MJ and I watched Rambo last night. You know the one, where Sylvester Stallone sneers through an entire 110 minute movie (please see image below for summary)?
Oh, did that fail to clarify for you? Well, this was the new one, circa 2008, with the aging Stallone. And besides from laughing about the sneering and the cheesy dialogue, it was painful to watch. The violence in this movie is really graphic. Scenes of genocide, torture, child soldiers, and implied rape perpetrated against the Karen people of Burma are portrayed. Watching Rambo kill is abstract enough to me, as killing is usually abstract in action movies (which is certainly a psychological point that can be discussed for years to come).
But the ethnic cleansing portrayed in the movie was vivid and pointless -- the exact sort of thing I find hard to shake after watching. And it's the kind of thing I can't write about, either.
I can't write sociopathic and psychopathic behaviors. Why? Because they honestly don't make sense. I believe that 2% of the population is sociopathic, generally not serial killers, but completely amoral people who are manipulative, abusive when given the opportunity, cruel. I read an interesting book a while back titled The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, which gave me the 2% statistic. You've probably met a sociopath, maybe had one as a teacher, lived next door to one, dated one, worked for one. It's an interesting premise.
But what's the point of writing someone who may be cruel for the sake of being cruel, when there's no other motive to serve them? There's no actual motivation, no deeper personality to plum. They just suck. I watched an interesting, although not particularly enjoyable, movie called The Dead Girl (amazing acting by Brittany Murphy) which is a series of vignettes about a girl murdered by a serial killer, and I loved how it didn't focus on the stupid psychopath that ended her life. Because really, how interesting is a serial killer? It's the people whose lives ended that were actually interesting and relatable.
I can't write people with no real motivation for their cruelty, whose behavior is illogical. I don't want to write oversimplistic characters. Even if some people are.
What's hard for you to write?
6 hours ago