Thursday, June 23, 2011

Anti-hero and conservative cultures

I've come to the conclusion that most of the anti-heroes we see in American movies are plain old bull-shit  hipsters, not anti-heroes at all. Sure, they offend and "startle" the rules and morals of their fellow characters in the book that depicts their "world" but they don't offend the liberal American culture at large.  

They may bother us because they are so full of anger or a general hatred for the people in their world or a different set of rules from their society, but let's face it...basically an American writer would find it very hard to write about anything that will "shock" or "challenge." I mean I -- Carole, the religious nut-- find nothing wrong with a heist movie where the bad guys win or a revenge movie where the deserving victim gets murdered by the hero. Is it because I am just so terribly unChristian and worldly? Nah. I'm just used to shifting standards in American literary and cinematic art ...and a culture of grays. I will say it's a culture of understanding, actually. I suppose one can attempt anti-heroes in Christian fiction but many Christian writers know their audiences and will not push the moral envelope too much. They may create an anti-hero but they will so soak the book with his neuroses and explanations as to why he's like that that... after the apologetics is over, we're waiting for him to be healed. And let's face it... a real anti-hero does not get healed. A real anti-hero does not "come around" to the common moral ground of society. 

I'm saying all this because I've been watching some Japanese and Korean films and amazing myself at how conservative and rigid their society is. Literarily, it is very difficult to have even the most worthy of anti-heroes be exonerated by the cops or by society. 

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