This evening I was all set to write about a different subject. Then while eating dinner, I watched an episode of a streaming series that I've become addicted to. I'm on season 4 of the seven seasons, having belatedly discovered this show.
Which is going to remain nameless, because I don't enjoy having plot twists revealed in a series that I'm watching, and I don't want to run the risk that I'll do the same to someone else.
Good actors with good scripts can convey messages about life that are deeply moving. I was hoping to be able to share a video of the actor saying what I've transcribed below, but such doesn't seem to exist. So I replayed the scene with a pen and notepad in hand, getting his words down as best I could.
What follows is almost entirely accurate. To set the scene, the actor, who plays a well-known attorney seeking political office, was prepared to tell a press conference that he was going to withdraw from a race, because a shameful truth about him was going to be revealed by an opponent.
He has those remarks in hand. Then he puts them away. What came next captivated me. Reading his words won't be nearly as powerful as watching them acted on screen. Still, the message resonated with me big time: none of us should fear speaking the truth about ourselves.
Unless we have a very good reason not to. Even then, generally it is better to be open and transparent -- naturally with exceptions. Most of us feel that if other people knew who we really are, they wouldn't like some parts of us.
Maybe. However, it's also possible that because everybody is hiding something from other people, an act of radical honesty would be refreshing, not off-putting. I could say more, but I'll let my transcript of the scene where the attorney reveals his secret do the talking.
Nope. Not going to read that one.
"A lie," the wise man Winston Churchill purportedly said, "goes halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants off."
But, uh, I have a feeling that this truth will find its way quick enough. It's high time for truth, for openness, for unburdening.
I'm not here like most politicians might be to ask you to trust me. No, instead I'm asking if I may trust you. With my deepest fear. Which is that you might know me for who I really am.
The idea of a prosecutor is to expose that which is hidden away, the evil, the dirty, the crooked, and the untruthful, to shed light, to reveal what is under all that darkness.
And I've come to realize that to do it right, I must first shine light on my own dark parts. Which is why I've asked you all here today.
You know what, I'm just going to say it. I, uh, in my private life, in the confines of my happy marriage, with my consenting wife, practice sadomasochism.
Uh, yeah. Bondage. Dominance. All the rest. Masks. Binds. Ropes. Fire. Wow, even just saying it like that I can feel my shoulders loosen for the first time in decades.
I am a masochist. In order to achieve sexual gratification I need to be tied up, pinched, whipped, kicked, or otherwise tortured. By my loving wife.
And here's the bigger truth. All of us need something, right? I don't know what you do in your bedroom, with your loved one.
But I do know that you're probably a little embarrassed about it. You probably don't want the rest of us looking at you while you do it. Unless that's your thing. And if so, great.
But wouldn't we be better off if we didn't let shame win, if we didn't feel sheepish, like we need to hide what moves us?
There are those who believe I've just ended my legal and political careers. They don't think that you can handle what I've just told you.
I know that you'll get it because, at the end of the day you want the truth. At worst, maybe it won't stop you from getting to the polls to support me.
But at best, maybe on the way you tell someone who you really are. And maybe they like it. And maybe you feel just a little more comfortable in your own skin. As I finally do in mine.
OK, having typed in the transcript, I decided that because I like what was said so much, Iwant to share a You Tube video of the last part of the politician's speech. It begins with a spoiler alert, but you're going to know the show I'm watching from the video. That's the price to be paid for seeing a great acting job where a powerful messge is conveyed.
Understand: the attorney, though invariably fascinating, is a complex mixture of good deeds and bad deeds. Revealing who he really is in the bedroom was both good and bad. It made him feel better and took away a threat to use his secret against him, and surely inspired others, but his wife wasn't at all pleased with him. Such is life, a mixture of good and bad.