Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Secular Tragedy - A response and rebuttal

"Nice work, enjoyed this."

-my mother.

If that's your opinion, then I'm sure that you didn't understand the story. Allow me to first recap the whole of the trilogy.

The Secular Tragedy - Non Poetic Form

This is the story of a man, a convicted pedophile and sexual assailant, an unkempt man who calls himself a captain (although captain of what we'll never know...until the prequel!), who, after escaping from the zoo in which he is inexplicably kept, hops (read: stows away) on a plane to what he thinks is Africa. He's going there to find some place in which he can live a life of normalcy, seeing that he is incapable of doing such in the US.

He is unable to find civilization for many years. He has been wandering through dense jungle, arid desert, and vast stretches of ocean, attempting to find the human interaction from which he so hastily ran in the first act. Suddenly, he finds the first example of civilization he's seen in his arduous journeys, and it turns out to be an amazing example. It's an absolute fairy tale of a village, seemingly perfect in every way. In other words, he finally thinks that his wanderings have led him to a home. But, turns out they're aware of his criminal record, and he is shunned from the paradise-candyland-esque village, just like he's been shunned from the rest of the so-called "normal society."

Fast forward a couple more years, he's been visiting village after village, being cast out of each and every one due to his past (and possibly present) deviant behavior. He's presumably an alcoholic, and even dirtier and more unsightly than ever. While trudging through the jungle, he's struck by a poisonous dart and captured. But what a surprise! His captors know of him! It's as if the greeks had captured Odysseus by a complete accident. It turns out that MacMuffin is something like the village idol, the way that basketball players used to look up to Michael Jordan...except in this case, it's not basketball, but pedophilia. He's found a village of pedophiles, get it? Long story short, he soon becomes their king, and, the first order of business? Revenge.

This is where the story starts to get good.

He launches a campaign which begins with the complete genocide of the surrounding tribes and cities, in retribution for MacMuffin's past discriminatory treatment. It's not all bad, though, the young girls are kept safe from harm. (Until, of course, they're presumably raped by the all-male pedo-village) Once that deed is done, and there is no one to disagree on the orthodoxy of pedophilia, it becomes the cultural norm for his part of the world, which turns out to be the only way in which he can live in peace. But he's finally found it, the normalcy which he had always sought, even though he had to go on an often brutal, sad, and bloody quest to get there. He remains this way, unapologetically until his peaceful, child-loving death.

And that's what I was trying to convey. But...

What does this say about me?

I'm not sure. I would have liked this story to have a happier ending, but this was the way it turned out. Underneath it all it has always been a story about redemption, but instead of the antagonist seeing the error of his way and conforming to the most correct worldview around him, he goes the other way, and says basically, "screw this, I tried to change (in act II), and you still won't accept me?" and then procedes to violently change the world around him to comply with his (admittedly twisted) views.

I also didn't, in any way, want to make it seem like I was condoning pedophilia or rape or genocide or any of the other horrible things that happen in the course of this story, but again, it's just how it had to be. There's a way in which things can be so over the top and absurd, that instead of being shocking or obscene (like they normally would be) they instead become comical (see: the black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail). That's part of what I was trying to do with this story, to provide an anti-hero who is so terribly awful, that you just can't help but like him.

And the third thing, I was thinking a lot lately about the state of sex offense in this country, and the social pariah you become after even the most minor of offenses (not that I would know, heh heh). I tend to think that, it's not the best thing to do, when you're considering the rehabilitation of a convict, to yell to the world, "This guy? Over there? He's a kid-diddler!" I just don't think that helps someone to get better, like our justice system should do with convicts. I mean, and this goes for any crime, it shouldn't just be about punishing a person for the wrong that they've done, it should be about making them a better person, or at least more normal in the cultural/societal sense of the word.

No comments:

Post a Comment