pop culture contains an extensive record of sacrificing realism for the dramatic. arbitrary everymen outwit expert espionage agents, average joes beat down gigantic bodybuilders, underachieving dweebs turn out to be techno-messiahs, and so on. every so often such plots incorporate enough ingenious strategy to lull even active intellects into the requisite suspensions of disbelief, but more frequently they seem to rely on the pure energy of people’s need to indulge entertaining fantasies, and these unqualified dolts win out through any kind of convenient coincidence just because they must because they are the randomly selected hero at the center of the story.
this unfettered idealism is particularly frightening in its penchant for promoting absurdly idiotic supposedly heroic behavior as when our valiant protagonists ignore all the obvious imminent risks to maintain the righteousness of grossly outweighed agendas, plunging head-long into burning buildings to save a little girl’s goldfish, almost capsizing the over-full boat to show mercy to the villain, letting WMDs tick down so as to save their girlfriend first or even just to give her an extended passionate kiss, etc.
however, this far-fetched positivism and the desperate drive towards fantasy which motivates it are quite simple to understand and even sympathize with. thus, it is not completely out of the question for a discerning mind to kick back and simply enjoy the ride.
rather, what i find utterly exasperating and outrageously abhorrent is the widespread support for deceit in the pervasive deployment of false promises:
“You’ll be ok… We’ll be together forever… I’ll never leave you (again)… I won’t let anything happen to you… No one gets left behind…”
for all the implausible serendipity of such narratives, it is still not uncommon for such oaths to be almost immediately followed by not being ok, being separated, something very bad happening, and many people being left behind. the primary question then is why hollywood writers appear almost unanimous in the impression that that’s how heros talk.
a complementary question is whether if you were bleeding to a certain death, you would prefer to be told you’ll be alright, or would you rather get the facts straight so as to perhaps pass along a few last dignified words. personal opinions on this extremely personal topic probably vary extremely so under certain circumstances the cliche hero’s hackneyed phrase may well be warranted, but the apparent total absence of the opposite advocacy of truth, which I am partial to, leaves me rather despondent.
in fact, having reached the point where i can barely tolerate these trite anti-truisms, i am practically at the point where there’s hardly a single movie or tv show that i can conscientiously appreciate.