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Language Log

Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009 - 11:05 a.m.

In Memphis we saw Wicked. I meant to talk about this at the time, but forgot. Putting aside the issue of whether the novel was better than the show or not (it was), there was one scene in the show that bugged me in particular...

Elphaba shows up at a party attended by all the cool kids, who look askance at her. She tries to dance; it's cringe-inducing, but Galinda has a human moment and sees that Elphaba is only pretending to not care what people think...OF COURSE she really cares. So Galinda helps her out and they're bff after that.

This is kind of a big myth perpetrated by people who do care what others think; that EVERYONE of course really cares, deep down, and that anything else is a wall for self-protection. And that if you give them an in, all the dorks would gladly hang with the cool kids, if only they could.

Well, no one likes being made fun of, I'll give you that. But really, really, really, some people don't generally care about the opinions of others. Really. Trust me. The ones who make a big show out of not caring are probably care more than they admit, but there's a host of humble, non-ostentatious folks who just go about their business however the fuck they want.

So a big PFFFT! to the writers of Wicked.

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