To Be or Not to Be Bad: Why the Villains are always so Alluring

All my life I have rarely sympathized or understood the heroes.  Shining paradigms of goodness in a vast world filled with less-than-worthy commoners have never captured my interest.  There have been a few like The Little Mermaid (her search for ‘something more’ always inspired me), Maximus Decimus Meridius (his fortitude and loyalty to his family always struck a chord in my black, cold heart), Odysseus (his hyper intelligence coupled with his utter stupidity at times is such an oxymoron I cannot help but love him), Athena (the most awesome goddess in Ancient Greek Mythology), Gina Carano in “Haywire” (because she’s fucking Gina Carano), and Robin Hood/Maid Marian (their anti-hero/hero status always made my heart flutter) are just a few.  “But why, Shabba Doo,” you ask, “why must you sympathize with the devils?!”  Here’s why: good and evil exist in all of us and we have the power to do good and evil deeds.  Villains went through the same heartbreaking moments as heroes have, but villains had that extra push.  Villains are the extreme and often think they are the heroes when they are actually just fucked up crazy because they snapped.

Here are a few villains (recent and ancient: fact and fiction) that can explain this.  There is no particular order, but we will start with the most recent developments.

Exhibit A: “Star Trek: Into Darkness” strikes fear and sexiness into the heart of all with Kahn.

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“You created me you ignorant, lesser beings. Now you have to fucking deal with me…KAAAHHHNN….”
The Cumber Collective has grown substantially since the birth of B-Batch’s portrayal of Kahn.

This villain, complete with a compelling history and even tears (TEARS?!  Yes!  I’ll allow it!), really made me actually empathize with the villain.  Was it true?  Possibly.  Did it tug at my cold, black heart?  Certainly.  The actor’s portrayal of Kahn, the way he moved in such a mechanically and deliberate way that retained a sense of humanity, was stunning.  The way he delivered a compelling story line and his plan to eradicate all of his enemies in the same cold and calculating tone made me tremble in both reverence and fear.  Kahn was strategic and operated with precision.  What moved me the most was the speech about his “family” while being held upon Kirk’s ship.  I was nearly in tears with him.  Everyone knows the feeling of wanting to protect your family and if you’ve ever lost someone you have loved the thought of losing 72 of your nearest, dearest friends and family members is haunting.  HAUNTING.  One minute you’re having a laugh with your buddies and the next you’re being hunted and cryogenically frozen because you’re genetically beyond everyone else and pose a threat.  He made me feel awful for being a lesser human being.  I liked that.

Exhibit B: “Sherlock Holmes” introduces us to Irene Adler

"The world's greatest detective?  Oh sorry...I kicked his arrogant ass."

“The world’s greatest detective? Oh sorry…I kicked his arrogant ass.”

Referred to by Sherlock as “The Woman”, she was the only person to have slipped by Sherlock.  In other words, she defeated Sherlock at his own game simply due to the fact that she was an intelligent woman.  During the era (late Victorian to Edwardian and so forth) women were viewed then just as the Greeks did thousands of years before them, which was “constitutionally retarded” to quote Aristotle.  “Of course a woman could not possibly conceive of being EVIL,” Watson probably thought, “that takes morality, cunning, wit, and manipulation and women are just untamed horses meant to be bloody broken!”  Not much has changed in the horrid area I live in.

Sherlock never saw the whole thing coming.  Even Moriarty, seen as Sherlock’s “match”, cannot ultimately defeat Sherlock, but Irene did.  In recent incarnations of the Sherlock franchise she has been played by beautiful women and in a very favorable light.  In the series “Sherlock” she could knock anyone’s knickers off, sexually and uncomfortably arouses Sherlock to the point of near explosion, and manages to get one up on him in the end.  In “Elementary” (SPOILER ALERT) she IS Moriarty.  Moriarty is a pretty kick ass villain (even if he didn’t make the list, but neither is Commodus or several others), but paired with being Irene Adler?  That’s some serious damage.

Exhibit C: “Hannibal” brought you by Hannibal Lecter

"Some men just want to watch the world burn.  Me?  I like visciously killing people and serving them to my friends."

“Some men just want to watch the world burn. Me? I like viciously killing people and serving them to my friends.”

