29 November 2011

Bad Guys and Good Guys and Good Bad Guys and Bad Good Guys

...Not to mention Bad Bad Guys and Good Good Guys.

I'm just wondering if I might be thinking about something in one dimension.

For Creative Writing, I have to write an 8-22 page short story (by Dec 9th! Yikes!) and I thought a campus alert e-mail sent out over this last summer would make a good starting point.

A person was accosted by three guys, one of which had a gun.  They took the person's car, but before they left, one of them told their victim that the reason they were doing what they were doing is that their mother was sick, and they couldn't think of any other way to get money to help her.

Now, whether or not what he said was even true, the reaction of the victim cries out (to me) to be explored.  What would you say to that?  What would you be too afraid to say but would think?  "Oh, well, that makes everything all right - wait! Here, let me give you my wallet, too" or "Pull the other one chum, it's got bells on."

In an idea workshop, I explained this to the rest of the class, but they didn't seem to get what I was getting.  One person wanted me to write about the guy who told the victim about his mother instead of the victim.  But one of the most important things about the scenario to me is not knowing whether or not he was telling the truth.  It doesn't matter whteher or not he was telling the truth but knowing if he was or wasn't would spoil the whole thing for me.

And then I started to think about why this had such a pull on me.  Am I being too one-dimensional?  Seeing all bad guys as just bad guys, or was I justified in thinking that life is not an episode of Flashpoint, and sometimes bad guys really are just bad guys?  Or do I need to step back and look at my assumptions?

Well, that's always a good idea.

So.  I admit that life happens, even to people who are otherwise good, clean upstanding citizens.  What would I do if MY mother were desperately ill and my family had no way to help her?  Not armed robbery ( I don't think), but I'd definitely let my grades go to hell... which in my family is probably worse than armed robbery.


Ok, I'll admit it: I'm only here because I'm in super-procrastination-ninja mode.  Why yes, I did just work the word ninja into a sentence about paper writing procrastination, yes I did.

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