-"Are we to be friends, then?"
-"We are to be allies, my dear, which can be a good deal more effective."
The exchange is between the Dowager Countess and her American daughter-in-law in the turn-of-the-century British soap "Downton Abbey", and it was the exchange that got at such a simple truth so well, you can't help but keep watching. While the two have never gotten on terribly well - Cora being American new money while her mother-in-law, Violet, is decidedly not - they are teaming up here, united by common interest and their unwillingness to see all of their money be inherited by a total stranger.
It's really funny, is all. But a recent article in the Washington Post about the alliance between environmental groups and the natural gas industry has splintered, got me thinking about it. The two used to get on quite well but the relationship has cooled considerably as the environmentalists have stepped back weighing whether the benefits of natural gas are worth the fracking it takes to get the stuff out of shale formations. The two were natural allies a few years ago when they were trying to come up with a more environmentally friendly alternative to coal. But the fracking process has become a big issue since then, so the friendship has cooled down significantly.
Somebody once said that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and it's a truth I've seen for myself over and over, the alliances that are forged as much out of what they are both against as what they are both for. The interests of the two groups were complimentary for awhile, and now they're not.
That conversation between the Dowager Countess and Cora grabbed me for the same reason - the moment when enemies put down their swords, or at least their tea cups, and unite to work against an even greater foe, the outsider, in a fascinating moment where those tiny flourishes of good dialogue turn TV into art. It's the world in small, and as soon as their interests begin to diverge the alliance will go with it - as the Post article illustrates.
Anyways, the Post article is interesting and well worth checking out, and if you're in the mood for some sharp dialogue and melodrama in period costume, Downton Abbey is worth a gander too.
Thank you for your contribution.Flag this as inappropriate
- Follow dwray