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In Bloomberg: humanized movie villains to blame for political polarization


Near speechless, we present this musing published in Bloomberg today by Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter.

Carter believes that the nation's political divide has been caused by Hollywood's inability to create a good "bad guy":

I’ve finally figured out why we spend so much time treating our political opponents as implacably evil. It’s because Hollywood, which used to offer us villains we could love reviling, seems to have forgotten how to make its bad guys bad. ...

What makes the traditional villain so terrifying is precisely that he is beyond our comprehension. “Nothing happened to me,” Hannibal Lecter tells Clarice Starling in the novel “The Silence of the Lambs,” when she asks what made him this way. “I happened.” ...

There are still vicious, unreasoning creatures out there. But they tend to be invaders from other planets, or our own former friends and families transformed into hordes of zombies, who exist for the sole purpose of shuffling after us in search of a meal. They are not bad people. ...

... Hollywood, please. Get your villains off the psychiatrist’s couch. Don’t waste screen time telling us where they came from. Be content with letting them scare us half to death. Then maybe we won’t be so obsessed with finding evil elsewhere in our lives.

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