Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 139

Thread: What makes a villain?

  1. #61
    antaeus's Avatar Simplism
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    4,592

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    I'm with Basics... We're discussing the subjective nature of villainy, and whether God or gods can be villains - based partly on what is told in the old testament.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB MARENOSTRUM

  2. #62
    swabian's Avatar igni ferroque
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,834

    Default What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by mishkin View Post
    Suffering (usually) makes you empathize with others, it does not make you a villain.
    Of course not. That's not what i said. I said that it is easier to see even villains as humans, because one can empathize with them. But since you bring it up. empathy is a powerful motivator that can turn good men into villains of some sort as well. For example as a motivation to take revenge or vigilantism.

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post

    Regarding the traits you quoted, I think the point about the frequent lying was that it includes pointless lies that are told just for and giggles, or even involuntarily. Certainly not "lying under duress" in situations where telling the truth would get you killed. And "disregarding or violating the rights of others" probably refers to the violation of personal boundaries as well as infliction of physical harm, not modern day human rights.
    Yes. People who lie often are often rendered as "pathological liars" since it is more widely known that psychopaths/sociopaths are supposedly lying more frequently and to a degree that is called "pathological". But the way psychopaths tend to lie is, as you say, often just for the heck of it, so for their own amusement or because they feel no anxiety while they are doing it, just wanting to keep up the deception for its own sake. Pathological lying is not about deceptive lying or altruistic lying (e. g. if you don't want to tell an ugly person that they are ugly, so you lie, for example) or to avoid shame and embarrassment or to avoid legal consequences. It comes seemingly without rhyme or reason and is not instrumental and goal oriented, or doesn't seem to be at least on the surface (i think it's also a rather controversial subject in the psychiatric community btw). So someone like Trump might not even be a pathological liar, because a lot of the BS he told was to make him look good or to stupidly retaliate against some provocations.
    Last edited by pacifism; December 24, 2020 at 06:05 PM. Reason: double posts merged

  3. #63
    AqD's Avatar 。◕‿◕。
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    🏡🐰🐿️🐴🌳
    Posts
    10,480

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    If you feel anxiety when you lie, wouldn't that be entirely attributed to lack of experience?

    I can see where negative opinions come from, that people who are poor at lying portray the good ones as villains, for jealousy no doubt

  4. #64
    swabian's Avatar igni ferroque
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,834

    Default What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by AqD View Post
    If you feel anxiety when you lie, wouldn't that be entirely attributed to lack of experience?
    Err.. no, because normally you would be used to not having the necessity to lie.

    I should have added that psychopaths are probably not better liars than non-psychopaths, because it doesn't render them good liars, just because they do it all the time. They just seem to be better at it, because at the high frequency they attempt to do it, their lying is naturally more "effective". Also there is no real way for law enforcement to tell whether someone is lying or not (i know, they often say otherwise, but it's BS, much like polygraphy). So since psychopaths commit about 40% of the crimes in 1st world countries, law enforcement is really at a disadvantage towards this "species".

    I can see where negative opinions come from, that people who are poor at lying portray the good ones as villains, for jealousy no doubt
    Psychopathy is an extreme anomaly. Lying in and of itself isn't anomalous at all.


    look at this interview for example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sxm6gROxcQ

    from minute 3:20 and onwards. She doesn't realize how abhorrant her talking is. Look at her, when she describes how the blood came gushing out of her daughters mouth, whom she has shot herself! She has a hard time to suppress her smiling, while she is lying all the time. She is very relaxed and obviously unable to understand the discomfort of her interviewers.

    Psychopaths are actually very bad liars, because they enjoy it too much how their BS is working in the minds of their prosecutors. They can't suppress their delight about deceiving others.
    Last edited by pacifism; December 24, 2020 at 06:06 PM. Reason: double posts merged

  5. #65
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sverige
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by AqD View Post
    So, it's like 100% inconsiderate, disrespectful, dishonorable and egotistical. Is that a villain by your definition?
    Well, I disagree with your conclusion there… I don’t see a 100% inconsiderate, disrespectful, dishonorable and egotistical person - going by your example here. All I see is a one very convinced and determined meritocrat - that did not shy away from controversy and breaking established tradition/practice in order to get – what he perceived - the best results for his subjects and himself. This has little to do with the villain that I outline in my previous post. Besides, he doesn’t tick dishonesty either, which is a crucial part of proper villainy I would argue.

