Saturday, January 21, 2012

Order and Chaos -- Writer's Poke #355




Somehow a young man ends up at the movie theater. The ticket girl is quite disinterested in his presence. She is preoccupied with pulling the grey hairs from her head, and when he asks her if the movie is worth seeing, she tells him not to waste his time. After all, it’s just a boring romance film. He takes her advice and asks her where he can find the nearest taxi stand. Eventually, he will hire a cab, but first he will cause a little chaos by pushing a rock off an overpass. This rock will hit a car and cause a major traffic accident.

Meanwhile, a taxi driver is cleaning his taxi. He takes great care to give it a thorough cleaning; a young couple walks over to ask if the taxi is available for hire, but he rudely tells them that he is not done cleaning his cab, sending them away to wait at the taxi stand. A devil’s head hangs from his rearview mirror, and this driver certainly won’t win any customer service awards as far as the young couple is concerned. In his defense, the man likes cleanliness, and he also likes order. Customers are supposed to wait their turn.

Somewhere else in the city, a recently graduated law student is interviewing to pass his final exams. He seems uncertain about his chosen profession, and he admits to an interviewer that he isn’t sure why he wants to be a lawyer. He admits that he doesn’t subscribe to the idea that punishment acts as a good deterrent to crime, even though he knows that presenting this view may be held against him. Perhaps the uncertainty he feels about becoming a lawyer has to do with confusion about whether or not a lawyer has the ability to promote order, or even if order is an ultimate good.

Think about order and chaos. Based simply on the above character sketches, explain your thoughts about the young man, the taxi driver, and the lawyer as they relate to order and chaos.

“Good order is the foundation of all things.” – Edmund Burke

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