Friday, September 16, 2011

A peek inside the soul of a soulless man Pt. II: Rooting for the Bad Guy by Jersey Campbell

For Pt. I click here.

Do you remember what your college admittance essay was about? I don’t really care but it was an attention-grabbing way to start this article. I happened to have two of them. A lot of people advised me to scrap the first one because of the nature of what I wrote about. So I ended up writing about why I used a wicker basket usually reserved for fruit assortments as a bookbag for the majority of my senior year. Don’t ask.

What could I have possibly written about that would hurt my chances of getting into Harvard, or Yale, or Oxford? I wrote about my admiration for the bad guys in films such as Face/Off and Troy. Hyper-masculine badasses who really shouldn’t be a role model to anyone, but here is this 17-year-old kid talking about how cool and sly Castor Troy is and how Achilles’ oiled-up abs gave him a boner (that may or may not be the truth). Apparently I was sending the admissions office over at Princeton the wrong message about my character. Wrong in the sense that that was likely not what they wanted to hear a prospective student say. Right because that was, and still is, my character. It’s sad that I have to hide it to make myself “look better” even though it is the truth. I digress.

Why do I still adore these antagonistic assholes to this day? More importantly, how many paragraphs do you think I can write that begin with a question? I’m also on a run of ending paragraphs with two-word sentences. Stay tuned.

Adore is the wrong word for how I feel about some bad guys now. “Respect” is more appropriate. Back then when I was searching for an identity among the Jay-Z , Beyonce, Kanye, and Lil’ Wayne cult followers of the day (has anything changed since then?) I always had a tendency to go against the grain. This type of alternative flow thinking predisposed me to find swag (before the word was introduced in popular culture) in the characters we were supposed to hate.

We come to the Daniel Plainviews, Magnetos (again with the superheroes?), and Mojo Jojos of the world. By our definitions all of these entities are evil yet there is a place in my heart for each of them. It’s not just respect; I want to see them succeed. They’re made up characters anyway, why not have Mojo Jojo’s diabolical-plan-that-can’t-fail actually not fail in a couple of episodes? Why not have Magneto take over the world and fulfill his dream of a mutant revolution? The good guys don’t win in real life all the time (probably because there’s never a clear cut good guy vs bad guy scenario) why not have our art reflect this?

That’s what bothers me about popular culture; isn’t it supposed to be grounded in reality at least a little? (Don’t answer that, I know it’s not.) I understand it’s supposed to take us away from our mundane daily existence, but let’s have a few Jokers subdue a Batman every now and again.

Anyway, while I may cheer for these evil-doers in film and television I’ll never do so in real life. The stakes are too high to advocate mass murder and widespread injustice to innocent people. That’s why I don’t cheer for anyone. I’m a moral atheist. True to my belief, or non-belief, in the world having any meaning past what we ascribe to it.

I’m debating on how far I should go with this… I should probably stop here. The only person or entity who I root for is Jesus aka Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, more commonly known as Tom Brady (there might be another Jesus coming soon. He's a rookie quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. Not even Jesus had this smile). Others are just going about their business doing whatever is necessary to achieve their ends. Sometimes I wish for situations in the world to go one way or the other due to curiosity but I never align myself to one side. I didn’t mean to get all philosophical but in the end what does anything matter anyway?

"I want those foogitives back in custardy"
My beef was in my socks when I watched Angelica Pickles throw curveballs at her little cousin and his friends by telling them, “Monsters are just frigments of your infatuation.” Or watching how she would start every demeaning sentence with, “You babies are so dumb…” probably forgetting that she was once a baby. But would I stand for that if it was happening right in front of me instead of on a television?

Consciousness bears more on my actions then I’d like to admit. You can’t go through life not caring about anything. In that case why live at all?

There are no protagonists or antagonists in life. There are people who you wish to do well and people who you don’t wish to do well. (Not to do well doesn’t necessarily mean, “I want these people dead,” it just means you want them to fail or something like that. I don’t know. I lost my train of thought a couple of bong hits ago.) Those are all determined subjectively because nobody really knows all the right answers. What I’m trying to say is whomever I root for can be defined as a good guy, to me at least. Same goes for everyone else.

My presumed lack of a soul is detriment to me seeing good vs. evil, fair vs. foul. It began as a way to express my distaste for popular culture and morphed into my sentiments about life and ultimate lack of meaning I find in it. I pray that my reality can reconstruct itself again. But once you’ve crossed over, any plan to get back to the sane side of rationality ends in Pinky and the Brain like frustration.


  1. This is great. It's so honest, love it.

    What are heroes without anti-heroes? What point is there in good if there is no bad? In the end, they function together. Yin and Yang, in balance at all times

  2. Thanks. I try and be as honest as possibly without coming across as deranged and potentially dangerous. It's a fine line.