    In short, daimyo Oda does not make it as a villain in my book. I am thinking more along the lines of someone who has little or no sense of code whatsoever, a total opportunist, liar, possibly hypocrite and definitely an unbothered egoist. Honesty, empathy, code and consistency are all poor companions of the villain, I think.

    - A

  6. #66
    basics's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Scotland, UK.
    Posts
    9,965

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Villainy begins in many small ways and yet never escalates beyond our satisfaction for most people. Where it escalates the most is the higher up the ambition ladder we get especially as the competition gets fiercer like in politics and big business where it appears to be a normal thing. Saying that, this is where I appear to contradict myself because most murders or everyday murders and assaults are done by pretty ordinary people who in the heat of the moment do some hideous things. In many cases these instances are not premeditated but nonetheless they are still villainous.

  7. #67

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by makawa View Post
    First, a psychopath is born as such, never in his life has he had the ability to choose to be more empathetic with people. Second, you can be a psychopath without going around doing more harm to those around you than a "normal" individual. You can be a psycopath living a "normal" life, not being a sadic.

    Regarding villains, I classify someone as a bad person when they consciously harm innocent people.


    But who decides what constitutes innocence?

    Is innocence objective, subjective, or somewhat of both?

    A villain is probably the hero of his own story.

    The best fictional villains are men along the lines of Season 1 to early Season 6 Gul Dukat from Star Trek Deep Space Nine before he went off the deep-end and his character was written to be a cartoonishly bad comic-book super villain talking about wiping out the entire planet of Bajor and then ultimately becoming inhabited by a pah-wraith and talking about setting the galaxy on fire.

    Earlier Dukat had a coherent worldview, a commitment to duty and his society, it was just that this worldview and this society required him to do horrible things to others in the course of obtaining their resources and furthering the goals consistent with his worldview and his society. He was not a sadistic buffoonish monster such as Joker from the Batman comics, he just had neither regard nor concern for those who stood in the way of his achieving his goals for himself and Cardassia. To Cardassians Dukat was probably [at least at some point] a great hero. Clearly from the perspective of Bajorans and the wider galaxy Dukat was a villain.

    Few writers today are able to write compelling villains. They write buffoonish comic-book style villains and when they run out of ways to signal that the villain is supposed to be recognized as the villain, they just begin with thinly veiled Hitler/Nazi comparisons/parallels just in case the audience really needs to be hit over the head with the idea that "this bad guy is the ultimate bad guy and he is the main villain in this series."

    A well-written villain could be a man who is convinced he is going to save his society, but his own misunderstanding of economics is such that he sincerely believes in Keynesian economics and he is about to put his society on a collision course with economic ruination and civilization collapse. A compelling villain could be a man such as Dukat who is willing to do horrendous things to those outside of his group for the benefit of those inside of his group, even though he harbors no personal ill-will or hatred towards the outside group and has even had romantic encounters and affection for members of that outside group, he just has a warped worldview and he views those people as essentially disposable, although he doesn't want to unnecessarily harm them or inflict torture on them for the sake of sadistic cruelty and pleasure.

    Most writers today have to resort to writing a villain as a sadistic, torturing fiend, a sexual pervert/rapist, somebody who kicks puppies and abuses children, because they don't know how to write a compelling villain.


    As Captain Picard said in Drumhead on The Next Generation, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Admiral Satie wasn't a sadistic tormentor who enjoyed interrogating and breaking people in a torture chamber, she sincerely believed the Federation was in mortal peril from enemies and her warped worldview led her to a willingness to embark on a quasi-judicial witch-hunt complete with human rights abuses.

    A villain is essentially anybody who does not understand objective truth and who proceeds to behave in a way that is not consistent with objective truth, because anything they do will be in the furtherance of a flawed worldview or in the service of those with flawed worldviews.

    For instance, I personally believe that anybody promoting stimulus spending, relief package bills, make-work projects, pork barrel projects, digging ditches and filling ditches, breaking windows and repairing windows, or any aspect of Keynesian economics, is a villain, whether they consciously realize it or not, because they are promoting policies contrary to objectively correct economic truth. The inevitable end-result of their policies will be immense human suffering, whether they intend it or not.
    Last edited by ByzantinePowerGame; February 28, 2021 at 12:19 PM.
    "God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself." Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma (33° AASR)


    Ignore list [to save time]-
    Ferrets54, Hanny, Harith, mongrel, Setekh, Gaidin, Bismarck1899, antaeus, empr guy, Enros, IronBrig4, The spartan, the_mango55, Sar1n,

  8. #68
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs
    Posts
    13,930

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    For instance, I personally believe that anybody promoting stimulus spending, relief package bills, make-work projects, pork barrel projects, digging ditches and filling ditches, breaking windows and repairing windows, or any aspect of Keynesian economics, is a villain, whether they consciously realize it or not, because they are promoting policies contrary to objectively correct economic truth. The inevitable end-result of their policies will be immense human suffering, whether they intend it or not.
    Rather you meant to say any not promoting Keynesian based polices is ignoring the economic reality in front of them - tight?
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  9. #69

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Rather you meant to say any not promoting Keynesian based polices is ignoring the economic reality in front of them - tight?



    No thanks, I know what I meant to say, and I said what I meant to say. Thanks for trying to cloud and confuse the issues though.

    I clearly meant and conveyed my idea that anybody who promotes Keynesian economic theories is behaving contrary to economic reality/truth.
    "God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself." Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma (33° AASR)


    Ignore list [to save time]-
    Ferrets54, Hanny, Harith, mongrel, Setekh, Gaidin, Bismarck1899, antaeus, empr guy, Enros, IronBrig4, The spartan, the_mango55, Sar1n,

  10. #70
    Iskar's Avatar Insanity with Dignity
    Patrician Citizen Magistrate

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Frankfurt, München, somtimes my beloved Rhineland
    Posts
    6,112

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by ByzantinePowerGame View Post
    ...

    A villain is essentially anybody who does not understand objective truth and who proceeds to behave in a way that is not consistent with objective truth, because anything they do will be in the furtherance of a flawed worldview or in the service of those with flawed worldviews.

    For instance, I personally believe that anybody promoting stimulus spending, relief package bills, make-work projects, pork barrel projects, digging ditches and filling ditches, breaking windows and repairing windows, or any aspect of Keynesian economics, is a villain, whether they consciously realize it or not, because they are promoting policies contrary to objectively correct economic truth. The inevitable end-result of their policies will be immense human suffering, whether they intend it or not.
    Setting aside, for the time being, that "objective truth" is a highly hazardous notion, would that mean that someone who murders a random passer-by, but does not dispute any presupposed objective truth as determined by the sciences, is not a villain?
    Last edited by Iskar; March 02, 2021 at 04:47 PM.
    "Non i titoli illustrano gli uomini, ma gli uomini i titoli." - Niccolo Machiavelli, Discorsi
    "Du musst die Sterne und den Mond enthaupten, und am besten auch den Zar. Die Gestirne werden sich behaupten, aber wahrscheinlich nicht der Zar." - Einstürzende Neubauten, Weil, Weil, Weil

    On an eternal crusade for reason, logics, catholicism and chocolate. Mostly chocolate, though.

    I can heartily recommend the Italian Wars mod by Aneirin.
    Under the patronage of the impeccable Aikanár, alongside Aneirin. Humble patron of Cyclops, Frunk and Abdülmecid I.

  11. #71

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iskar View Post
    Setting aside, for the time being, that "objective truth" is a highly hazardous notion, would that mean that someone who murders a random passer-by, but does not dispute any presupposed objective truth as determined by the sciences, is not a villain?

