I want even my bad people to be good

| Monday, April 29, 2013
If you've not seen American History X, I recommend seeing it rather than reading this post.

I liked the main character of Derek (the neo-Nazi), even before he renounced racism.  He was racist and a murderer, yet he was not a valueless sociopath.  He was a someone trying to be a good person, to do the right thing, but with a distorted view of what the right thing was.  He wasn't just some punk using violence and hatred to fit in.

I have a few examples.  Decide for yourself if this is merely selective perception.  After the murders he makes no attempt to run away from the police or fight back.  Was it because they were white or because he knew he was caught red-footed?  Either way, he was demonstrating that he wasn't purely a violent individual.

When in prison he reprimanded the other neo-Nazis for smoking pot.  I'm not opposed to the practice, nor do I think his explanation that "weed is for niggers" is sound logic, but he had some idea of right and wrong.  Despite it making him stand out and perhaps even being dangerous, he did not hide or hide from his values.

He was still a bad man, a violent, murdering, racist, but he was a high-quality bad man.

I was reminded, though not in quite the same way, with the character of Buck in Far Cry 3.  He bought slaves.  He was violent and worked for an even more violent person.  He manipulated the main character to get what he wanted.

That was all fine by me.  He was a villain and didn't make any effort to pretend otherwise.  I dislike it when people pretend to be something that they are not.  And thus, I hated him in the end.

It's funny to me what sort of behavior I'll let slide as long as someone is the villain.  Rape.  Murder.  Kidnapping.  Torture.  All in the name of some strange interpretation of capitalism (perhaps he's an Objectivist).

Yet at the very end he betrayed his word to the protagonist.  That's not right!  Murder me out of nowhere, fine, but don't make a deal and back out on it.  Hell, string me along and leave no ambiguity about your intention to betray me, but don't do this "I'm just a capitalist making a deal" crap and then redefine the terms at the end.  I never want to think that my problems would be better solved with a lawyer than a gun.

Maybe that's why I liked Vaas.  He was a straightforward insane sociopath.  He never told a lie.  If you felt deceived it was entirely due to your own misunderstanding of the situation.  I appreciate a bit of honesty in a villain.


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