Friday, June 18, 2010
The Point of Tragedy
Last night, just before the Lakers won an NBA championship, give Kobe a high five and ignore Artest, I finished a tragedy. It is called "Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara. Angels was written as a historical novel about the three day battle of Gettysburg. Incredibly easy to read but very insightful about honor, death and tragedy. According to my Apple dictionary (Which is the New Oxford Dictionary), a tragedy is "a play dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, esp. one concerning the downfall of the main character."
In Angels, it is a tragedy that the South failed in that last charge, losing so many men. (All of Pickett's thirteen officers were either wounded or killed.) It's a tragedy that literally, thousands of men marched to their death but what makes a tragedy is not just the fact that there is a unhappy ending. (So many men died and the battle was lost.) One gleans a gem of truth from the terrible ending. You learn about the true nature of the characters involved, a small window into who they actually are. (The men died moving forward, with bravery.)
In 2004, the Pacer's hope of an NBA championship were dashed, completely, by Ron Artest, who now has a ring. Indianapolis still does not have a NBA championship. Reggie Miller retired without a ring on his finger. A former teammate now wearing one is partially the cause. Such a tragedy that the man who ruined a city's and great player's chance of winning a NBA title.
The question now, what gem of truth will be revealed about the character of Indianapolis and Reggie Miller? How do we end this tragedy?