Thursday, July 23, 2015

The means is part of the message : Henry Dawson was not a Clark Kent-like nebbish, revealed as really Superman, but rather a 'heroic nebbish'...

Dr Martin Henry Dawson had basically but one single message to the wartime world of 1940 -1944.

It was that that a well known third or fourth rater (the penicillium slime found on our dank basement walls) nevertheless had at least one incredibly valuable capability.

For the despised penicillium fungus could make life-saving penicillin far, far, far better than the all the best human chemists in the world put together.

The means by which this message was revealed to the world was itself a subtle form of that same message.

This was because Dawson was himself a third or fourth rater as far as conventional human heroes go --- being far too diffident and deferential to his bosses, for just one thing.

But while Dawson would too easily bend and retreat, he also never really gave up, feeling himself duty bound to push forward - however ineptly - the world-changing insights his far-seeing eyes revealed.

Yes, his manner was alway timid but his thesis were often bold, often bold beyond measure.

That fact, coupled with his stolid determination to do what he felt was right, gave this nebbish doctor truly heroic qualities.

Without, at the same time, ever stop him from being well and truly nebbish.

A case of 'Clark Kent the hero' - not 'Superman the hero'...

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