    Science is not the primary arbiter of objective truth. Objective truth is objective truth. Murder is wrong from the vantage of objective moral truth. It doesn't matter what a scientist in a laboratory or in a foundation think-tank claims. Murder is objectively wrong.
    "God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself." Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma (33° AASR)


    Ignore list [to save time]-
    Ferrets54, Hanny, Harith, mongrel, Setekh, Gaidin, Bismarck1899, antaeus, empr guy, Enros, IronBrig4, The spartan, the_mango55, Sar1n,

  12. #72
    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,278

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    This might be an unpopular opinion but in this case I think Game of Thrones was on to something. Yes, it could have been fleshed out better, but...

    Villainy is not subjective; it's comparable. We all understand what being evil entails because we all tap in some collective understanding of it through religion, mythology, literature, movies etc. I think that while we recognize evil, we classify it by comparing instances of evil and we make our minds as our particular case ranks against the comparisons.

    Jaime Lannister was the de facto villain of season 1, right from episode 1. There's just not coming back from tossing a child from a tower while having sex with your sister. Yet, compared to the likes of Joffrey, Cersei or Ramsay, Jaime wasn't as... villainous. By the end of the series, Jaime was definitely no villain. So, taking in cues GRRM fed us over five books and adding to that the cues D&D fed us after the book material was done most would find it somewhat difficult to say Jaime is a villain.

    But Denaerys... From the beginning to the end we were given all the good vibes and all the good cues and we looked the other way while Dani did some pretty deplorable things; it's safe to say we all kind of supported or, if not supported, at least entertained the thought of her becoming the Queen. Comparing her with Cersei, a despised character, we thought her the best option. Until she wasn't. Just because we could see her side of the story at all times, her wrong-doings seemed justified or at least less aggravated compared to the madness of Cersei, Joffrey or Ramsey.

    In the best case scenario we thought like Tyrion when he said to Dani she was the right kind of evil. Most probably, we just justified every little thing without understanding that she was moving towards burning the city at the end. Granted, it could be because the story was rushed and not done right but still...

    So, to wrap up: we have a saying - the road to hell is paved with good intentions. A good villain to me is the one who would take that extra step where everyone else would balk at the prospect. An even better villain would be the one who does but can always justify the brutality, creating that allure which is capable of fooling entire nations.

    In an unrelated but bewildering point:

    Quote Originally Posted by ByzantinePowerGame View Post
    A well-written villain could be a man who is convinced he is going to save his society, but his own misunderstanding of economics is such that he sincerely believes in Keynesian economics and he is about to put his society on a collision course with economic ruination and civilization collapse. A compelling villain could be a man such as Dukat who is willing to do horrendous things to those outside of his group for the benefit of those inside of his group, even though he harbors no personal ill-will or hatred towards the outside group and has even had romantic encounters and affection for members of that outside group, he just has a warped worldview and he views those people as essentially disposable, although he doesn't want to unnecessarily harm them or inflict torture on them for the sake of sadistic cruelty and pleasure.
    Are you suggesting that Keynesian economics is a manifestation of villainy?
    Last edited by Kritias; March 02, 2021 at 07:45 PM.
    Under the valued patronage of Abdülmecid I

  13. #73
    Iskar's Avatar Insanity with Dignity
    Patrician Citizen Magistrate

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Frankfurt, München, somtimes my beloved Rhineland
    Posts
    6,112

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by ByzantinePowerGame View Post
    Objective truth is objective truth.
    This sentence means nothing. What is "objective truth" supposed to be, how is it generated and how do actors access it to make decisions? If you want to tie moral decisions to something it has to be practically accessible.
    "Non i titoli illustrano gli uomini, ma gli uomini i titoli." - Niccolo Machiavelli, Discorsi
    "Du musst die Sterne und den Mond enthaupten, und am besten auch den Zar. Die Gestirne werden sich behaupten, aber wahrscheinlich nicht der Zar." - Einstürzende Neubauten, Weil, Weil, Weil

    On an eternal crusade for reason, logics, catholicism and chocolate. Mostly chocolate, though.

