Thursday, April 03, 2014

Initiate force; complicate the plot

Here's a little homework* for you: Watch movies. See the characters initiate force and also see that even in fiction- where extreme cases are the norm- it isn't "necessary", but could always be avoided. There's always a better way.

Now, apply that to your own life.

Of course, your life isn't contrived to make an engaging story. You'll probably never find yourself in situations like those portrayed on the screen. In which case it should be even easier to see that initiating force isn't the right thing to do.

In movies, if the hero always did the right thing by refusing to initiate force, the movie would often end before it got started. Initiating force complicates the plot and draws it out longer so you'll be more likely to pay the price- after all, who would bother going to a 15 minute movie?

* OK, not "homework", which I despise in all its forms, but a strictly voluntary suggestion you can take or ignore.



  1. Like torturing the Bad Guy to find out where the Ticking Time Bomb is? Or to find out where the Innocent, Crying, Female Victim is tied to a chair, barely clinging to life? The Hero is always certain of the Bad Guy's guilt, and then it's OK to Torture or Invade Privacy or Bust Down Doors.


    1. Yep. It "works" in the simple world of fiction, sometimes. But I sometimes wonder if that's where those who insist it also works in reality get their ideas.

  2. Time was, in some movies (but not all) the Bad Guy would be the one who started it. That was how you knew he was the Bad Guy. Our Hero, who wouldn't dream of starting a fight, would then be the one to finish it. Justice was served, there was general rejoicing and riding off into the sunset etc.

    I can't help but feel that that attitude is getting rarer. This might just be because I'm getting older and my inner curmudgeon is coming out to play more these days. However, the fashion for movies where the hero's a cop or other agent of government might have something to do with it also.