Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bil - Ass

I was thinking about assumptions recently in a rehearsal, and it dawned on me all of a sudden that our little social clique of Devilish Children makes an assumption in the beginning, when we first encounter Little Karl and his Vati (father). It can't be helped, everybody makes assumptions when we first meet new people.

So, in the course of the rehearsals, I had decided subconsciously that we all (or at least I) hated Vati right away and would sympathize with Little Karl, him being a poor young boy being scolded by his mean father.

But it occurred to me the other day that it makes more sense if the Devilish Children immediately assume that Vati is correct, and consequently we'd immediately assume that Little Karl is an asshole. This is why we take it upon ourselves to torment him with education.

It's okay for the audience to decide that Vati is an asshole, but we children must think of him as the proper way to be. Vati's cold demeanor and strict adherence to proper society's rules is what we believe we ought to strive for, and the bad things happen when we break the rules.

"Devilish kinder are not tolerated in civilized society."
It takes the show's "prison" element to a whole new level. We see so often, especially in American literature and cinema, the prisoners' tendency to band together against "the man."  It would have been easy and boring for us to fall into that mentality, so to make things more watchable, we're now taking this question with us: "What happens if the prisoners agree that they ought to be imprisoned, and try to emulate their wardens?" We use our unique story talents to convince the new prisoner that he's wrong about his situation.

What we get when we do this is a society of prisoners teaching each other, and the wardens – adults, in this case – become absent and irrelevant.  Can't say at this point whether the absence begets the irrelevance, or vice-versa; for now, though, it doesn't matter.  The important part is that we children teach another child how to behave the way we believe is correct.  (Think "Lord of the Flies" here.)  We don't try to escape, and we don't cry up about our own innocence.  Because when you assume your own make an ass out of you and me. (Right? Right.)

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