I watch movies every night after working out and I have seen some really awesome and some really awesomely bad movies. I have been working on some stories/script lately. I have several under development, but the one currently ricocheting around my frontal lobes is a horror story. I thought I would be a pretty weak horror writer until I started this script. I must admit that it is a screenplay adaptation of another's story and I feel like I am cheating. I am adapting it for modern technology and adding some extra people for an even more sinister atmosphere, but I don't understand the origin of the antagonists.
I know where they come from in the story and I understand their motivations. I don't understand why I feel compelled to let them win. Or the sympathy I feel toward their cause.1 These are hideous people and they perform awful acts, but I keep writing nastier and nastier. I want to know where this comes from within me.
Anyone will say that they would do anything to protect their family or whatever, but it is another person entirely who would say that and actually be physically capable of it. I like to think of myself as a good person. I don't drive a car, I clean up litter occasionally, I don't litter, I help people with directions, donate clothes and books.2 So why would have anything in common with the monsters in this story? Incidents like this remind me that while I may be a basically good, ethical, moral individual, but I was not far from being a really horrible example of humanity.
Rather like our fair country. I have heard it said that America has been a few steps away from fascism at several points in our history. Imagine if the greenshirts had managed to keep us out of active involvement in WW2. Perhaps we might have also started selling weapons, supplies and oil to Germany in an extremely profitable neutrality scheme. Imagine if the dishonorable Joe McCarthy had gained enough support to brow beat the news organizations into obedience. Perhaps he might have been elected President. The Cuban Missile Crisis could have led to everyone's death. Imagine if Ann Coulter was so charismatic she was able to persuade neo-cons to form gangs and assault liberals and other dissenters. Imagine if our government were actively spying on its citizens. Imagine if our news organizations were owned by the supporters of that government. Oh crap.
1 Incidentally, while writing this sentence I realized that the entire plot could be an allegory for the environmental/economical policies of the current administration. Should this movie ever get made, I will explain this.
2 Of course, the motivations behind all these actions are entirely selfish. We don't give a hobo our spare change because s/he needs it, we give it to them to feel better about the contrast in situations.