The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

General discussions that don't fit in other forums can go here.
Forum rules
Feel free to discuss any topics here. Please use the Politics sub-forum for political conversations. While most topics will be allowed please be sure to be respectful and follow our normal site rules at http://www.webdiplomacy.net/rules.php.
Post Reply
Message
Author
swordsman3003
Gold Donator
Gold Donator
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:51 pm
Location: Georgia, USA
Karma: 572
Contact:

The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

#1 Post by swordsman3003 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:25 pm

Last night nobody was around to play games with me (sad!), so instead I wrote another essay about serial killers and American action movies. This is not exactly a gruesome essay, but it is serious discussion of murder—real and fictional—in America. You have been warned.

The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

I have some movie reviews and philosophy essays on my BrotherBored blog where I apply my same writing style I use for Diplomacy to those topics. Check it out sometime:
Philosophy
Movie Reviews
5

Sunstriker
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:34 pm
Karma: 41

Re: The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

#2 Post by Sunstriker » Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:42 pm

Well that was a good read. I’ve thought a lot about killing in media and the different sides of the argument I’ve seen, but I’ve rarely thought about it regarding media and the culture as whole. (I’ve mostly thought about this regarding specifics folks and how they’ve talked about things. I guess you could say I’ve been discussing the trees vs the forest itself)

I enjoyed taking the time to think about this and thinking about what goes into my own stories when I try to tell them on top of the ones I consume.
2

e.m.c^42
Posts: 6320
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:00 pm
Location: Rated 0/5 Stars; ☆☆☆☆☆
Karma: 1725

Re: The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

#3 Post by e.m.c^42 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:25 pm

Aha, another update at last.

The only minor quibble I'd have is that killing has anything to do with morality at all, but that doesn't detract from quality.
1

Octavious
Posts: 2523
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: The Five Valleys, Gloucestershire
Karma: 1961
Contact:

Re: The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

#4 Post by Octavious » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:37 pm

It's entertaining enough, but one of the biggest loads of bollocks I've read in a while outside of the politics forum. ;)
1

MajorMitchell
Posts: 1222
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:05 am
Location: Now Performing Comedic Artist Dusty Balzac Bush Philosopher from Flyblown Gully by the Sea
Karma: 649

Re: The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

#5 Post by MajorMitchell » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:33 pm

I gave your essay a quick skim read, I'm a bit pressed for time. Thought provoking and definitely not a load of bollocks either big or small imho.

The Hollywood movie industry is imho most fond of the "noble vigilante killer" character.. seen in countless Clint Eastwood movies. His cause.."retribution on evildoers" also has the message.. Society's system of law enforcement and justice is incompetent and it's the lone vigilante who is the only effective solution.
Parallells propaganda that attacks any public service & reinforces the virtues of the"individual' as solutions provider over society/community, collective action.

Octavious
Posts: 2523
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: The Five Valleys, Gloucestershire
Karma: 1961
Contact:

Re: The Perverse Fantasy of Heroic Killing

#6 Post by Octavious » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:56 am

Aye, but the cartoonish action movie is only one small part of the movie mix, and it's a part that if anything has been growing less violent in recent years. Peak violence came, I'd say, back in the days of Rambo and Robocop. You'd be hard pressed to find a mainstream film that comes anywhere near Robocop's first for blood these days. And even then Robocop's setting was a warning of what could happen if corporate interests replaced public service and duty.

When you look at cinema death tends to play a large role, but that is because cinema (much like theatre and other art) focuses on the human condition in extremis, humanity under emotional pressure, and death (along with love) is where that happens. Death features across the spectrum of movies because death is something that we all experience and that experience is tied in with some of our most powerful emotional responses. People go to the cinema to feel, much as they do when they ride a roller-coaster. You experience excitement and fear as you loop the loop because part of your brain is tricked into thinking "the ground's flying towards me, I could die", but you wouldn't describe a roller-coaster as indulging in a perverse fantasy of suicide.

Cinema is packed with many genres of which the action film is but one. The romantic comedy, the coming of age, the disaster film, the heist movie, the documentary etc etc. Death will feature in many of them, but again it is because death is a universal human experience closely tied to strong emotions, rather than fetishism of the act itself. Your typical disaster movie (Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure etc) contains death, but at their heart they are morality tales where the bad are punished and the good are rewarded, little different in this respect from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And as a final point, there's nothing unique to Hollywood in this. You find it literally everywhere you find people. In historic dramas of the Trojan Wars, in Shakespeare's plays, in the Bible (who can forget the exciting story of Samson single handedly slaughtering an entire army of Philistines armed with only the jawbone of a donkey? Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers!)

I leave you with a largely fictional speech written a couple of thousand years ago on the eve of a great battle. It is stirring stuff, and all the more so because of the threat of death.

"Whenever I consider the origin of this war and the necessities of our position, I have a sure confidence that this day, and this union of yours, will be the beginning of freedom to the whole of Britain. To all of us slavery is a thing unknown; there are no lands beyond us, and even the sea is not safe, menaced as we are by a Roman fleet. And thus in war and battle, in which the brave find glory, even the coward will find safety. Former contests, in which, with varying fortune, the Romans were resisted, still left in us a last hope of succour, inasmuch as being the most renowned nation of Britain, dwelling in the very heart of the country, and out of sight of the shores of the conquered, we could keep even our eyes unpolluted by the contagion of slavery. To us who dwell on the uttermost confines of the earth and of freedom, this remote sanctuary of Britain's glory has up to this time been a defence. Now, however, the furthest limits of Britain are thrown open, and the unknown always passes for the marvellous. But there are no tribes beyond us, nothing indeed but waves and rocks, and the yet more terrible Romans, from whose oppression escape is vainly sought by obedience and submission. Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a desert and call it peace"
2

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests