Just a note, I haven’t finished the series yet, so my thinking about the characters may be incomplete. Anyway, I took Scott’s lame Which Battlestar Galactica Character Are You? quiz. Nothing personal, Scott; it’s not that your app is particularly lame, it’s just that all those quizzes are inherently lame.
I came out as Lee Adama. Upon reflection, I’d say that’s right on. Like him, I’d say I consistently want to do the right thing, even try to do the right thing. There’s this word in Korean, 착해 , that I’ve often been called, like by my mother-in-law. It translates roughly to “good”, although I don’t think that fully captures it. In any case, yeah, like Lee, I try to do good but am weak and end up being hypocritical. That’s what Dave hates about him: his hypocrisy.
I find hypocrisy criticisms in general tired. I agree with Rich Mullins on this. In a lot of ways, “hypocrisy” is just a synonym for “human”. We’re all hypocrites, because we’re all fallen. No one can live up to the standards they have for themselves. Calling someone a hypocrite is kind of lame because it’s universally applicable.
I get why it offends so much though. I think to me, one has to draw the distinction between willful hypocrisy, where people willingly choose to do the things they profess to be against (or conversely, speak out strongly against areas they are weakest in) and human hypocrisy, which is just a consequence of human weakness, where we don’t want to be a certain way but are weak. The former is, to me, far worse. The latter is, like I said, just being human.
What I fail to understand is how the alternatives to being a supposed hypocrite like Lee are any better. In fact, those are the characters I hate most in Battlestar Galactica. If you’re not someone like Lee, who tries to do the right thing but frequently stumbles, you’re either perfect (and no one is), not aware that you’re weak, or don’t try to be anything but weak.
Roslin is to me an example of someone who is not aware of her shortcomings. On the show, the only weaknesses she’s aware of is her mortality. In every other way, she’s so sure that she’s always right, so arrogant about it, it pisses me off. I loathe her. And her analogues in the real world.
And Starbuck is (so far) an example of someone who knows her weaknesses and because of that, doesn’t try to be anything but weak and destructive. Dave apparently finds that attractive. I think it’s garbage and she also pisses me off. What’s worse is that she actually judges others for not being like her. In the end, she thinks she’s better than others because they actually try to do the right thing and she never does.
Someone explain that to me, because it’s not just the show; there are many people like that in real life. How is it better to wallow in your weakness than to actually try and do what’s right? I suppose it doesn’t make you a hypocrite, but woop-de-do, instead you’re just a lowlife. And to me, that’s worse.
I’m just not down with that at all. In the end, yeah, I think I’m totally Lee Adama – super-flawed hypocritical Boy Scout. But I’d much rather be that than an arrogant Roslin or destructive Thrace. I’m not saying hypocrisy is necessarily good. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s much more preferable than not even trying.