That all does not end well is a given with personalities like these; that Huey is on the side of history we also know. Working to the uneasy compromise between these two dynamics is all we really ask of the plot, and we get it.
Archive for September 2014
Both the play and the play-within-the-play preach the same sermon: You may be trying to do something that attains meaning by being witnessed and judged, but in truth no one will ever see you or judge you. As an understudy, you are condemned to eliciting what meaning you can from what one frustrated character in A Chorus Line summed up as “dancing for my own enjoyment.”
I had to get to know my plaintiffs. I know, my client was the defendant. But in order to try to defend that client, I still had to know the plaintiffs, these machinists and brakemen and engineers and firemen and maintenance-of-way workers, and I thought of them as mine. I had to get to know about their individual asbestos exposures, their individual careers, their medical histories, their hobbies, their tobacco use, their families, their non-railroad occupational exposures to asbestos. Of course they were not being honest about asbestos disease; I daresay most of them knew that. But I’m sure they viewed the litigation as a way of getting a little bit of their own back against an employer which, if it didn’t exactly inflict asbestosis on them, had still completely let them down. I did my duty by my client, but I was glad it was so ineffectual.
Judge Feldman tried to draw comfort from the fact that Windsor did not employ the magic phrases “intermediate scrutiny” or “heightened scrutiny.” I would liken that comfort to saying that it’s anybody’s game with two out at the bottom of the ninth inning when the score is 20-0.