Creative Challenge 247: Playtime
Sorry folks for going a bit serious here. What comes to mind is a play and a playwright, Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.
In this play, Dr. Stockmann makes the discovery that the town Baths were poisonous and polluted by the tanneries from a neighbouring town. The public Baths were the major economic base of the town, as well as “the” tourist attraction.
When Dr. Stockmann shares his discovery with the editor, assistant-editor and printer of the town newspaper, all three respond in what seems to be a very liberal-minded way. Mr. Havstad, Mr. Billing, and Mr. Aslaksen all appear to be in favour of publishing the truth about the Baths. It would appear that all three men accept the doctor’s discovery and stand behind him all the way.
However, when the town’s Mayor, Peter Stockmann, the doctor’s brother, talks to Hovstad, Billing, and Aslaksen, they quickly change their opinions. The Mayor browbeats all three men into submission, threatening that their newspaper would die out and the town would be destroyed if they printed the truth about the Baths. All three men quickly conclude that they cannot print the doctor’s discovery. Their own selfish interests were more important than the truth.
Dr. Stockmann’s insightful response to these three liberal media men was to reach the conclusion that expediency ultimately turns morality and justice upside down, ultimately making life unbearable.
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