Showing posts with label The King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The King. Show all posts

Monday, 4 March 2019

The Conscience of The King


Leo and Fitzwallace are sitting across from each other.


This is always when you say something.


Nah. Have you changed shampoo? 
You have, I can tell.


I like to look good for you.


Well, I appreciate it. 
Can you tell when its Peacetime and Wartime anymore?




I don't know who The World's leading expert on warfare is, but any list of The Top 10 has got to include me, and I can't tell when it's Peacetime and Wartime anymore.


Look, International Law has always recognized certain protected person's who you couldn't attack. 
It's been this way since the Romans.


In peacetime.




At the Battle of Agincourt, this was The French fighting against The British archers, this was like a polo match. 

The battles were observed by heralds 
and they picked the winners.

And if a soldier laid down his arms, he was treated humanely.




And the International Laws that you're talking about, 
this is when a lot of them were written. 

At a time and in a place, 
where a person could tell between peacetime and wartime.

The idea of targeting one person was ridiculous. 

It wouldn't have occurred to The French 
to try to kill William Pitt.

That is absolute  bollocks, Sorkin, 
because the American Transatlantic Merchant Shipping Lobby did in-actual-fact, have
and I am compelled and 

That all changed after Pearl Harbor.


I don't like where this conversation's going.




In the Situation Room, Fitz?


We killed Yamamoto. 
We shot down his plane.


We declared war.


If Dietrich Bonhoeffer had been successful...


And the plot to kill Hitler was an internal rebellion.


...there would've been statues built of an assassin. 
We'd have to explain that to our kids.


I'm going to get back to the office.


We measure the success of a mission by two things: 
Was it successful? 
How few civilians did we hurt? 

They measure success by how many. 

Pregnant women are delivering bombs. 

You're talking to me about International Laws? 

The Laws of Nature don't even apply here. 

I've been a soldier for 38 years. 
And I found an Enemy I can Kill. 

He can't cancel Shareef's trip, Leo.
You've got to tell him he can't cancel it.


Bartlet is in another session with the psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley Keyworth.


It's "The War of the Roses." 
All the Henrys, and all the Richards, for that matter.


In some kind of condensed form?




'Cause you'd be there for weeks, right, if...?


There's also singing.


Oh, it's a musical?


No, but they're gonna sing from time to time, 
and one of the songs is a song I love. 

I can't think of the name now, 
but it's an Edwardian... 
It always reminds me... 

It makes me think of college, like, I don't know, 
like they should be singing it in the dining 
hall at Christ College at Cambridge. 

The chorus is, 
"And victorious in war shall be made 
glorious in peace."

I was just singing it this morning.

A moment of silence.


How have you been sleeping?


Good. Yeah.
 Let me ask you something. 
Is there a crime, which if it wasn't illegal, you would do?


I'd park anywhere I want.


Right, but you wouldn't rob a bank?




Connecticut had a law prohibiting the use of contraceptives. 
It was written out of rage against adultery. 

But in the age of AIDS, don't Connecticut residents do more for The General Welfare by flagrantly breaking the law?


There was a law against... contraceptives?




Can I ask, sir, how somebody used to get caught?




What's on your mind, Mr. President?


I can't tell you.


Yeah, but you can.

Bartlet pauses, looks away and thinks.


No, I really can't. It's high security. 
To say nothing of... [sighs heavily]


To say nothing of what?


If I tell you I intend to commit a crime, you're required by law to report it. [beat

I have a strange meeting coming up. [beat

I'm gonna go. It's good seeing you.

Bartlet stands, grabs his jacket, and leaves Stanley inside.


* * *

This shows the ending sequence of West Wing season 3 finale, Posse Comitatus, where Sorkin's fictional War of the Roses play performs the Patriotic Song (written by composer Stephen Oliver) against the backdrop of the assassination of Abdul Shareef. You will then see the rare version of the song, performed by the RSC, from a 1982 production of the Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. For those fellow West Wing fans/nerds, the actor Roger Rees (who also played Lord John Marbury) leads the cast....

What was the music that the Shakespeare company was singing at the end in "Posse Comitatus"?

Mel Kirby tells us "the song sung by the supposed Shakespeare Company at the end of the segment of the 'Wars of the Roses' being watched on Broadway by Pres. Bartlett is called 'Patriotic Chorus' by Stephen Oliver. 

It was originally composed as the Finale of the mock-Victorian revisionist 'Romeo and Juliet' which closes Part One of the 9 hour-long, 1983 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Dickens 'The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby' which was an actual hit in London's West End and on Broadway in the early 80's. 

One would assume that the RSC and 'endlessly long', high-brow nature of both plays would have created the intellectual resonance for Sorkin. 

