Hope you have all enjoyed your day. We paid Halloween more attention than usual… decorated a little bit, wore something colourful (but not spooky or dressy), and had a family Halloween dinner. We have a ceramic pumpkin from Aldi’s, in which we burned cinnamon and orange tealights. We had no guisers and are having to eat all the sweets ourselves. That’s why I suggested Mum get monkey nuts and apples, but it went in one ear and out the other.
TV was kind of boring… Harry Potter was on, but it was the dull, dark one where the Ministry of Magic takes over Hogwarts. Hermione in the book is one thing, but I never liked the one in the film. Mum said she’s never been keen on either her or Harry, but we both like Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint). While watching, I kept considering the words of a friend who has noticed a particular trend in books and films… people get what is considered their just deserts, no matter who else is hurt along the way.
If we take Harry Potter…. we don’t want Voldemort to win, but, as far as I could make out from the film (not having read the book), Harry is supposed to have looked into his mind and understands something about the way Voldemort thinks. And, I suppose, he’s strong enough to reject Voldemort’s way of thinking, otherwise he would become like Voldemort himself. At one point he tells Voldemort something like: “You will never have any friends or love. And I feel sorry for you.”
I’ve seen that kind of comment before, coming from the good guy and directed at the bad one… but it has never struck me as “I really am sorry for you”… but more as “you’re a bad guy to think that way, and you deserve to be lonely. We will leave you to your misery, and be happy that things have worked out better for us.”
When I was younger, I was totally on board with evil getting his just deserts, but I’m increasingly uncomfortable with these stories… both old and new. I don’t want evil to win, or the (relatively) innocent to lose, but in some stories it seems that even marginally weak characters end up with some quite nasty things happening to them. “Well, he wasn’t worth that much to us; it doesn’t matter if the dinosaur eats him! Serves him right for spilling Hero’s coffee and then giving him the wrong change.”
Of course, it’s the story itself that is ruthless. Probably Hero stands helplessly out of reach, watching with sadness… and then he shrugs, and turns away, and gets on with saving the people he actually cares about, including some cross and outspoken female. But it still means the audience is supposed to take satisfaction from the fact that Mean Coffee Man is getting paid back for having got out of the wrong side of bed that morning.
Another thing I’ve observed is that strong and decisive qualities triumph in films, whereas gentler, more anxious souls tend to be treated with contempt. Particularly so in women. Even nicer women turn out to have a soul of steel or a black belt in judo! Or they’re being heralded as some mother protecting her children, in the face of whose fury any childless person (male or female) is as nothing.
Hmm… me not relating, right at the moment.