Part I: Chasing Tales 1.0
My favorite character in season two of Fargo was easily Mike Milligan. Milligan is followed by two largely silent jewish twins who like to play with shotguns, and sent to a small town in Minnesota to unseat the Gerhardt family’s criminal empire. In and amongst the mess, Milligan has a conversation with the daughter of the most sadistic of the Gerhardts. One of my favorite aspects of the show is the time it takes for certain characters to take philosophical asides. This could easily come off as pretentious, but Milligan seems almost outside the show during these monologues. The man is a thinker, which largely separates him from the equally complex, but not as reflective, gallery of characters.
Milligan says, “To quote Louis XVI - Est-ce un revolt? No sire, c’est un revolution...I mean, if the goal is to kill those that oppress you, what does it matter who goes first? Now, ironically, in astronomy, the word revolution means a celestial object that comes full circle. Which if you think about it, is pretty funny, considering here on earth it means change.” He then draws a circle with his finger as the woman calls him nuts.
Now, I usually like to stay away from philosophy. It can be fun to spar with thought, but for our purposes it largely lacks utility beyond opening us to new ways of thinking. The problem is always, how do we use new ways of thinking to better understand ourselves and the world around us? Science is far better at this, even the soft science of psychology, which in a lot of ways is a form of applied philosophy. The point is, maybe Milligan’s philosophical aside is thought-provoking to you, maybe it’s not, but I would like to consider it with you a moment. Let’s try to find some of the individual strands of this idea, and see how we can weave them together into something useful.