Sympathy for the devil...

Discussion in 'The Study' started by billc, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    In the on going debate about mass shootings it came to me that one thing that you didn't have in the past, when kids brought guns to school to hunt or participate in shooting clubs, is a culture that sympathizes with television and movie characters who in reality are out right evil...

    The characters in these shows are for all intents and purposes evil, or horrible people...and are portrayed in a sympathetic light...

    Homeland (American version)
    Sopranos
    Sons of Anarchy
    Scarface
    Breaking Bad
    Horrible Bosses
    Shameless (American version )


    Can't think of others right now, but there are other shows where secondary characters are also put in a sympathetic light...I watched an episode of a British show called Luther, about a detective, and a woman who murdered her parents is shown as being friendly with the main character and is even being considered for her own show.

    These shows want you to sympathize with characters that are in reality evil. Take Sons of Anarchy...have you ever read about actual biker gangs and what they really do? How about the Sopranos and the violence of organized crime...? Homeland and the sympathetic portrayel of a suicide bomber?

    In the old days, the bad guys were bad guys, and not deserving of sympathy. They lost in the end and were punished...today...they are made the heroes. At the barber shop I go to they have a poster up of movie and real life organized crime figures...as if violent criminals are worthy of a poster.

    I remember the Brady Bunch episode where the character Peter Brady was idolizing jesse james ( the real life bank robber ). The episode ended when the parents introduced him to an old man whose father was gunned down by Jesse James, showing that james was evil, not interesting.

    I know most of the posters here are adults, but kids are getting a steady dose of this attitude and it isn't helping much.
     
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  2. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Dexter, Mad Men...the anti-hero is risen.
     
  3. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    With Dexter there is a difference, he only kills murderers and never actually killed an innocent. At least I can't remember him killing an innocent.
     
  4. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    The Shield...
     
  5. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 3rd Black Belt

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    In many ways these characters are more realistic. In the real world things are rarely as black and white as "good guys" and "bad guys." With all of the gun control talk these days, look at the founding fathers of the USA. We tend to think of those men as "good guys," and in many ways they were, yet some of the things they did would be considered evil. All of us are flawed, and if put in the right (or wrong) situation could become one of the "bad guys."
     
  6. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    No, none of us are perfect. However, does that mean we should not have heroes that seem to be so? Who do we want to hold up as models? The person who has unmovable high standards, or someone who like the rest of us, has feet of clay? It isn't the reality that most of us have our foibles, but rather that 'heroes' shouldn't have.

    I have to agree with billc on this one.
     
  7. celtic_crippler

    celtic_crippler Senior Master

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    As people commonly fall short of their goals, do you want the measureing stick to be mediocrity? Or in this case, a "hero" who is less than ethical?
     
  8. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    http://hollywoodconservative.blogspot.com/2004/08/underdog-defending-moral-relativism.html


    This is the "media software" we keep on feeding into our brains......
     
  9. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    Do you guys ever find yourself thinking..."wow, they almost got caught," and feeling relieved when they aren't instead of "these dirt bags really need to get caught cause no matter how you obscure who they are by showing them loving their families, or helping out a neighbor, deep down these are evil people who need to be stopped?" I found that with the Sopranos and had to reorient myself to the second way of thinking. The characters Pauly Walnuts ( the actor was a criminal in real life ) and Silvio were "colorful," and could provoke interest in their antics, but I had to say to myself...yeah, these guys are monsters, what am I doing thinking they're funny...

    As adults it isn't too bad a thing, but what about kids who are saturated in this sympathy with these horrible characters?
     
  10. celtic_crippler

    celtic_crippler Senior Master

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    With the rampant lack of parental guidance...

    Is it ironic that I'm watching "Idiocracy" right now?
     
  11. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    I love the scene where he is trying to explain that watering crops with a sports drink is a bad idea...great scene...
     
  12. celtic_crippler

    celtic_crippler Senior Master

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    Water? You mean that stuff in the toilet? ROFL
     
  13. jezr74

    jezr74 Master of Arts

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    Yeah, I have to agree in some cases. Although these are generally M rated and above. There is a definite trend in the last few years.

    Not sure if I've seem it in the PG or PG13 space though, or cartoons for that matter.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
     
  14. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    But that's what plants need...
     
  15. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    You act like this is a recent development. It isn't at all. Look at US history and the bad guys looked at as heroes. Heck, one was already mentioned, Jesse James. Then there were the gangsters in the 20's and 30's. This is not knew to modern times. It is a human flaw that we sometimes sympathize and support those that operate outside societal norms otherwise known as the bad boys.
     
  16. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    ...and this is why girls date Aholes...
     
  17. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    The latest show where we are expected to root for evil...

    http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/0...-couple-pretending-to-be-all-american-family/

    How do we know that we are supposed to root for the evil people...
     
  18. Rumy73

    Rumy73 Black Belt

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    Those characters typify the American fascination with the outlaw, and by extension an anti- authority/government stance that permeates much our society. We are also reflections of the violence in these stories and the countless others that are on TV and the movies. We are enthralled by how an individual can release his rage and exact revenge. Somehow, all these violent portrayals get a pass in our Judeo-Christian society but when it comes time to show sex and sexuality, we get churchy.
     
  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    IT is a good thing that the lines of good and evil are a bit fuzzy. To be a compassionate society we need to understand that people have reasons for the actions they do.

    I read somewhere that to sell genocide to a people you have to convince them first that the other guy is evil. Then killing everybody becomes the right moral choice.

    And the irony is it is too much morality that creates that situation.

    The easiest example is of course the Nazis and the Jews.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NGNyc_LlJhs

    But it is apparently consistent with most societal exterminations.
     
  20. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Grew up watching the Three Stooges. Moe was the original devil. Maybe that's why I like all those shows mentioned here.123
     

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