    I can heartily recommend the Italian Wars mod by Aneirin.
    Under the patronage of the impeccable Aikanár, alongside Aneirin. Humble patron of Cyclops, Frunk and Abdülmecid I.

  14. #74

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iskar View Post
    This sentence means nothing. What is "objective truth" supposed to be, how is it generated and how do actors access it to make decisions? If you want to tie moral decisions to something it has to be practically accessible.
    To expand on this; wrongness, truth, and so on are all derived from what people commonly acknowledge and how they acknowledge it. It's easily mixed up with language (I make 'off' word choices all the time) and even the same concept can be seen different ways, by different people. Where the line is drawn for murder vs some other form of killing that tend to get weaselled out as something else. What is true depend on people seeing the same thing and interpreting it the same way, hopefully based on evidence and supporting logic. If you deny science as a whole you deny the most objective tools humanity has, which is repeated observation and logic to find consistency that builds a perspective glazed with reasoned common agreement until proven otherwise with similar measures and a more complete perspective. It is not and never will be perfect, thus it constantly evolves. It should not be taken as word of God any more than the Bible, nor should it go unquestioned. However it is disingenuous to deny science altogether in favor of a conclusion founded on even less, including simple axioms of logic that fail to account for context or historical sources that erode from day to day in common recognition.

    In this course the word 'villain' means a few things to me, again depending on how you mean it. Overall I don't use it often except in writing.

  15. #75
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs
    Posts
    13,930

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by ByzantinePowerGame View Post
    No thanks, I know what I meant to say, and I said what I meant to say. Thanks for trying to cloud and confuse the issues though.

    I clearly meant and conveyed my idea that anybody who promotes Keynesian economic theories is behaving contrary to economic reality/truth.
    Realistically you are the one doing the clouding because you have not asserted any objective and verifiable economic reality that Keynesian policy proscriptions defy or ignore or violate. Aside from also not objective describing what you think Keynesian policy or economics might be or particularly to be on topic what harm they cause to make say me a villain (since I can assure you both my senior thesis at the BA level and MS work were very much Keynesian)
    Last edited by conon394; March 04, 2021 at 10:54 AM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  16. #76
    Tribunus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    7,022

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    @Twilight Eslker. Use the word you want to see in the world. I am reading sentences to my son like " Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself" because I like Beatrix Potter and a vocabulary that extends across the entire lexical range-he and I are attending the football ton Sunday to extend his range in other directions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iskar View Post
    This sentence means nothing.
    Thanks Lao Tzu I just know it also the mother of the Myriad Things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iskar View Post
    What is "objective truth" supposed to be, how is it generated and how do actors access it to make decisions?
    Why its the KJV. Only by reading the KJV can you access the truth. Unfortunately teachers in first century Gallilee did not have access to it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Iskar View Post
    If you want to tie moral decisions to something it has to be practically accessible.
    Jokes aside you and hit the finger on the nail, or something like that. I'm saying you're right and it hurts. (edit I mean I am experiencing the pain of growth: sometimes pain is ignorance leaving the body).

    Morality is derived from Latin mos meaning manners or customs. Of course we have added aspects like "right conduct" "ethical" etc etc but at bottom it is a culturally determined word (where is my bloody OED? Is Cyclops Jnr using it for the Siege of Mexico City again?) placing our sense of right and wrong in a tangled web of tenuously anchored confusion. Its a belief system not a fact system. As a non-STEM history student I am used to swimming in the muddy waters of relativism buts its an unsatisfying soup at the best of times.

    My anchor is "because we say it is so". I have faith that we exist (more faith than I have in my own existence) and that we understand each other (getting shakier now), and if we agree murder is wrong then it is. Its great having a document to point to, or a code or whatnot but they are weak frail things and not clever enough for our slippery collective minds.

    I have faith in you, and our fellow posters, that by communication we can arrive at what we mean, and what we believe, and what is right and wrong.

