing performance as a mother whose 10-year old daughter is abducted and murdered by a pedophile serial killer.

I've been pretty blue since I saw it, which doesn't surprise me. Old Dame Melancholy typically gets a hold of me this time of year after the highs of the holidays and my birthday and vacation are over. We're coming into Lent, church folk tend to be weary and a bit cranky, and Valentine's Day reminds me of the way I was cruelly and silently dumped by a lover two years ago and haven't dated anyone since. I had a really stupid, pointless date last night: it was *way* more fun to go to Barnes & Noble and grade papers.

What if, as "Frozen" posits, evil and sadism are really the results of frontal lobe damage and screwy synapses, and not an incarnation of an ontological evil at all? What if the reason so much sexual perversity and violence are tied together is a purely neurological phenomenon and not due to the human animal's disturbing capability to invent particularly vile and humiliating forms of physical and psychic harm to commit on the bodies of others?

Does this make me more optimistic, or less? What, then, of the rock-bound Unitarian conviction of the moral improvability of all humans?

4 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

What, then, of the rock-bound Unitarian conviction of the moral improvability of all humans?

We are also reason based, and if it really proves that not all humans are improvable in all areas, we will have to deal with it. Generally the truth is more complicated and less clear than one-or-the-other.

03:57  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Malcom Gladwell wrote a spiffy article about the issues surrounding the writing of that play.

CC

10:05  
Blogger Kim said...

I read the article CC linked. what I want to know is: how did he respond to her?

17:55  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Wow. I'm so glad you let me know about that, CC!! Fascinating stuff!!

18:08  

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