I never liked Hannibal Lecter in any form until I started watching this gruesome series.  Hannibal FUCKS with everyone.  Why is he so frightening?  Hannibal is refined, sophisticated, and a professional in the field of psychiatry.  Hannibal is supportive and caring.  Hannibal could be your next door neighbor or your posh friend.  Hannibal is a fucking serial killer who is calling all of the shots and nobody’s catching on to him.  The best scenes are always the ones between he and his psychiatrist played by Gillian Anderson.  The sexual frustration and tension makes the viewer also sexually frustrated and tense.  The pair of them have such a great chemistry you almost want to see Anderson start murdering with him and then they can run off and have murderous cannibal babies.  And live happily ever ever.  My sister Skaggs has an article regarding a break down of Hannibal and why she loves him just click here or on the adorable picture of Hannibal above.

Exhibit D: “Luther” and that psycho redhead Alice

"I ruthlessly murdered my own parents and got away with it.  Suck on that."

“I ruthlessly murdered my own parents and got away with it. Suck on that.”

Alice.  The formidable redhead of the series “Luther”.  Alice quite literally murders her own parents, acts innocent, and gets away with it.  Luther figures her out in the end, but that doesn’t stop Alice from obsessing and terrorizing Luther.  In fact, Alice falls in love with Luther.  And you know what?  Luther even enjoys her company.  Luther, the hero of the story, keeps Alice around, because he knows how useful she is.  Alice knows how to stick the knife in your back, twist it about, pull it back out, and do it all with a smile before skipping away with the bloodied knife in her grasp probably singing a nursery rhyme.  That’s Alice for you.

Exhibit E: “Watchmen” and the kind-of-not-so-heroic-kind-of-sort-of-definitely-villainous Ozymandias.

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“Dear human race: this is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you.” And then he destroys NYC…and then he has the balls to mourn for the dead.

Ozymandias makes the most fantastically, aloof, and intelligent villain of them all.  Ozy is pulling all of the strings and he is in cahoots with the only person who has the power to pull off a wildly, crazy, and heinous stunt: Dr. Manhattan.  Ozymandias believes in one thing: Destroy the few to save the many.  Ozymandias has the staring role of God in this 1980’s version of “Sodom and Gomorrah: Nearly 3,000 Years Later”.  Ozymandias is calm and collected–he has mastered the art of villainy.  One question remains: he’s so far removed from humanity and his thought process is so incredibly inhumane…is he even capable of being human anymore?  The answer is: No.  I can sympathize with his guilt, his attempt to aid humanity to rise above their primal instincts, and his want for a better world, but he went about it in the completely wrong way.  Arrogant and (slightly) obnoxious at times, Ozymandias is truly a hero gone very, very wrong.

Exhibit F: “X-Men” Magneto

"I am homo fucking superior.  I am a GOD among insects.  Join me or die.  Even if you don't join me, I'll still save your ass."

“I am homo fucking superior. I am a GOD among insects. Join me or die. Even if you don’t join me, I’ll still save your ass.”

Magneto is the ultimate badass.  Magneto has seen the worst of cruelties after going through the trials of a Nazi Death Camp, being a guinea pig to the Nazi’s crazed bullshit, dealing with the guilt of falling in love with a lesser human, and then losing his best friend because he just couldn’t come to terms with his own superiority to the human race.  Magneto knows his power and he dislikes humans greatly.  Even thought Magneto and Xavier tend to be philosophically at odds most of the time, Magneto always swoops in to save his ass from the horrid human problems.  The only regret Magneto seems to really have are his twins, because apparently in a weak frame of mind he fell for some gypsy lady and ended up getting her pregnant.  Now they just remind him of his “lost decade” and he kind of treats them terribly.  Magneto remains one of my favorite villains, because he believes everything he does is to further his own kind and really just wants to ultimately destroy the human race.

Exhibit G: “The Little Mermaid” and it’s sea witch Ursula

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“Your voice is as good as your soul to me, darling, just hand it over and I can give you what you want…and then I’ll fuck it up for you. And then I’ll have your soul.”

You poor unfortunate souls!  Ursula is the embodiment of the bitterness of a person being continually rejected.  Ursula is sensual in her movement, she’s highly, exotically, and strangely attractive, and she’s beyond charming.  Like an angler, Ursula dangles her feigned pity and understanding to lure her victims in and then gobble them up.  Ursula has one reason for all of this: she basically wants to rule the “Unda-Da-Sea” world.  I always felt that she and Triton had an ancient tryst back in the day and after he was like “Listen, babe, you’re kind of a commoner and I’m kind of arranged to be married so some princess so…I’m terminating our strange relationship now” Ursula went away quietly…but with a plan.  “I’ll get you, Triton!”  Ursula probably bellowed, shaking her fist.  “You will rue the day you rejected this beautiful body, you poor unfortunate soul!”  And then Ursula went and became a sea witch.  And she nearly destroyed Atlantica.  And in the end no one knew it was actually all because of Triton.  The only problem is that Ursula goes INSANE with power.  Absolutely insane.  Positively insane.  And that’s when things literally fall apart.  Ursula gets hit by a boat and BAM she’s done for.

