Thursday, 19 November 2009
Escapist Control Freak
Meglos, a classic megalomanic (or is it the Doctor? Or a cactus? Pure genius that - in how many shows do you get a cactus trying to take over the universe?!)
I´ve chosen my online blog moniker as it reflects my personality. Just as Magnus, the War Chief, is a megalomanic control freak, so am I. Just as he´s a delusional escapist, so am I. Well, just a bit anyway - despite the apparent contradiction.
I guess this is why Who holds appeal for me. It is pure and simple escapism from everyday life, from the reality we are all constrained by. It´s a chance to fantasize, to daydream of other worlds and civilizations, to hope for something better and give meaning to the meaningless.
I also guess that this desire to escape comes from, or hand-in-hand with, the desire to control. Now I´m not saying that I´d like to control everything and everyone, but it certainly drives me up the wall when I see things being done wrong, or badly, and I want to make it better, just like the Doctor. So perhaps, given the chance, I´d have a go.
For me it´s a search for "Quality", that metaphysical concept core to Robert M. Pirsig's ´Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : An Inquiry into Values´. The classic megalomanic´s desire to control the world, or conquor the universe, is not led by a desire to be evil, to dominate or to opress in itself (although I admit it can be easily percieved as such), but instead to make things better, to manage the unmanagable mass of independent actions and beings which seam to be so random and haphazard in their direction, and to unify them towards a percieved value or greater goal. It is when societies have their backs against the wall that individuals like these are at their most potent and powerful - in the fight to unify and survive. But it can also come out of a desire to improve and evolve.
The Master, here played by Roger Delgado, and the ultimate control freak - although not necessarily very successful at it given the number of chances he´s had and the fact he has a time machine...
For me, it is an essential part of human nature. Without these driving forces I doubt we would have progressed to the lofty levels of civilization which we so value today. Nor would we be in the mess we are in. It is what makes us fight for values that we uphold, to draw lines and say no, this is not the way to go. Turn left, not right...
However total control is totally impossible, and that´s where the desire to escape begins to manifest itself. If you can´t control, then hell, escape - it´s the only option, especially if you´re a control freak. Run away into your delusional world of fantasy and embrace your megalomanic side. It´s healthy. Well, more healthy than drinking yourself drunk or taking drugs. They don´t help at all, and I talk from personal experience.
So praise to Who and its multiplicity of megalomanics... we love them all, and secretly, deep down, despite our love for the Doctor and the values he upholds, we´re all as mad and crazed as any of the megalo´s portrayed in Who. Well, I know I am anyway.
All this is, I think, especially relevant to the current story arch in Who. The 10th Doctor, in his omnipotent rise in power and control, is slowly becoming as mad and bad as the forces which he fights. Bring it on, for we all know a good baddie never dies, but always escapes to fight another day. And lets be honset, the Doctor is the biggest megalomanic of them all. Well, at the moment anyway.