Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Often films, television, and books prize the rebel. The one who doesn't play by the rules but gets results. A notable example is Mr Jack Bauer, he of the unspellable last name, and penchant for breaking every single rule one can think of.

In the very first episode of 24 he shoots the regional director in the thigh with a tranquilizer dart, then blackmails him, because he thinks "he is holding something back". JESUS. You would not want to cross this guy.

Consider James Bond, everyone's favourite hero. In Goldeneye he drives through a city in a TANK, killing countless police men (the ignoring the costs thing is prevelant in many films. In speed they get out of the bus only for it to hit a plane, causing it to explode!).

Ultimately, these people are not heroes at all- and yet they are idolised by all. Their methods are disgusting, and it's only because they actually succeed (usually through luck rather than diligence) that they are considered to be so worthy of respect. I guess I don't have a big point here, but I guess it's interesting how many of our so called heroes would probably be in jail, or at least out of a job, in the real world.


At 8:21 am, Blogger cait said...

I think Western society can't stand the idea of bowing to authority (whether it is good, important, warranted authority or not), so we create badass characters who totally fuck with the rules and are so good they get away with it. They're not even really anti-heroes, because anti-heroes are usually weak in some fundamental way that people like Bond aren't.

but I think those characters appeal to guys more than girls, as a general rule. In my experience, women always like the film characters who are at base sweethearts, even the "bad boys." (I hate that term, but I don't have another to use) Case in point: A Walk To Remember. My God, that was a stupid film. Why do people like such insipid crap?

But really, Bond and A Walk to Remember are more alike than they are different, plot aside, because they're pandering with their sensibilities. It's like sensibility porn.

At 8:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

essentially, goody goodies are sad, rule breakers who don't care are cool.

I'm sad, but I do yearn.

At 12:01 am, Blogger The Venomous Bee said...

I actually led a seminar on the representations of the Outlaw Hero in Western North American visual culture. It amounted to "we like characters who do what is right even though the pressure is against them." Prime example: Robin Hood. There are countless others, too. My seminar centred on Billy the Kid because the class was Picturing the West.


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