Exhibit H: Caligula

"I love wine.  And eating my unborn babies."

“I love wine. And eating my unborn babies.”

The scariest thing about Caligula?  Caligula, or “little boots” as his name means, was real.  Caligula was born during a fucked up time (Ancient Rome) in a really fucked up family (the Caesars).  Caligula was brought to power and royally fucked up by his cousin Tiberius.  Tiberius killed a good portion of Caligula’s family so the poor guy lived in constant fear of being murdered, raped, or worse at any moment while Tiberius was still alive.  Tiberius even brought Caligula to a secret island where unspeakable things were done to the local boys and girls…and even Caligula.  And when Caligula came to power he was an all right guy, in fact people loved him.  Then, one night Caligula got shit-faced drunk and nearly died.  People mourned Caligula as he lay on his assumed death-bed, but the bitch came back with a vengeance.  One of Caligula’s advisers was grooming a young man to become emperor in Caligula’s absence.  They were both brutally murdered.  When Caligula was bedridden a man proclaimed he would sacrifice himself for Caligula’s life.  When Little Boots woke up he demanded the commoner pay up immediately.  Caligula has numerous affairs with his family, but most notable was his sister Drusilla.  And legend has it in this twisted love-affair he killed her by cutting her open and going all Cronus on her ass by eating their unborn bay-bay.  Legit.  This guy was only stopped by a bunch of people getting together and collectively realizing that an inept emperor (like Claudius) is better than a psychopath.  Then Caligula was brutally murdered and that inept asshole Claudius took over.  The end.

Exhibit I: Morgan Le Fay

"Eat shit and die, Merlin."

“Eat shit and die, Merlin.”

Morgan Le Fay.  Or Morgane Le Faye or whatever, because her name is spelled a billion different ways like every other Arthurian character.  Anyway, Morgan was pretty badass.  Morgan is usually portrayed as a woman who knows she is fated to be evil, but she does nothing to go against her fate and instead plans to enjoy ever damn minute of it.  Morgan will do anything to adhere to her destiny as a badass witch.  Most characters push against the grain and decide that they aren’t going to suffer through what is fated to them (newsflash, they always end up making it worse, did nobody read Oedipus back then?), but Morgan cares little about being something other than who she is.  Morgan will use her bastard inbred  nephew/child (depending on the legend) just to stick it to her half-brother Arthur and that goody-two-shoes Merlin.  In fact, Morgan kind of rubs it in everyone’s faces that she’s beyond awesome when she suddenly shows up to cart Arthur’s dead (not really dead, just…resting) body off to Avalon after the battle with his son (and nephew), Mordred.  Now that’s a slap in the face to Arthur and Merlin and a big ‘fuck you’ to Guinevere, who ran off to be a damn nun.  How on EARTH did the nunnery permit Guinevere to join?  Oh well, Morgan’s awesome.

And that’s the end of my villain’s list for now.  Some people who did not make this list because they may have proved redundant: Mystique from “X-Men”, Joker and Harley from “Batman”, Scar from “The Lion King”, Commodus from “Gladiator” and real-life Ancient Rome, and…there’s plenty more than I cannot think of at the moment.  Oh well, this is the end of my post…I will leave you with my favorite Vice Detective, as usual.  I’m a little sad that Calderone did not make the list, but he’s not as intrepid as the others.

PS: Be prepared for an update on the classic myth of Odysseus.  Or maybe I’ll go all rogue and update Penthesilea or something cool.

"Is this even fucking on?  Hello?!"

“Is this thing even fucking on? Hello?!  GOD DAMN IT ELVIS!  Quit with the pranks!”

Sons of a Witch: Medea’s Bad Motherhood

In honor of Mother’s day I will be posting about the “baddest motha of them all” and her name is Medea.  No, not Tyler Perry’s hilarious character of Madea, but the Medea from way, way, way back.  Like Ancient Greece.  In keeping with my promises to report on Ancient Greek mythology and updating the interpretation, I have decided to focus on the witch and murderess Medea.  Dark, I know, but necessary.

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Scariest mother of them all. If anything goes missing in her house…you’ll go missing.