    Peter Abelard got into heaps of trouble with St Bernard for his "Sic et Non", which demonstrated both biblical approval and disapproval for a host of tricky questions. The Bible is a book I think that cannot be understood without a lifetime's education or helpful glosses and the ability to hold in mind its numerous contradictions external and internal. The devil is in the glosses (I mean and in the Bible too obviously) because they're not the Bible and generally lack the apparent authority of the Big Book.

    I have to say its been a good thread and you've sparked my interest again. I've been discussing with another pedant (edit: I mean he and I are pedants) the Golden Rule (having just picked up my DC Lau translation of the Analects). My mate hit me with some one legged Hillel, and I countered with a plate of undesirable figs. I summed up the exchange like this:

    Master Cyclops was conversing with Master Redacted. Master Redacted said "Hillel the elder said "that which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour" such as nested quotes apparently".

    Master Cyclops smiled. "Why do you smile?" said Master Redacted. Master Cyclops said "I recall my neighbour gave me a plate of figs, which are hateful to her".


    "Did you make jam?" said Master Redacted, smiling also. "Fig and ginger" said Master Cyclops begrudgingly "with a relatively stiff consistency, as I prefer, but insufficient to support this analogy any further".



    [Enter Diogenes, naked. He urinates]


    Master Redacted observed "There goes the neighbourhood".
    Note the mock analectic style with interpolated theatrical motif.

    I mean those bloody Greeks, always turning up naked. Its wrong I tell you. OH SHUT UP ABELARD NO ONE ASKED YOU.
    Last edited by Cyclops; March 05, 2021 at 04:26 AM.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

  17. #77

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Why its the KJV.
    Yes, although that doesn't mean we can interpret it in an objectively true way (to its fullest extent). This applies elsewhere too. Suppose you witness a natural phenomenon, like a nebula or a shooting star. What you are seeing is objectively true, but that doesn't mean that you have - or even can - interpret the whole objective truth about it.

    Only by reading the KJV can you access the truth.
    All of Scripture is true, but not all truth is in Scripture.

    Unfortunately teachers in first century Gallilee did not have access to it...
    They had the man himself.

  18. #78
    Himster's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Dublin, The Peoples Republic of Ireland
    Posts
    9,830

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    It's an unpopularity contest.

    For example: To the Greeks and Persians, Alexander the Great was their Hitler, the ultimate villain, the Daemon King. To the Romans he was a hero, the ultimate figure to emulate. In Revolutionary France, he became a villain again. To the British Empire he became a hero again. Now he's a mixed bag, a great man with amazing talents and accomplishments who also committed genocide for no reason other than his personal glory. Now, having metabolized this figure through generations of thoughts, we have the most objective/nuanced picture of him in history and we still can't determine, objectively, whether he was a hero or a villain.

    Genghis Khan is an even better example. He is still the national hero and founding father of Mongolia. But the things he did, the things he explicitly intended to do, Hitler wouldn't have dared to dream of them even in his most vicious of moods.

    Above all other criteria and rubrics, it is unpopularity that determines who is a villain and who is not.
    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, but wiser people are full of doubts.
    -Betrand Russell

  19. #79

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    @Twilight Eslker. Use the word you want to see in the world. [...]
    Don't get me wrong, I have a flowery vocabulary. In the past too much so. These days it's simpler to try and be precise - words imply common meanings, even if everyone has slightly different takes. The word 'villain' generally ascribes things I don't often mean. Again the exception is storytelling, where it is well backed in describing plots or from a character perspective.

  20. #80
    Tribunus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    7,022

    Default Re: What makes a villain?

    Lost a huge post earlier, here goes.

    @Himster very good point. In a classic sense a hero defends but Classically they seek fame, most prominently in the case of Achilles and Alexander. Less well known is Achilles shade's pointed retraction in the Odyssey where he laments to Odysseus in Hades that he regrets his early death and misses the sun and wind, and envys the peasant enjoying a humble life.

