Monday, August 04, 1997

The Crucible

Editor's NOTE: This is a moldie oldie that I pulled from a text dump archive. None of the links will work anymore (or 99% won't) - but the names and companies have NOT changed.

Okay, so this weekend I watched "The Crucible" with my Brother and Sister In-Law (Ron & Julie St. Amand - see? I DID mention you!). This movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis (hunk factor and strong, silent, type) and Winona Ryder (good actress that plays a psycho hose-beast) is set in Salem in the 1800's and about a young girl (Winona) who uses witchcraft to cast a spell wishing for the death of her former lover's (Day-Lewis) wife.

Sounds fun so far.

The highly repressed "Christian" people of Salem don't like the fact that Winona's uncle (the local preacher) has caught the girls... gasp... dancing in the woods. These folks see the devil in every corner of human expression, and well... they're really not happy about it.

Act II

They have a trial and put these "devil inside" young girls in the capable hands of the Magistrate (who makes Jesse Helms look like Larry Flint) to either; 1) help the girls confess that the devil has inhabited them, tell them all other people the devil as got a hold of, get exorcised, and go free, or 2) hang by the neck until dead. Choices... choices...

Winona gets the idea that if she "confesses" (and implicates other innocent people to back up the fact that she "sees" the devil in them too) then she can avoid the rope. The townsfolk buy the crap she dishes out, and several unlucky people (including the old "healer" woman who's never hurt a fly in her life) are arrested and sentenced to death.

Meanwhile, Daniel Day-Lewis and his wife (she don't know that ol' Daniel and Winona played hide the salami) are having problems of their own. It seems that one of the girls on trial is staying with them, and that the wife's name "came up a bit" at the trial (courtesy of Winona). Hell-bent on setting the record straight, Day-Lewis marches into court to confront the Magistrate and Winona.

Music builds...

Day-Lewis spills the beans that he and Winona had sex (much to the chagrin of the court), and his wife is brought in to confirm that's why she asked Winona to leave their house. Now, the wife (who has two adorable pre-teen boys), loves her husband, and to protect his "honor" she lies and says that she kicked Winona out (and I'm paraphrasing here) because she sucked as a housekeeper.

She is accused of being a witch (i.e. "devil inside"), and so is he. They're both arrested and taken to the holding jail to await their number to be called for the public hanging.

Fast forward...

The Magistrate offers Day-Lewis a deal; if he will "confess" to being a puppet of the devil, then they won't hang him and his wife will live at least until she gives birth to the baby (his) that she's carrying. Herein lies the moral dilemma. Day-Lewis is an honorable man who's done nothing wrong except disagree that the devil is behind every corner, and that people are people, and sometimes stuff happens.

Because he's honorable, he agrees to sign a piece of paper that will free himself and his wife. The local preacher (psycho that he is) - insists that the paper be hung from the church door (the equivalent of posting it to their web site). Day-Lewis, being the honorable man he is, decides at the last minute that having his "name" soiled is not worth it.

He is lead to the gallows (along with two other innocent people whom you've come to admire during the movie), and is the last one to be kicked off the scaffold (you hear necks breaking). Closeup on the taught rope. Roll credits.

Today's computer industry is very similar. Apple (Day-Lewis) was seduced once by the Press (Winona) and has gone on public trial for having "non Intel Inside." The Magistrate (Bill Gates, et al) is offering a way out ("we'll continue to develop for the Mac as long as Steve Jobs takes the helm, otherwise we won't"). It's up to Apple (Day-Lewis) to determine whether everything they've stood for (their name and OS) will give in to remain alive (and keep their wife [clone makers] and their unborn baby [Rhapsody] alive), or whether they will face death rather than give up their principles.

Even though they're on the path to the gallows, the rope has not yet been put around their neck. There's still time... we hope.

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