Jan 11, 2010

In a fairy tale the villain is ugly

Did you ever notice that? The wicked witch is all boils and green and old. The big bad king is fat and sweaty and notably gluttonous.
The devil may be in disguise, but the disguise isn't very good.

This strikes me as a simplistic tool used for alleghorical purposes that really serves to fail it's purpose.
Not only because it contradicts that lovely old addage about beauty being only skip deep, but because it teaches us that the bad guys are easy to see, simple to note, and not really all that dangerous.

In the real world I have not found this to be the case. Infact, I'd argue, from a social evolutionary standpoint, it's almost impossible. Because how would those who are dishonest, creepy, selfish or predatory thrive if they were repugnant from the onset. How would they be so convinvincing if they were so offputting.
The devil might wear red but I bet he'd cover up that whiff of sulfur with a good cologne, because few people are attracted to shitty experiences just for the hell of it.
In the real world the devil would be brad pitt or audrey hepburn or a very cute puppy dog. In the real world he wouldn't have to work very hard to charm you. Because otherwise he'd fail.

I think we like to fall back on the theory, horribly enough, that most other people are stupid. People are dumb. Other people. People we don't know. That is why they fall for these terrible tricks and get to love these horrible people. Because they were dumb enough to take an apple from some chick next to a cauldron after she had asked you to take a load off on that casket.

We stick by the idea that you can tell when a person is bad by the way they look and smell, and likewise we seem to enjoy the notion that if someone is attracted to a person that is bad it's because they are deaf dumb and blind. Just horribly flawed in the judgement department.

But this just can't be right.

It strikes me that the vast majority of people can tell a bad liar and DON'T want to buy a timeshare from a guy wearing a suit made out of one hundred dollar bills. It strikes me that people don't jump head in to trusting people they don't know well if they aren't carrying heaps of charm.
It strikes me that people aren't so much stupid as HUMAN. And they want things. And they are prey to charm. Because it is charming.

And so it strikes me that charm is a dangerous thing. Not in and of itself but because of the danger it presents. And so I am wary of people who yield far too much of it. Who come on too exciting or too beautiful or too harmless or too..immediately and irresistably wonderful.

Not because they might not be actually all those things. But because only time will tell. And in the meanwhile it is this very beauty, this very charisma that makes the waiting game seem so very unsexy. It is the wanting that makes the waiting, frankly, suck.

And this notion, that a bad idea always looks and feels like a bad idea. Well that is just insulting. Poeple make decisions based on the facts they have to work with. And quite oftne they make stupid decisions because they can't undestand the facts or are not quite clear on the context. But just as often, well, I suspect they make bad decisions because the facts are misrepresented. Because they look different than they are.

Because that charming little devil is wearing your favorite boots and showed up with your favorite icecream and is helping you put on your coat, like a gentleman would when you were cold and hungry and just wanted to go for a romp. And because his smile is just so sweet that it tells you there is no reason you shouldn't trust him. Because he looks like the prince. And we all know that means his kiss will wake you from a nightmarish sleep, not lull you into a false sense of comfort, a misguided sense of wellbeing.

1 comment:

Mischief Maker said...

Oh my, yes. Thank you.