Thursday, November 10, 2016

2 Sides of America, Same Coin?

Been quiet on this blog, less about the current election and events going on in the world and more about my own work keeping me busy. Got plenty on that front to talk about, but it feels silly to blow my own horn at a time like this. So here is what I want to talk about that is maybe more on topic with the current happenings in America.

This image was posted on Reddit and though it made it to the front page, a number of commenters pointed out that both sides of this election could read this and think it was talking about them.

Captain America, is of course, the greatest American hero. Always fighting for truth, justice, and the American way! Or something equally as heroic sounding. I want to say this panel was from the Marvel Civil War run or such. Regardless, it sounds very inspiring, very "hold out and fight for what you know is right to the end" so to say.

The problem is everyone thinks they are right.

The problem is only in comic books do the evil guys enjoy doing evil, kick puppies, wear terrifying costumes, and behave wickedly even to their peers.

There's a saying about actors playing the role of the bad guy in movies, that the best villains should believe they are the hero in the story.

Sometimes I wonder if we have done a disservice to our society by portraying bad guys as card carrying bad guys. Is we don't short sell the complexities in life by dressing up everything as black and white in our fiction. I mean, I get it, it's easier to write, easier to digest, easier to know who to root for. Storytelling-wise it makes sense. Teaching lessons though, either consciously or subconsciously, we run into issues with oversimplification.

There are often many sides to an event, many factors at play. Good people lie and bad people show acts of kindness, but yet there can still be very bad people and very good people. Fighting for justice is not undone because you lied about your taxes, just like murdering someone isn't overlooked because you're dad of the year.

As protests and violence threaten to break out around the country, I wonder if maybe we've made our fictional heroes too black and white. Or even if the ones that bend the law, the rogue cop, loose-cannon types, if we justify their means too much because of their ends. Does this country need more heroes to look up to that are willing to compromise? Do we need more fictional role models who talk their way out, not just talk with their fists?

At the least, do we do a disservice by watering down the villainous deeds of the world as something that can be beaten with fists? Might does not actually make right, does it?