Feb. 27th, 2017

numb3r_5ev3n: Jerry Cornelius (Default)
So, I am mostly posting this here right now because I will probably expand upon it sometime later. So these are basically preliminary notes. Seeing how things have unfolded for most of my adult life, and my conversations with "Baby Boomers" (people born 1950-1965) have made me wonder if Boomers don't understand evil as something a person does, but instead primarily as a visual phenomenon that evokes certain feelings.

Conversations I have had, and certain things I have heard, have been along these lines:

Example #1: My sister and I grew up during the Satanic Panic. My mother shielded us from playing Dungeons and Dragons and related materials until we were teens. We eventually obtained most of the sourcebooks and a subscription to Dragon Magazine.

One day, sometime in 1994 or 1995, my mom asked me why we "read so many evil books." She wasn't a Bible-thumper, though she had gone through a "born again" phase through most of the 1980s that was winding down in the early 1990s. I asked her what she meant - most of the books we had were stories of good triumphing over evil. In particular, I was attracted to Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar books and R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden books at that point.

She showed me an issue of Dragon Magazine which we had lying around, which showed a knight in spiky armor fighting a Dragon. It wasn't a traditional romantic Arthurian representation of dragon slaying, but fell in more line with the gritty "grimdark" genre so popular in 1990s media.

I showed her the articles in the magazine - mostly gameplay discussion and dry number-crunching, along with reviews of upcoming TSR products. She wasn't even paying attention. She was looking at the artwork depicted within. "But the art is just so ugly. It's evil," she said. "It just looks evil. Why do you like looking at things that are evil? Why don't you focus on things that are nice or uplifting?"

Example #2: I was reading an article recently of an interview with W.D. Richter, about the evolution of a script which would have been the original version of "Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League." There were apparently four screen treatments presented to the producers, and Across The Eighth Dimension" was the one they ended up going with.

They described the Fu Manchu-inspired villain of "Against The World Crime League" as a being of pure evil and "probably even immortal." One scene described him sitting in a bathtub full of snakes. "See - pure evil!" W.D. Richter exclaims. The context of the article (which I will link later) does not indicate that this is sarcasm.

I'll add examples later as I find them.

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numb3r_5ev3n: Jerry Cornelius (Default)
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