Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Charming Savage Events

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When did we start cheering for the Black Hats instead of the White Hats?

Classic movies, TV and books were easier. There were good guys and bad guys. You knew your protagonist, even the flawed ones were always good and your antagonists were always bad.

Then the lines not only blurred, they splintered apart.
We started cheering for a serial killer because he kills bad guys the law can’t put away.
We felt empathy for a teacher with cancer who became a drug lord.
We couldn’t wait to visit a family of mobsters.1antihero3
We used to know who the bad guys were and hated them, now we’re worried if they’ll be ok.

We seem charmed by the savage events we witness; repulsed yet mesmerized by the violence, greed, self-absorption on-screen, in politics, the news, and in books.

Maybe we pay more attention to product placement, ads, and merchandise with the glamorized ugly.

Have years of governments and corporations flaunting their corruption, immorality, greed, and dissolution made this all seem normal, even appealing?

Or are we simply being more honest, realizing that good people sometimes do bad things and bad people sometimes do good things?
Noble people can be ignoble and vice versa.

Flawed heroes,
or villains who are heroes in their head,
bad guys who we love,
are all gaining speed:
Tony Soprano, The Fonz, JR,
Philip Marlowe, Jason Bourne,
Dirty Harry, Snape, Jack Bauer,
House, V, The Lannisters, Hellboy,
Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, Loki,
 1antihero2
Stewie, Batman, Shrek, Blackadder,
Hawkeye Pierce, Gallaghers, Klaus,
Scarlett O’Hara, Jax, Don Draper,
Nancy Botwin, Tommy Gavin, 1antihero7
The Winchester boys, Kratos,
Sherlock, Dexter, Walter White,
Emily Thorne, Mal, Wolverine,
Aiden Pearce, Captain Jack Sparrow,
Holden Caulfield, Brody, Archie,
Francis Underwood, Bane,
Daryl Dixon, Kirk, Raylan,
and too many more to name.1antihero10Strangely, while our governments and the news try to convince us that one group after another are evil and scary, and we agree, in theory, but applaud evil and scary, worshiping at the cult of ambiguous moral codes and hazy regard for the law.

They’re selling us Black Hats while we watch The Blacklist.

We’re told about atrocities, torture, and murder, to make us scared enough to toss away our personal liberties, while we wait to see who gets tortured and murdered on Game of Thrones. GOT4

Escapism or entertainment or evolution?

Fleeing from reality or seeing its reflection?

Dastardly is the new valiant.

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Author:

Very me

65 thoughts on “Charming Savage Events

  1. We see the evil in our own hearts and we don’t feel so alone. That’s my overall opinion, but Of course there is more too it than that. We want our super heroes to be human so that we also might become heroes as well. We in someway identify with these characters but we also want what they have: wit, intelligence, strength, wealth, power. We live through them.

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  2. I like to think evolution, though there is a bit of self-deception in there too. I love morally ambiguous characters. It seems more honest. As has been said, good is always good for the same reasons while bad can come from a variety of sources.

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  3. Very interesting post, I agree. There certainly has been a change, even making classic superhero characters more flawed. The reluctant hero seems to be selling. Why? I’m reluctant to say. 😉

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  4. The Sopranos was such an amazing show… I would never forget the episode in which the little boy tries to unravel the meaning and message of Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”~ Excellent post! Have a wonderful weekend! Aquileana 😀

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  5. I haven’t watch many movies and none of the new serials but have heard about some of them. It’s true, we’ve learned to root for the bad guy more because sometimes he is good, does good or has a flaw. I’ve no idea when turn around happened.

    Thought provoking post as always, D.P. By this time of day, my brain is oatmeal. I really must unplug and give it a rest.

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      1. Sigh. Today I was at Best Buy twice. Computer and OneDrive had spats and I couldn’t just throw water on them to stop like you do cats. I needed the Geek Squad and the second time in a week. My nerves are shot and my brain if fired, like burned bacon. 😦
        Hope you are having a great day. I’m happy to hear good news for a change.

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      2. Technology is wonderful, when it works, when it doesn’t it’s frustrating. Sorry to hear about your troubles.
        I just finished playing board games with my son, it was fun. 🙂

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  6. People don’t live by principles, they respond to incentives and cultural bigotries. Philosophical principles are heroic, yet we are taught to believe only a man who survives a nuclear blast to the face can have super powers. I think it’s caused from propaganda poured into an empty philosophical container.

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      1. You’re right. I tend to paint with a wide brush sometimes. I have just seen a lot of people chose false friendships and collective bigotries over truth. It’s a bit off topic but I think it’s all related in an abstract way.

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  7. No matter how interesting, well crafted, superbly acted… no matter how beautiful the sets and costumes… (all the things that used to make me watch) If I just *don’t feel good* after watching — I’ve stopped watching those shows. Great post, D. Mega-hugs! 🙂 ❤

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  8. I can’t help but wonder if we like to watch “bad” people do “bad” things because it makes our own moral decline seem somehow more acceptable by contrast. The bottom line is that we’re being desensitized to human suffering and more accepting of cruelty. That can’t be a good road to be heading down.

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  9. Darcy, I noticed that you started following my blog. Many thanks and I hope it makes you grin since there seems to be little enough of that these days. I believe the anti-hero speaks to the good in all of us when he, or she, takes to cleaning up a mess—villains—most of us are either incapable of doing ourselves. When he does it with charm (often tinted with good humor, say nothing of intelligence) like a Jack Sparrow, then we tend to ignore the selfish aspects of the motive, because we see a bit of ourselves and feel that he still has a heart of gold. Or if the villain is dispatched with cold effectiveness by say, the likes of a Dirty Harry or a 007, then we cheer. We think, “Thank god there are those who see that doing away with evil might not be possible if we try to do it by the accepted rules.” Through these heroes, we see our flawed selves, often nervous or scared (just as they sometimes are) but they ultimately get the job done, like we would like to do it ourselves. Good is not always pure, and evil can’t endure, not if civility is to continue. So when negotiation is off the table, then like the President said in “Independence Day” (alias Bill Pullman), “Nuke the bastards!” Hell, nobody’s perfect, and better them than us. Hee, hee…

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    1. Thank you kindly for dropping by and for sharing your insights. 🙂
      And you quoted “Independence Day” so right away, I’m happy. 😉
      Hope this day treats you kindly and we can virtually visit often. 🙂

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    1. I’m thinking farther back, like Monteverdi’s “Coronation of Poppaea.” A charming story from antiquity; the Emperor Nero wants Poppaea, who is inconveniently already married, and he does a job on everyone that stands in his way, including his old tutor Seneca, his existing wife, Poppaea’s husband… and the opera ends with this heartfelt duet that’s one of the most captivating things in Baroque music. “Let me gaze on you, let me enfold you, my good and my life.”

      Poppaea died a year after the marriage; one story was that Nero beat her while she was pregnant. Monteverdi’s audience would have known their classics

      The fascination of bad people will always be with us.

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  10. I will admit, I enjoy a well-crafted anti-hero. I prefer Marvel over DC for this reason. I like to believe it is because anti-heroes have the best lines. They don’t worry about filter and rarely have to deal with real world consequence. So it is like watching all those clever retorts that play in your mind exactly five minutes too late play out on a screen. You also don’t know going in if this is the time they will save the day or if this is the day they succumb to their worst nature, which builds up a little extra suspense and keeps you coming back for more.

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    1. They do have awesome lines, don’t they? The zingers are fast and furious and you’re right, it’s a lack of filter and real world consequences. Love that. And yes, you don;t know what they’re going to do next, it adds to the excitement! 😉
      Hope this week is treating you kindly, Allie, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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