Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The first of the gang with a gun in his hand

There is a fine article in the Guardian today about the Long Firm. I have been thinking a lot about the compulsive attraction of fictional characters whom one would not like in person. Williams raises two points which are both crucial for me. Firstly, the place of anti-social people within society, comparable to the place of aggression within one's own personality.

wartime shows how even the hardiest villain comes in handy. The same animal energies which maim, injure and kill in a national cause can, in civilian life, sustain a bent one.

Every personality type has its place within the palette of our species, just as every drive and power of our mind contributes to our composite personality. We have to deal with the shadow and the energy. This may be one of the most difficult tasks of our lives, and of our society, so of course fiction has to explore it.

Secondly.

violent crime's consequences were shown to debase the soul and disfigure the personality. Arnott dismantled the idea that the life of a criminal was anything other than one of sorrow and grief.

The sorrow of violence, the debasement of the self. For me this was the only enduring message of Kill Bill. The loneliness and desperate sadness that lay just behind the cool.

'The first of the gang to die' by Morrissey: who would have thought he could come back, after so long, with such a marvellous song? 'The stars, reflected in the reservoirs'. Morrissey does sentimentalise the shadow side. But then, that's his job.
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