Analysis / Zap Dramatic

Analysis of Ambition found on PasteBin

I tried just as much as Michael Gibson did when he made Ambition. Let's just put it that way. I chose Nietzsche because, well, he writes a lot about ambition. I'm not saying I condone everything Nietzsche believes. Most of this essay is hogwash, anyways. …If you couldn't tell.

Nietzsche and Gibson: The Philosophy of Ambition The Consequences of Apathy, Amorality, and (Of Course) Ambition in Michael Gibson's Award-Winning Web Series

Human conquest and societal evolution has long been driven by mankind's ambition. This concept of motivation is rarely shared with other animals beyond immediate, survival-based concerns, which contributes to humans' unique dominion over nature. One may go as far as to propose that motivation is intrinsic to human identity, to the idea of "purpose," and is a permanent presence in the psyche, which is a prime philosophical principle of Friedrich Nietzsche. Gibson's FBI-training serial Flash series, Ambition, examines the consequences of this in the context of modern society, where compliant living is a norm and secrets are concealed with far too much ease.

Ted, one of the protagonists of Ambition, and most notable for his catchphrase, "I'm going to blow us all to hell!" in the first episode, The Desperate Dad, is not so much an examination of human motivation than a serious look at the consequences of it. Ted, as is emphasized through the series, is helpless to stop the chain of events unfolding before him, or parse the tangled web of lies that frame him for murder. No matter how many bombs he has strapped to his self or how many times he plays parkour in pink pajamas, Ted cannot escape the fact that certain people are more powerful and will do anything to obtain even more influence. He only wants assurance of the safety of his children, not unlike most people who seek security in their own lives. He is faced, through the separation of his kin, with emasculation and, by extension, erasure of his identity. Nietzsche defines such human rights as "that part of my power which the others have not only conceded to me but in which they wish to preserve me" in his work, On the Genealogy of Morals. Ted is the theoretic results of these rights being stripped away. He is ineffectual through his powerlessness, confined by the plans of others, who believe, as Sophocles famously stated, that the "the end excuses any evil." He is violent in his action, offended through the "senselessness of suffering," and in such rebels against the traditional, conformist western society that works against him.

Yale, Ted's lawyer, is yet another cog in the machine of another's ambition. Yale's primary difference, however, is his compliance to remain so, versus Ted's frantic and at times illogical lengths he went to fight against his entrapment. Nietzsche states that "as [societal] power increases, a community ceases to take the individual's transgression so seriously." Yale's transgressions, particularly against his wife and Angie, are ignored or applauded throughout the story, due to the influence of his boss and father-in-law. The "sumptuous pastries" that Yale enjoys are his opium. Through his complacency to wallow in his own ignorance, he too is stripped of his power just as Ted is, and left bereft of individual drive.

Rolf Klink, despite his role falling most in line with the title of Gibson's magnum opus, is not what Nietzsche would define as the Übermensch, a human who claims his own morality for himself, follows no crowd, and seizes his own power. He cannot become an Übermensch, since it is established he is part of the Fascist Party, and thus subscribes to a pre-established moral code. However, he does possess der Wille zur Macht (the Will to Power), a prime concept of Nietzschean philosophy, which states that ambition is the main purpose of human life. Humans will constantly reach for that higher state of existence than they already have; they hunger for achievement and recognition. While Rolf's true motives are fuzzy beyond a prescription drug scam of some sort, it cannot be denied that he is a chess master. He leads almost every character into his lies, save for one deeply meaningful character to Gibson's work: Duke.

Duke is the shining example of Nietzsche's hopes for mankind. He is the Übermensch Nietzsche spoke of. He is truly free of guilt or moral boundaries, which is exhibited in his response, "Because I'm a terrorist!" in The Trial (obviously a reference to Kafka's work) to explain his motive behind his actions. He does not view himself as an activist, since he sees activism as morally biased toward what society deems as "good" or "bad." Calling himself a "terrorist" is a rebellion against these standards. Duke has reached a status, by Nietzschean standards, or moral perfection through not allowing western Christian ideals dictate how he should act. He does not bend others to his will; he lets them decide for themselves. The green light and guitar riff that signal his presence are clear indicators of his moral impassivity. Duke, as Nietzsche predicted, will reshape the world in his perfect image, a world free of pre-established ideals and doctrines. Duke truly kills the false effigies of God in this fashion, with a tire iron.

It is no surprise that Zap Dramatic, Gibson's company, is the winner of the " 'Excellence in Learning' catagory in the 2005 Canadian New Media Awards," as they claim. They truly are an educational gem.

Second analysis of Ambition also from PasteBin

Well, I noticed you asked for an analysis of the Ambition series, so here goes.

Finding a central theme in the Ambition series by Michael Gibson is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the multiple plot holes and inconsistencies in the story. This writer feels that the overlying theme of Ambition is the pointlessness of all human endeavors (something symbolized by the recurring image of a talking mouse in a wheel that the author uses in some of his other flash works)

The first section of the story is the lusty barfly, allegedly. This first entry, and previous flashes by the same author, are significant for introducing one of the primary mechanics of the series: that of disproportionate retribution and a general disregard for consequences on the part of the antagonist character. Bridget Hadrup, the aforementioned barfly, shoots the player character if he chooses to lie to her. The disregard for consequences comes into play here: the many witnesses in the bar would undoubtedly confirm Bridget's guilt in the murder of an innocent, but clumsy, businessman. This blind rage towards liars may represent a sort of self-loathing in the character since she later lies repeatedly about events and then tries to use pretentious and stilted language to make herself seem cleverer than she is.

The second entry in the series, the suicide bomber, introduces Bridget's husband, a school teacher/ construction worker/ psychotic wackjob named Ted Hadrup. Harthrup. Whatever. We first see him masturbating in a car, representing the desire to get in a final thrill before he turns over his life as well as the frustration he feels do to being presumably denied sex by his manipulative bitch of a wife. We can deduce from this that Ted probably knows that what he's doing could easily be the end of him.

For the sake of my sanity, I'm gonna cut ahead.

We soon meet several new characters:

1. Yale Johnson, an utterly incompetent lawyer who is married to his boss's daughter and is having an affair with the psychiatrist assigned to the Harthrup, uh, Hadrup, uh, whatever case and who personifies the human id. Even though we humans have responsibilities, so many of us cannot help but give in to our libido and our other base desires.

2. Helen Johnson, his wife, who represents humanities frustration at our own id as well as our willingness to ignore its existence for the sake of our own profit.

3. The psychiatrist whose name I don't remember or care about, who represents a sort of contradiction in human nature. She desires a family, yet chooses to carry out an affair with a married man who gets her pregnant and due to his status as "married to the boss's daughter" is likely going to be fired as soon as the woman's pregnancy is revealed. The lack of consideration for consequences so characteristic of the dark parts of the human psyche is in full force here; even after all this, she lies about Ted's mental status in an attempt to get a favorable ruling for Yale in court.

4. Duke Crabtree, a fairly competent police officer who is also a terrorist.

5. Rolf Klink, Yale's boss who is surprisingly energetic for a man who is supposed to be dying of prostate cancer. He is secretly a demon, which brings to light some of the religious undertones of the series, such as the innocent, pious Ted singing Amazing Grace while in prison, which is a callback to the bible story of Paul and Silas singing praises while imprisoned.

Now this brings up the interesting point of this all being total bullshit which I am going to stop writing about before I lose my mind.