Why has the story of Medea maintained it’s prevalence throughout the eras?  Was it due to Euripides’ socially conscious play about oppressed and overlooked people in society?  Was it due to her obsessive love of that arrogant douche Jason, brought about by divine magic, that led her to destruction of her family and exile from her homeland?  Was it her brilliant escape on a chariot drawn by dragons?  Nay, it was because she did what horrifies every good mother out there: feeling she had nothing else left to give, nowhere to turn, and wanted to exact revenge on her two-timing beau Jason, Medea murdered her own innocent children to Jason.  And, you ask, could this get even more horrific?  Yes.  Medea literally went for Jason’s balls by killing his sons; his heirs; his progeny surely destined for greatness.  Sons were everything and women were just incubators to house sons.  By killing her sons to Jason, Medea effectively and terrifyingly robbed Jason of almost everything even if they were about to be considered “illegitimate” or “second best” after his marriage to the daughter of Creon.  If Medea’s children were not first in line then they would be no better than dead to her after the exile.

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Why didn’t she just poison Jason, you ask? Because that was too simple. Medea wanted Jason to pay so she went for his heirs. She had bigger balls than Thelma and Louise combined.

What led to Medea’s decision?  Medea was desperate for a way out of her situation and for revenge against Jason.  Medea did EVERYTHING for that sack of shit, who just threw her to the wolves like yesterday’s rotten cow.  Medea betrayed her father, murdered her brother by cutting him up into pieces and throwing him into the water for Daddy to come across and be delayed in his pursuit of Jay-Med (I like that celebcouple name), and continually sacrificed her own needs in order to satisfy Jason.  Medea bore him children and Jason habitually promised to marry her until someone younger and with more to offer than Medea currently did.  Medea had the classical FFS (90s kids know what I’m talking about) with Jason and if she had girlfriends they would have said “lady, leave his ass or you’re going to get screwed”, but she may not have even listened.  So when Creon came up and was all like “listen, you psycho-bitch, I want you and your devil spawn out” old Medea worked up her charms for one more day.  Medea approached Jason for help, but Jason was all like “seriously, it’s not that bad, Meddy, get over it and stop complaining.  Listen, I’ll even help you pack.”  After a few well-timed and witty retorts to her less than appreciative man, Medea was enraged and hatched her plan.

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Chorus: What’s up girl?
Medea: He stood me up again!
Chorus: AGAIN! Well, what’s up with this guy? Do you really like him that much?
Medea: Yes, honey, I love him! He is fine! He does a lot of nice things for me!
Chorus: He used to do nice things for you…but what has he done for you lately?
*click the picture for a fun link it’s like the google button that could lead you anywhere!*

The worst part is documented in the play by Euripides, when the boys are taken off stage and murdered…but the audience hear these little boys’ screams for mercy…and in pain.  Demented, eh?  Makes you want to think twice about talking back to your mom next time, eh?  Compared to Medea, your mom’s not half bad you little unappreciative tween-queens.   Yeah, I was a tween-queen, too, so I understand how annoying Mom can be at that age, but whatevs.

What gets everyone about Medea is her vindictive and heartless nature when all she could have done was called for the dragon drawn chariots and taken her boys out with her alive…not loaded their dead bodies on the back of the chariot and flown away.  Jason was crippled with grief and funny enough he had the most non-heroic death of all of the heroes…and Medea predicted it…almost CURSED him with it.  Jason got his in the end by being crushed to death by the mast of a boat, now how is that for irony?  Bastard deserved it after all the shit he put Medea through…but then again Medea deserved a lot worse.

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She’ll be ridin’ two boss dragons when she comes…she’ll be ridin’ two boss dragons when she comes…

Medea is every mother’s deepest, darkest fear: to be so alone and so desperate that you choose to snuff the life out of your children in order to prove a point.  And then fly off with dragons, which is kind of the best exit ever.

Well that is my tribute to the baddest motha ever.  And there’s a lot more to the story and you can find more out about Medea on sites like Encyclopedia Mythica (a fast, generalizing, and great source for any of your classical mythology needs) or read a damn book like everyone else does you lazy shits.  Don’t believe everything the internet tells you, because a meme about Albert Einstein shaking the hand of an alien at Roswell told me so.

Well, faithful readers, thank you for reading.  If you are crazy about deranged mothers look up people like Morgan Le Fay or Hera or Kali or Joan Crawford.  As usual I will leave you with my favorite vice cop from the 80s, Sonny Crockett.  Stay classy.

~ Namaste

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“Even Calderone isn’t that cold to his own kids…my wayfarers will hide the man tears.” ~ Sonny Crockett