day twenty: “you seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you,” or exploring human nature with the help of Yoda, The Princess Bride, and Jason Gideon

Princess Bride group

Image by sushi the great via Flickr

For those of you who are unaware, the quote in the blog title is from the 1987 movie The Princess Bride. The line itself was spoken by one of the main characters,Inigo Montoya, a Spaniard whose sole mission in life is to search for the six fingered man who murdered his father in front of him while still a child. Inigo, while undeniably a very purposeful and driven person also strives for honor even when he has been hired as a thug by a criminal mastermind, or at least a person who thinks he is.  Yoda was very careful to teach Luke Skywalker the importance of the controlling his fear, because as I’m sure most of us remember hearing,”fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” A lesson to remember folks: truth may come from anywhere even from the mouth of a Muppet.When the ideas that eventually became fodder for this posting were bouncing off the walls of my brain  it did not occur to me at the time that two of the referenced characters were actually played by the same person. Both Inigo Montoya and Jason Gideon are played by the same actor.  I have always appreciated Mandy Patinkin work as an actor.I especially enjoy the series Criminal Minds in when he played FBI profiler Jason Gideon for a few seasons. The FBI can very easily be perceived as “big Brother”, watching us and making sure we don’t step out of line.  Jason and his team serve the purpose of humanizing the real-life FBI while doing the same thing to the fictional criminals they help catch.  Logically most people are aware that if something really bad happens Gideon & Co. are not going to show up at the door for real, but people who have skills and knowledge very similar to those portrayed on this show very well might. Hopefully if the  real FBI ever show up at someone’s door they will be at least slightly more willing to help because of the show.  I’ve come to the conclusion that most people, even the ones who eventually  go on to do awful things were once fairly decent people. I grant that people like Charles Manson were most likely nut jobs from the start, but if you really wish to know my opinion on people like him, I personally believe that they were born without a soul.  That’s a whole post by itself.  The thing to remember is that life is stressful, treat people with as much kindness as you’re able. You never know when your act of kindness might keep someone from turning into a monster.

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One thought on “day twenty: “you seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you,” or exploring human nature with the help of Yoda, The Princess Bride, and Jason Gideon

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