a question of character…

ive been thinking about don jose recently…he’s the central male character in bizet’s carmen…the man is a boy scout…steady…disciplined…and loyal…ever loyal…then he meets the seductress carmen…and goes to prison…for helping her escape prison…when he gets out…he goes back to her…deserts the military…and reluctantly follows carmen’s gypsy life…of course…it doesn’t end well…

this is on my mind because of the time worn cliche…character is destiny…i wonder how true this really is…is it something that storytellers spun…out of whole cloth…how many truly good people…come to good endings…and how many scoundrels…get punished…is character really destiny…or is that just a story we tell ourselves…

carmen is one of the earliest models for what we now call…noir…good man falls for bad woman…and bad things happen…don jose’s central trait is his loyalty…loyalty for his mother…loyalty to his uniform…when he trades these things for loyalty to carmen…he really hasn’t changed…he’s just redirected his focus…loyalty is a positive trait…something worth rewarding…don jose’s first crime is bad judgement…

why do we tell ourselves these stories of human ruin…they’re morality plays…warnings of bad tidings for behavior…outside the norm…but does life really work that way…mostly i see that the people who live…beyond the everyday…are creating change…innovating…and mostly making the world a better place…this is one of the things that makes us all want to secretly be…outsiders…it’s a daring life…

the real theives and human misfits…hide behind normality…to make what they do seem right and just…one of my favorite bands from the 90’s called this…friendly fascism…

and this is why don jose is on my mind…men like him are good…in their way…but ultimately…they are easily manipulated…toward bad ends…so that his character is not his destiny…it’s his trap…

Johnny Cash Loves You!

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