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On the attraction of fanatics - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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sesquipedality
sesquipedality
On the attraction of fanatics
In art, fanaticism is sexy. Give me a passionate villain over a bland good guy every time. I live in such a constant state of doubt that there's something so appealing about someone who really believes in something with an overwhelming drive, and is willing to take extreme measures for their belief. For example, the sexiest thing about Javert in "Les Miserables" is that he comes to see the error of his ways, and this convinces him only that he doesn't want to live in a world where he isn't right. Now that's devotion to a cause.

Terrorists are not sexy. This principle clearly fails to extend to real life. I'm wondering if this means that there is something fundamentally wrong with me.
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Comments
From: robinbloke Date: November 26th, 2004 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reality is greatly removed from fantasy, theres nothing wrong with this.

I have great fun mowing down people with an AK-47 in Battlefield Vietnam, would I want to do it for real? No way!
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: November 26th, 2004 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand, I can't exactly engage in a meaningful relationship with a film.
lanfykins From: lanfykins Date: November 26th, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

You can't?

Bugger.
From: robinbloke Date: November 26th, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stranger things have happened, I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone got so obsessed with a film that when they watching it they thought they were in it.
From: ex_lark_asc Date: November 26th, 2004 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
The men I fall hardest for are always the ones who are quietly but totally passionate about caring for other people and making their lives better.

Terrorists don't really qualify when it comes to that criterion..
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: November 26th, 2004 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
A dreadful number of them think they are aiming for the same end, though. Just using really unhelpful values of what makes people's lives better.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 26th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
You think there's something wrong with you because you can distinguish between art and reality? That's a new one...

In books and films I always fall for the arrogant bastard. In real life, I, uh... no, wait.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: November 26th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem with this, as a perception, is that it all too easily expands into making caring about anything passionately somewhat suspect, particularly anything political, and you end up in a kind of moral marshmallow pudding where the middle ground between visible extremes of evil and good gets wider and wider and making any practical decisions becomes impossible.

ewx From: ewx Date: November 26th, 2004 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stansfield in Leon.
liriselei From: liriselei Date: November 27th, 2004 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)
possibly because fanatics in art are generally written and/or portrayed to be interesting and engaging (or at least with that end in mind) and frequently to be sympathetic and charismatic as well ? or if not, then at least as a tragic figure or object of fascination.
whereas most people in real life aren't written / portrayed that way, terrorists or otherwise.
with terrorists particularly most of our information about, and perception of, them is via a mass media with a tendency to portray most terrorists as either caricature fanatics or as archetypal alien / Other / Enemy / danger figures.
how many terrorists have you actually met or spoken to ?


I'm wondering if this means that there is something fundamentally wrong with me.

more likely that there is something fundamentally wrong with the world, as i've long suspected.
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