Driver’s Re-Education, Part II


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The fall of Fishbinder.
A lot of thinking to write my way out of a corner this time. I suppose that’s good practice. (Building character and all that.)
I was trying to update Greek tragedy. I don’t think it succeeded, but here’s what I was thinking. (I’m certain I’m going to oversimply Greek Tragedy. Sorry, I’m a simple guy.)
You see, greek tragedy is driven by the idea of Hubris (arrogance) calling forth Nemesis (retribution). So that when Oedipus discovers that he’s married his mother, well, he just falls apart. His moral sense of the world falls apart. And he blinds himself.
I think we (in our postmodern times) can only understand this play on the level of religious ritual. Because we don’t seem to believe in things the way people used to. And if Oedipus happened to day (guy kills his father and marries his mother) we would have a chance to stare into a set of perfect, unblinded eyes as he told us his story on Springer. We would also have ample opportunity to buy a book on the subject, or suffer through a movie of the week.
And that’s really the tragedy. Not much sacred. Not much profane. We’re just left with sensationalism.
And the idea with Fishbinder is, he has nothing to believe in, so in an effort to make himself whole, he choose the worst thing of all. The laws relating to Motor Vehicles. And when this set of beliefs is challenged, he falls apart.
Yes, it’s funny at parts. But if the story works the way I hoped it would, it there should be a realistic sense, that you know people like this.
I guess another way to look at it would be to start with Saul Bellow who wrote that his work was devoted to the rediscovery of the magic of the world under the debris of modern ideas. Fishbinder is a man crushed by the debris of modern ideas.
And to some extent, aren’t we all?

One reply on “Driver’s Re-Education, Part II”

  1. A friend of mine at school introduced your podcast to me. You have a very good sense of humor, but your more serious pieces are great, too (I loved “A Wolf in the Park”). When my friend shoved his iPod into my hands and ordered me to listen to “Drivers Re-Education Part I,” I was a little hesitant…but after listening to it all the way through, I couldn’t stop laughing. As I type this very long comment, “Drivers Re-Education Part II” is loading. I’m sure it will be just as funny, if not more so, then the first part. 🙂

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