October 16, 2016

Don Quixote Sketch

'Look! I'm tired today after heavy rowing in rough seas, but I've just made a sketch of the greatest hero of all times, Don Quixote de la Mancha.'
'Don Quixote? Wasn't he the madman who attacked windmills, believing they were giants? Absurd! Quixotic!'
'Precisely! And that's what is so heroic. It wouldn't be heroic at all if they really were giants. Then they would've called for the Don at once. How many other active giantfighters did they have in la Mancha? Not very many.'
'But he lost! He got hurt! He could not win!'
'See what I mean. And he did it anyway. -- Mind, It would be equally heroic to claim that giants are windmills if everyone else believed windmills to be giants. Such an obnoxious person would get in trouble with Society, and in one way or another they'd hurt our hero just as much.'
'But how did that stupid action make Don Q. a hero? I don't understand!'
'And you never will. You're a safe nine-to-fiver. If you live in a democracy, you go to work. If you live in a Soviet state or in the Third Reich, you go to work. You hold brave little speeches of accepting reality and growing up and being normal. You are not brave.'
'But we make society work! We sacrify our days, our freedom!'
'You sacrify nothing. You are windmills, you were made for this and really can't think of anything else than producing very standard flour. Is there any love in your work? Or do you just grind sad wheat for cheap white bread without soul? -- No, it takes a hero to question you, to endure the constant beating of your wings. One definitely has to be mad if one is to question reality. You need quixotic madness if the world is to change for something better. You need madness if any world is to remain. This includes windmills.'

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