And the originally tongue-in-cheek words and tune, a send-up of typical Victorian xenophobia, have a certain irony as played over the assassination of the Qumari defense minister."

Mel Kirby also sent us the following Lyrics:

"England arise! Join in the chorus!
It is a new made song you should be singing.
See in the skies, flutt'ring before us
what the bright bird of peace is bringing! 
    See upon our smiling land
    where the wealths of nations stand
    where prosperity and industry walk
    ever hand in hand.
    Where so many blessings crowd,
     'tis our duty to be proud.
    Up and answer, English Yeoman,
    sing it joyfully aloud. 
    Evermore upon our country
    God will pour his rich increase,
    And victorious in war shall be made glorious in peace,
    And victorious in war shall be made glorious in peace.

this verse omitted
on West Wing
[ See each one do what he can to further God's almighty plan.
The benificence of heaven help the skilfulness of man.
Ev'ry garner fill'd with grain, Ev'ry meadow blest with rain:
Rich and fertile is the golden corn that bear and bears again.

Where so many blessings crowd,
'Tis our duty to be proud.
Up and answer, fellow Britons,
sing it joyfully aloud.

Evermore upon our country
God will pour his rich increase...etc."

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

St. Joan Alone

"Do not think you can frighten me by telling me that I am alone. 

France is alone; and God is alone; and what is my loneliness before the loneliness of my country and my God? 

I see now that the Loneliness of God is His Strength: what would He be if He listened to your jealous little counsels? 

Well, my loneliness shall be my strength too; it is better to be alone with God: His friendship will not fail me, nor His counsel, nor His love. 

In His Strength I Will Dare, and Dare, 
and Dare, Until I die. 

I will go out now to the Common People, and let the love in their eyes comfort me for the hate in yours."

sovereignty (n.)

mid-14c., "pre-eminence," from Anglo-French sovereynete, Old French souverainete, from soverain (see sovereign (adj.)). Meaning "authority, rule, supremacy of power or rank" is recorded from late 14c.; sense of "existence as an independent state" is from 1715

sovereign (adj.)

early 14c., "great, superior, supreme," from Old French soverain "highest, supreme, chief," from Vulgar Latin *superanus "chief, principal" (source also of Spanish soberano, Italian soprano), from Latin super "over" (from PIE root *uper "over"). Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign. Milton spelled it sovran, as though from Italian sovrano. Of remedies or medicines, "potent in a high degree," from late 14c.

sovereign (n.)

late 13c., "superior, ruler, master," from Old French soverain "sovereign, lord, ruler," noun use of adjective meaning "highest, supreme, chief" (seesovereign (adj.)). Meaning "gold coin worth 22s 6d" first recorded late 15c.; value changed 1817 to 1 pound.

suzerain (n.)

"sovereign, ruler," 1807, from French suzerain (14c., Old French suserain), noun use of adjective meaning "sovereign but not supreme," from adverb sus "up, above," on analogy of soverain (see sovereign (adj.)). Old French sus is from Vulgar Latin susum, from Latin sursum "upward, above," contraction of subversum, from subvertere (see subvert).

suzerainty (n.)

late 15c., "supremacy," from Old French suserenete "office or jurisdiction of a suzerain," from suserain (see suzerain).

Odd-Man Hypothesis : Far-Off Men and The Eternal Father

By the 30th Century, Human Society was Highly Compartmentalised....

SpaceTech ROGIN : 
You know what'll happen when you cut that lock.

Teeth+Curls : 
There's no point in both of us being killed by the blast - 
Get into The Ark, man. 

SpaceTech ROGIN: 
You don't want trouble with the space technician's union, Doctor. 

Teeth+Curls : 

** THUMP **

SpaceTech ROGIN: 
That's My Job. 

The “Odd-Man Hypothesis” is a fictional hypothesis which states that unmarried men are better able to execute the best, most dispassionate decisions in crises—in this case, to disarm the nuclear weapon intended to prevent the escape of organisms from the laboratory in the event the auto-destruct sequence is initiated. In the novel, the Odd-Man explanation is a page in a RAND Corporation report of the results of test series wherein different people were to make command decisions in nuclear and biological wars and chemical crises.

Hall is briefed on the Hypothesis after his arrival at Wildfire. In the book, his copy of the briefing materials has the Hypothesis pages removed; in the film, he is criticized for failure to read the material ahead of time.

Dr. Hall is assumed to have the highest “command decision effectiveness index” among the Wildfire team; this is the reason why he is given a control key to the self-destruct mechanism. Hall initially derides this idea, saying he has no intention of committing suicide before he is told that it is his job to disarm the weapon, rather than to arm it: Stone then admits that the Odd-Man Hypothesis, while accurate (in the confines of the book), was essentially a false document used to justify handing over a nuclear weapon to private individuals and out of government control.

