Thursday, December 20, 2012

Occam's Bushmaster

There's lots of talk about action heroes as dangerous fantasies these days, especially those you can pretend are yourself as you mow down the zombie hordes on the Alienware.  But action heroes make sense in the world constructed around them, which they inhabit.  Absolute good, absolute evil, unambiguous, easily distinguished in the blink of an eye and a flash of a muzzle, where physical violence has a simple, crystal clear origin and physical violence the righteous and inevitable solution.

The action heroes' worlds are every bit as fantastic as the protagonist him/herself.  I'd suggest the worlds of the action hero are more dangerous culturally than the heroes themselves:  they predispose us to view reality that way.  That's not just a mistake, but a catastrophe.  Over and over and over again.

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