The last several ALM posts have been about clarifying DK’s journey, why exactly did he get on the boat? Is he really searching for sustainable civilizations or was there another reason? Why is this trip shrouded in mystery? Maybe he was really sailing off to commit murder, to make a remote rendevous with extra terrestrials, to perform a sacred ritual of summoning… with only the eyes of gods and satellites upon him. Why does he take this trip and why do we care?
He has a stated mission and maybe he is sincere, or maybe he’s obfuscating his true motives. Perhaps he is sincere and he achieves his mission, but maybe the achievement pales in comparison to an unexpected boon. If he is hiding something, is the secret mission ever revealed? Does he achieve his objective and what does his machinations have to do with the world at large? Does he even know why he is really going, or is he driven by sleeper programming?
It’s intriguing to dive deeper into a treatment, to treat the significant layers.
Whatever his reason for going, the mission doesn’t necessarily determine the outcome. It’s perhaps the difference between what he sets out to do and what actually happens that’s interesting. Someone wants something badly and is having difficulty getting it, having difficulty remembering what it is, changes his mind, get’s something better – the game has many variations. Deconstructing DK’s motivation is a worthy excercise, because there may be more here than even he realizes. BTW, it creeps me out in a fun way to view myself from a meta perspective, PKD style.
‘What’ DK is going after implies ‘why’ – and that’s the basis of the story. DK is going after super powers, he is searching for sustainable civilizations, he is channeling wild wisdom. The ending comes when the going after is done – DK demonstrates enhanced power, he has retrieved artifacts from the future, he shares the wisdom… or he gave up, failed, found something better, changed his mind, etc.
I think a start and end is cool, that is we understand why DK goes and can evaluate what he gets, decide for ourselves whether he was successful.
Last night coming out of Sanshiro Sugata I and II, I overheard someone say, “the message was be nice to your enemies”. They missed the point, Sanshiro wasn’t being nice to his enemies, he de-enemized them, that was the triumph of Judo. That’s the essence of Japanese martial arts as portrayed by Kurusawa, not to vanquish your enemies but to transform them. Sanshiro’s strength is his power to transform.
It’s very the ending that we understand what Sanshiro has actually accomplished, and without being hit over the head with it. Lovely. A student becoming a martial arts master is a perfect vehicle for this sort of trip, what does he set out to do, what is the completion of his journey? Does he get the girl? Without question – after he gets himself.