Saturday, 30 June 2018


" I’m going to go over some of the attributes of this abstracted ideal that we’ve formalized as God, but that’s the first hypothesis: a philosophical or moral ideal manifests itself first as a concrete pattern of behavior that’s characteristic of a single individual. 

And then it’s a set of individuals, and then it’s an abstraction from that set, and then you have the abstraction, and it’s so important. 

Here’s a political implication: One of the debates, we might say, between early Christianity and the late Roman Empire was whether or not an emperor could be God, literally to be deified and put into a temple. 

You can see why that might happen because that’s someone at the pinnacle of a very steep hierarchy who has a tremendous amount of power and influence.

The Christian response to that was, 

Never confuse the specific Sovereign with the principle of Sovereignty itself. 

It’s brilliant. 

You can see how difficult it is to come up with an idea like that, so that even the person who has the power is actually subordinate to a divine principle, for lack of a better word. 

Even the king himself is subordinate to the principle. 

We still believe that because we believe our Prime Minister is subordinate to the damn law.

Whatever the body of law, there's a principle inside that even the leader is subordinate to. 

Without that, you could argue you can’t even have a civilized society, because your leader immediately turns into something that’s transcendent and all-powerful. 

That's certainly what happened in the Soviet Union, and what happened in Maoist China, and what happened in Nazi Germany. There was nothing for the powerful to subordinate themselves to.

You’re supposed to be subordinate to God. 

What does that mean

We’re going to tear that idea apart, but partly what that means is that you’re subordinate—even if you’re sovereign—to the principles of sovereignty itself. And then the question is, what the hell is the principles of sovereignty? 

I would say we have been working that out for a very long period of time. That’s one of the things that we’ll talk about. "

Before The Law, there stands a Guard. 

A Man comes from the country, begging admittance to The Law. 

But The Guard cannot admit him. 

May he hope to enter at a later time? 

That is possible, said The Guard. 

The man tries to peer through the entrance. 

He'd been taught that The Law was to be accessible to every man. 

"Do not attempt to enter without my permission", says the guard. "I am very powerful. Yet I am the least of all the guards. From hall to hall, door after door, each guard is more powerful than the last."

By the guard's permission, the man sits by the side of the door, and there he waits. 

For years, he waits. 

Everything he has, he gives away in the hope of bribing the guard, who never fails to say to him "I take what you give me only so that you will not feel that you left something undone." 

Keeping his watch during the long years, the man has come to know even the fleas on The Guard's fur collar. 

Growing childish in old age, he begs the fleas to persuade The Guard to change his mind and allow him to enter. 

His sight has dimmed, but in the darkness he perceives a radiance streaming immortally from the door of the law. 

And now, before he dies, all he's experienced condenses into one question, a question he's never asked. He beckons the guard. 

Says the guard, "You are insatiable! What is it now?" 

Says the man, "Every man strives to attain the law. How is it then that in all these years, no one else has ever come here, seeking admittance?"

 His hearing has failed, so the guard yells into his ear. "Nobody else but you could ever have obtained admittance. No one else could enter this door! This door was intended only for you! And now, I'm going to close it." 

This tale is told during the story called "The Trial". 

It's been said that the logic of this story is the logic of a dream... a nightmare.

The notion that every single human being, regardless of their peculiarities, strangenesses, sins, crimes, and all of that, has something divine in them that needs to be regarded with respect, plays an integral role, at least an analogous role, in the creation of habitable order out of chaos. That’s a magnificent, remarkable, crazy idea. And yet we developed it, and I do firmly believe that it sits at the base of our legal system.

I think it is the cornerstone of our legal system. 

That’s the notion that everyone is equal before God, which is, of course, such a strange idea. It’s very difficult to understand how anybody could have ever come up with that idea, because the manifold differences between people are so obvious and so evident that you could say that the natural way of viewing human being is in this extreme hierarchical manner, where some people are contemptible and easily brushed off as pointless and pathological and without value, and all the power accrues to a certain tiny aristocratic minority at the top.

But if you look at the way that the idea of the individual Sovereign developed, it’s clear that it unfolded over thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of years before it became something firmly fixed in the imagination.

Each individual has something of transcendent value about them. 

Man, I tell you, we dispense with that idea at our serious peril

If you’re gonna take that idea seriously—which you do because you act it out, because otherwise you wouldn’t be law-abiding citizens—then you act that idea out. It’s firmly shared by everyone who acts in a civilized manner. The question is, why in the world do you believe it?

Assuming that you believe what you act out, which I think is a really good way of fundamentally defining beliefs.