My most favorite words ever written were those prepared for a character named Alan Shore on David E Kelley’s smash legal hit Boston Legal, which tonight wrapped up its 5 season run with all the class you can come to expect from a show filled with top-notch actors.
But of all those actors, none have made me feel all at once elated and deflated as the character of Alan Shore, played by James Spader. No one else’s words have ever had so much power to get me so fired up.
Arguably, the show has been a sounding-board for liberal agendas – but it’s hard to mistake the simple theme that always comes through in the dialog: hope belongs to those who fight for it.
My point in sharing all of this is that I so desperately want to give you that same feeling of hope. My words will probably never be so eloquent, but the passion – the passion is there. We live in a world where fear is right around the corner. In the distance, the boogeyman has replaced the American Dream.
As long as there are good people out there, willing to work hard at good means and stick it through to the good ends, there will be hope.
To succeed, you have to have passion. To have passion, you have to have something to believe in. Find that belief. Find that passion. Bring it to every minute of every day and fight for what you believe in – in your career and in your life. If you don’t, who will? But most importantly of all, you have to believe in yourself!
Here are the key lines to my favorite Alan Shore speech. I’d watch the video version courtesy of Boston-Legal.org, if you can. The transcript is below.
“When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out to be not true, I expected the American people to rise up. Ha! They didn’t.
Then, when the Abu Ghraib torture thing surfaced and it was revealed that our government participated in rendition, a practice where we kidnap people and turn them over to regimes who specialize in torture, I was sure then the American people would be heard from. We stood mute.
Then came the news that we jailed thousands of so-called terrorists suspects, locked them up without the right to a trial or even the right to confront their accusers. Certainly, we would never stand for that. We did.
And now, it’s been discovered the executive branch has been conducting massive, illegal, domestic surveillance on its own citizens. You and me. And I at least consoled myself that finally, finally the American people will have had enough. Evidently, we haven’t.
In fact, if the people of this country have spoken, the message is we’re okay with it all. Torture, warrantless search and seizure, illegal wiretappings, prison without a fair trial – or any trial, war on false pretenses. We, as a citizenry, are apparently not offended.
There are no demonstrations on college campuses. In fact, there’s no clear indication that young people seem to notice.”
For the rest of the speech, please visit Boston-Legal.org. Anyway, my point in utilizing this particular speech… look, our generation was startlingly silent these last few years. I don’t care what your politics are, but… man. Just compare us to the kids of the 60’s, 70’s… even the 80’s, a decade where the CLOTHES were louder than we are today…
I don’t believe one bit in this stodgy corporate culture the established tribe have created for us – one in which it’s “not PC” to express an opinion. Because God forbid anyone be offended or WORSE, disagree with you!
We simply can’t allow ourselves to be cornered like that anymore. It’s time for our generation to take a stand, or at least to just stand up.