The word favorite is one of my pet peeves. Everyone has got to have a favorite, everyone has got to define themselves by their favorite. Bla-dee-bla-dee-bla. When I was a young'n, I agreed with the "people," and spent long times deciding on my favorite things. I rarely remembered them when it came time at parties to exchange favorites.
Now I have few or no favorite things. I have a favorite food, which changes with the weather and my mood and who I'm talking to. I have a favorite person, depending on what context we take the term "person". But that's about as far as my favorites extend.
I can truthfully say, though, that I hold in great favor several movies. Serenity being the most favored. (If you've never seen Serenity, see it. It's wonderful.) I also favor V for Vendetta, and 300. Great movies all, for various and sundry reasons. One thing that all three of these movies have in common is a certain level of darkness, and a certain level of gruesomeness. Which makes me wonder about myself....
Okay, time for a topic jump. I write stuff. One thing I know I'm good at writing is humor. I can make people laugh. First draft humorous writings of mine have had comparisons to such greats as that one guy whose name I cannot now remember.
However, I spend most of my writing thoughts and writing energies on darker, more sinister, more gruesomer pieces. I have this one story planned out where I have a teenager killing her surrogate father by throwing a railroad spike--or a javelin, still deciding--through his throat from the side. It sticks in the wall, so that he's only held up by his esophagous. (I've never been able to spell medical terms. I mean the tube that goes down your neck. Or set of tubes that you breathe through and swallow with, I guess.)
Just now, I was commenting on a fellow writer's blog, on the topic of writing outside your comfort zone, or doing things in general outside your comfort zone. It certainly isn't comfortable for me to write about people getting killed in violent ways. It's fascinating, sure. But not really comfortable.
And now the connecty together bit. My choice of favored movie, as compared to my choice of writing energy concentration, makes me wonder. Why do I like those movies? And why do I like to write these dark and gruesome things?
I think I might wonder about the limitations of a human being. The limitations on our minds and on our bodies. And in wondering about these limitations, I wonder about the potential. About finding the actual level at which our limitations are achieved. Not the imagined level, tempered with fear or prudence or education or ignorance. But the real human capacity. At what point could we do a mind over matter, and force our tired and aching limbs to keep hiking over the mountains. And when do we die from the hike. And is that dying really just giving up? An achievement of an imagined limitation...or a real limitation. And is the limitation on the body, or the easily confused intellect which doesn't want to walk any more?
Killing someone is an expression of extreme circumstances, of a set of extreme strain on the psyche. And killing a lot of people is, logically, an extension of that expression. Because people are all pretty much the same size and shape and have pretty much the same range of motion and relative strength, if one or several people kill a larger group, it makes me think: the smaller group must have wanted it more.
So why would they have? In writing this, I understand my fascination just a wee bit more. But I haven't figured it all out yet.