But if you really argued I knew it would be right

Starting point: Gene Wilder on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, 2005-04-29:

Besides what I was thinking is the obvious attraction here—it's Gene Wilder—there's something hidden in this interview that I really think makes sense.

I would write all day, and then he'd come over after dinner and look and, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, OK, now we need a villain, the Burgermeister isn't a good enough villain, we need a real villain. And one night he came over and he looks at the pages and he says, "You tap dance to Irving Berlin in top hat and tails with the monster?" He said, "Are you crazy? It's frivolous." And I started to argue, and then I argued for about twenty minutes 'til I was at least red in the face, I think it may have been blue, and all of a sudden he says, "OK, it's in." And I said, "Why did you put me through this?" He said, "Because I wasn't sure if it was right or not, and if you didn't argue for it I knew it would be wrong, but if you really argued I knew it would be right."

You know... listen. I hate confrontation, really, despite how often I get involved with it. I'm not a "go along to get along" type of guy. It's not my style. What often happens is this kind of oscillation—push the issue with a forearm to the facemask, retreat into shame about having used the forearm in the first place, return to the forearm after the issue that resulted in the forearm occurred anyway after the retreat. And so on. Set your watch to it.

I love this passage with Gene Wilder because it gets at an underlying truth. Maybe a person is just advocating for something because it's their idea, because it's easy to do so, because it's a defense of the status quo. But if that person, when confronted, when they're engaged in the clinch, pushes back and says, no, no, no, this is how it should be, there's a reason, and there's a right way to do it and we should do it that way—you don't have to do it that way, but there's got to be a valid reason to push past that resistance. And that resistance might be based on knowledge, on experience, on intuition. But it's that resistance or friction that leads to the better solution. Without it, it's just a bunch of weak-ass yes-men approving the next instruction from on high, for good or ill. (For ill.)


Including the scene with Dr. Frankenstein—Frankensteen—and the monster dancing was the Right Decision:

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