Print

E-Mail Story

Comment

News Letter Sign up


Don the necessary armor


June 30, 2017

1 Image

Much research has been done concerning people’s fixation with true crime. Some people posit that we enjoy these stories because we find pleasure in other people’s discomfort, which is the very extreme version of laughing when someone falls down. I don’t relate to this pleasure.

 

Others believe that we are attracted to true crime because we find relief in knowing that we were not the victims. Still others suggest that by involving ourselves so heavily in the true crime oeuvre – be it podcasts, television shows, click bait or nonfiction literature – we can consider the ways in which we would react should we be placed in similar threatening situations. The “don’t go up the stairs” of real life. Oversaturation can also desensitize us, calming our fears.

 

I am a true crime junkie. I think I see these stories as being warnings to heed, ways of identifying problematic behaviors and patterns in other people. They are also personal stories with clear motives and, most often, a tidy verdict.

 

My ex and I fell for one another shortly after we discovered an odd commonality: we both liked to fall asleep watching Law & Order SVU. It’s a preposterous thing to use to sing oneself to sleep, and yet there we were, two maudlin crime lovers tucked in amid the flash and glow of violent crimes against women. And, most times, their vindication. At least, legally speaking. She and I also collected bones, and spoke of getting pet leeches, so we weren’t exactly run of the mill.

 

My wife and I do not share this interest. She does not like the television to be on at all while she is sleeping, so I bought her a sleep mask that makes her look rather like a bug. I refrain from watching anything too horrifying should she wake up and remove it. She calls them my “crime shows” and tries not to avoid them at all costs. I reserve my harrowing true and thinly-fictionalized crime stories for the daytime hours, when our schedules conflict, and I watch corny laugh track comedies while she sleeps beside me. And no holds barred when she’s out of town for work.

 

I am interested in these stories for the same reason that she is opposed to engaging with them: we both believe that humans are depraved. She wants to avoid that reality in her spare time, and I sink deeply into it. While some people are fascinated by these stories because they seem to highlight the most deplorable individuals, I understand that emotional and mental instability, as well as repressed sexuality and toxic masculinity, are far more prevalent than the general populace wants to believe, and can lead otherwise decent people to act in reprehensible ways.

 

Much to the chagrin of all quaint, small town residents where a grisly crime has occurred, there is no such thing as a place where these things can’t happen. The state of the world is bleak and blood-thirsty. The news is almost more harrowing than the true crime genre.

 

Certainly most people do not go to the extremes of those who kill, but we have all experienced loss of control, a moment in which we stop making sense to ourselves and those around us. For most of us, that may mean yelling or cheating or quitting a job without notice.

 

But the fact is that we all have the potential to be terrible to some degree. Being good is something that must be worked at, every day. I sometimes think I immerse myself in these horror stories to remind myself of that very tenet: be good, and don’t assume that others will be. It is sad to be so distrustful, but it is an armor, and, I think, a necessary one. 


Print

E-Mail Story

News Letter Sign up

Bookmark and Share
« Previous Story | Next Story »
 

COMMENTS

http://www.connectstatesboro.com/ encourages readers to interact with one another. We will not edit your comments, but we reserve the right to delete any inappropriate responses. To report offensive or inappropriate comments, contact our editor. The comments below are from readers of http://www.connectstatesboro.com/ and do not necessarily represent the views of Publication or Morris Multimedia.

You must be logged in to post comments.  [LOGIN]



You must be logged in to post comments.  [LOGIN]