    Bill Burr concurs, he notes the Duck Dynasty man and the owner of the Clippers, like Harvey Dent, lived long enough to find themselves the villain. The same goes for a hero's reputation and we see time and again the changing moral position heroes of Siegfried (a rapist a thief and and a deceiver) Achilles (berserk sook), Arthur (spineless cuck) Lancelot (bangs his best friend's wife) all taking their turn on the wheel to the peak of heroism and, through changing social norms, down into scorn and sometimes villainy. Loki the trickster villain may one have been the wise wanderer before Odin stole that role. Asteroth, Moloch and Chemosh all had altars in the temple at Jerusalem before their idols were smashed and they were unpersoned by later editors. David and Solomon are goodmouthed and badmouthed up and down the scripture.

    The dismal possibility heroism is an illusion founded on whim and chance tinges me with Upanishadic pessimism, and there are heroes who feel the same. The Mahabharata has many variant endings, but one common scene is the victorious Yudhistira retiring from rule and climbing a mountain with his four brothers and their shared wife. On the way each of them dies, and at the peak Yudhistira enters heaven where he finds his enemies, and sees his siblings and wife in hell.

    Its a fricking downer man, but this dismal denouement is glossed and spun several ways. In most Yudhistira accepts the judgement that although they were in the right and their cause was sustained by arms, nevertheless their conduct merited punishment, and their enemy's, reward. In one version all serve their time in hell and finally all of them are reunited in paradise, even the little doggy (and it was Yudhistira's beloved god-father in disguise!) which is quite a tear-jerker.

    The question of heroic conduct and moral relativism is dwelt on in the Bhagavad Gita also. Arjuna, about to engage in kinstrife, pauses before the big battle and consults Krsna. He has doubts, how can this be right? Some of his enemies are morally perfect, righteous beings, and most are his relatives. Krsna expounds the doctrine of Dharma, in the this case right conduct as considered for each. This sounds a bit like blind obedience, but also has echoes of Tao, the way, from Chinese philosophy. The many are a cacophony but remain part of the whole, although none see the formless block, all follow their way as part of it. The act of participating changes thge whole, just as the whole changes you. This to me is deeply motivating. Am I a butterfly's wing, tipping the scales? Locked in an invincible phalanx advancing? A clod in an overwhelmed dam, transmuted by the spate from a defensive wall to a rolling tide of destruction?

    To me the act of conversation is key here. I suspect the doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita was written for caste-system advocates to overthrow enervating Buddhist/sceptic nihilism plaguing Indian philosophy, but the act of describing ones own doubts and shapes the mind of the listener, and in turn responses sculpt further the doubter's understanding. These moments and acts are local but the effects can be profound, as shared human experience travels across cultures and down centuries. Most people have felt the ripples emanating the upstairs room in Jerusalem on Passover Eve, the night journey to Medina, the heated words in the palace of Kemet, the wistful teachings of the failed police minister in Lu, the playboy-turned-penitent-turned-zero-****s given agnostic gnawing a pork chop and dropping truth bombs, whether they happened or not.

    The Indian Epics even more than the Hellenic Epics recognise the moral complexity of their heroes: there are very few villains, and most heroes have complex characters that include wrongdoing. Few bland Galahads here ticking boxes to inevitable paradise, more Parsifals evolving to face challenges, and falling into sin traps and dilemmas with unclear outcomes.

    Of course villains and heroes don't need to be complex, we are complex and we make them that way. If we us them to convey our morality they do so with all the uncertainty our morality entails. In turn if our heroes and villains interact they begin to reflect one another, and even resemble one another, inevitably.

    Put simply, Heroes are big guys...for you. Villains are their opponents. Thanos is a villain, he clicks his fingers and people die. Why is he a villain? Is it his mental health? His colour? His army? His motives? Tony Stark is a hero, he clicks his fingers and people die. Douchebag death merchants both, but he's our douche.

    I'd say talk to your villains, you'll change them. They will change you too. If villainy is also inevitable then be the villain you want to see.
    Last edited by Cyclops; March 05, 2021 at 09:29 PM.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •