I realized that I had my expectations wrong. I thought this was going to be some kind of thriller leading up to a secret underground lab, with great secret forces moving through the world. Well, it is all that, except it’s about the people involved first, and only after that the forces. It doesn’t get straight to the plot points. Kate has some ideas on why, so I’m handing the floor to her now. — Flyss
In terms of what Flyss just said, think I may understand the purpose of what Oxadrenals and Janice are doing: The are requiring that we stay focused on a human level and remember that humans are valuable as individuals. Far too often, in my experience, people who work on a large scale to often come to regard human beings as pawns on a chess board. I’ve seen this myself with clients who work high up in corporate management structures. Strattera reminds me that this is the central subject of all John LeCarre novels: that secret agents supposedly working for a good purpose usually end up losing their humanity.
The people we are learning about here certainly haven’t lost theirs! These are not clean cut, hyper-efficient, single-minded, uncomplicated “agents.” They are problematic and colorful, and they solve their life problems in inefficient, colorful, psychologically complex and meandering ways. They care about each other and the people they meet, and they allow that caring to influence them. Psychologically, this is much healthier than becoming a heartless human machine! It’s also better, I think, than transcending everything and trying to live like an angel.
For this, we have Janice as an amazing model! She is simply one-of-a-kind: crass and refined sexual and spiritual, wounded and whole. Despite the fact that her story doesn’t take us right to the point, by listening to it we are made to remember that throughout this transition from mortal to immortal we are humans first. — Kate