(April 01, 2021) Robert McQuillan recalls an Easter reflection…
As many know, Maureen and I often relax by watching old movies and TV series. Anyone remember that avant-garde classic cult British series from the 60s The Prisoner?
The late Patrick McGoohan, its creator, played an unnamed secret service agent who for no apparent reason resigns only to be taken captive to a mysterious coastal locale in Wales known as The Village. Here he is technologically interrogated as to his real motive for resigning – with what was then unheard-of equipment.
Consequently the question his inquisitors repeatedly ask is – Why? meaning ‘for what purpose; with what intention, reason, or motive.’
Number 6 – as he’s referred to – turns the tables in one episode when his interrogators are using The General, an invincible machine regarding any question asked. He requests to type in a one-word question claiming it cannot be answered.
‘Impossible,’ he’s countered, told that there’s no question The General can’t understand, answer.
But on his one word being inserted the machine abruptly goes haywire, smoke and sparks flying everywhere.
To the inquisitors’ amazement, it totally disintegrates exploding with a great erupting bang.
What was the question that Number 6 then states as being ‘Insoluble to man and machine’? The one unanswerable word – ‘Why?’
Some 40 years ago I knew a certain businessman – whose name I can’t disclose – but call the General. Taking me to lunch at a classy restaurant, he insisted on lavishly treating me.
But this was more than a business luncheon… it was his way of thanking me for having gladly stood alongside him for several hours in a private hospital while surgeons preformed a dangerous operation on his wife.