So a month ago I posted a rather lengthy diatribe about race, white privilege, and my thoughts on the matter. It was mostly born out of my inability to effectively express myself in my day to day life. Which is a refrain that the internet is all to familiar with at this point. Likely none but the strongest luddites among us would be shocked to discover that the internet is full of twenty-something's screaming their creative frustrations into the void.
But there is something to be said for the frustrations of the rare, though ever increasing, political nerd. Not a nerd whose main passion is politics, but the nerd whose passion is the traditional nerdscape but lively hood is derived from the political realm. The man writing policy papers by day and generating elven archers by night. There is a certain heaviness in that. It's that heaviness that spawned my attempt to add to our political discourse.
Not that being a political bureaucrat is inherently difficult or because nerdiness isn't accepted by the general population. It's because of what being a nerd entails, especially If your interests swing towards the fantasy/gaming ends of the nerd spectrum.
You see fantasy teaches us that there are good guys and bad guys. The good guys dress in white, fight the dragons, and save the kingdom. The bad guys torture, rob, and kidnap princesses. There is almost always a clear demarcation. Sure, Game of Thrones mixes it up a bit but on the whole it's paladins and wizards vs. warlords and liches. Three rounds. No holds barred. Team good guy may lose a couple of people along the way, but by and large you're going to end up with a clear win for the pillars of light at the end of the day.
Now you may be thinking that this is how our storytelling culture works in every genre. You would be right. 99.9% of the stories we tell are of good triumphing over evil. But there's a distinct difference when the evil is a undead hellbeast as opposed to evil CEO #7. The CEO is just a man. He's mortal. He's vulnerable. He's beatable. The hellbeast? That's something more. It's our greatest fears come to life. Something ethereal, nightmarish, and inhuman.
We understand the CEO. We get his motivations. Beating that is possible and expected. But where the wheels come off the wagon for the nerd is when you can imagine slaying the dragon. Thinking that you can beat the monsters too. It makes reality more difficult to handle. In politics the monsters aren't dragons or liches, they're problems like poverty and education funding. Believing that those monsters can be slain by any mortal, or even group of mortals can drive anyone to scream into the void.
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.