If life right now was a movie script, we would be in Act 2, what author Blake Snyder in Save the Cat, calls the upside world. This world is where the hero has left the status quo world (which may have happened on January 21, 2017 when trump was inaugurated as the 45th president) and tries to fix things – but in the wrong way. The hero is acting on his or her wants, not needs.
In The Hunger Games, it’s where Katniss enters the Capitol. For us, it’s where much of the country is in lockdown mode, consumerism has come to a glaring, screeching halt, and people are told to work from home or to go home and not come back until the country opens up again. For us, this upside world is riddled with uncertainty – no unemployment, no sick leave, no pay checks, no hugs, inadequate health insurance – or none at all – and we’re in the midst of a presidential election.
In this upside down world of Act 2, the current president is a pathological liar who initially calls this pandemic a democratic hoax, then changes his tune – sort of – and tries to act like he knows what’s going on. The hero – us, the American people – think we should wait until the election to get rid of this demented man. That’s the wrong way to fix thing. That’s what Act 2 is about. What lesson is the hero supposed to learn in Act 2? Well, according to Save the Cat, we should figure out how to fix things the right way, based on our needs.
So how do we, the heroes, do that? We must use our collective power – more than 330 million of us – to take back democracy before it dies altogether. According to Snyder, we have to go through some trials first. Like:
as of 1 a.m. March 22, the confirmed cases globally, are more than 312,000 with nearly 27,000 in the U.S., more than 12,000 cases in NY, more than 53,000 cases in Italy and, well, on and on. In Florida, there are 763 cases, a 13.6% rise in the last 24 hours. But our governor, Ron De Santis, a trump sycophant, didn’t bother closing beaches because, you know, all those spring breakers mean $ to the state! So local officials in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties closed the beaches. But on Florida’s west coast, beaches are open! C’mon down, you silly college kids. De Santis, to his credit, tries to act like a leader, but fails miserably. No state lockdown. And he pats trump on the back at every opportunity.
I think we’re now at what Snyder calls the midpoint of this script, where the stakes are raised. It’s the crossroad. But what raises those stakes? Several hundred thousand more infections? Thousands of deaths? Hospitals increasingly overwhelmed by lack of supplies and necessary equipment? A scarcity of nurses and doctors because they’re in quarantine or dead? A complete breakdown of the economy?
While the senate argues over what the stimulus package should be for corporations, as it was in the 2008 bailout for banks and Wall Street, (this time for airlines and cruise ships) individuals are gasping on dust. And then, in Save the Cat, the hero realizes what to do. Invoke the 25th amendment. In a nutshell, it means the president is removed because he(she) is unfit for office.
How does the hero does this? How do we do this? By rejecting this entire scenario as our story. We do this through sheer numbers – more than 330 million of us – who rise up with a unified voice. But how? How? By believing that we can do it. That collective belief may be our most powerful tool.
We can’t allow this travesty to continue:
Can we get to the break into Act 3 before everything breaks down? Can the hero win and the evil guys be led away in orange jumpsuits? We’re not there.