Thursday, June 10, 2004

Manifest Destiny

I borrowed the phrase used by the second generation of our founding fathers to impart their idealism regarding the expansion of the "boundaries of freedom" because no other term quite suited my subject. defines 'manifest' as "Clearly apparent to the sight or understanding; obvious." 'Destiny' proved a little more murky with three definitions: "1. The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot. 2. A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control: “Marriage and hanging go by destiny” (Robert Burton). and 3. The power or agency thought to predetermine events: Destiny brought them together." (I love the Burton quote. Very royalist.) The first definition best qualifies for my discussion here, although I have a feeling I'll deal with number two at another time. To summarize, my working definition of Manifest Destiny is heavy on the 'obvious,' because I want to whine about how very unobvious [my] fate is, at least at this point. I got to considering 'one's lot' in life ("it's not a lot, but it's our life!") when I was reading an interview of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling shortly after filming of the first film began, in which she gushed that Daniel Radcliffe, cast as Harry, was "born to play" the part. I don't necessarily subscribe to fatalist points of view, despite fixating on certain assumptions regarding my future, but I wanted to take a moment to think about how obvious some people's fates are, even if only to them. Flip the coin and there are those whose fate is obvious to everybody but them, which unfortunate category I fear I fall into. Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining.