My husband of over 40 years, the gentlest person I know, has never raised a hand to anyone or even raised his voice. He just does not have that sort of mindset. If there are opposites that complement each other it’s we two. He loves football, I hate football, but I knit him scarves to wear to the events. J is calm while I am fiery of temper. Knowing it does me good, J lets me rant and rave until I’ve worked things through my system then we work our problem out or at the very least agree on a compromise. J knows all our neighbours and is interested in their problems and opinions; I’m not good at that, I can only make friends with people that I can relate to.
J is not perfect, nowhere near it, but this isn’t the forum in which to expose his flaws (nor mine if I’m going to be fair). It’s J’s viewing preferences that I feel compelled to write about.
Why is such a man interested in disaster movies and crime shows? It is a mystery to both family and friends. J watches underwater disasters (The Poseidon Adventure), on top of the water soon to be underwater disasters (Titanic), above ground disasters (The Towering Inferno) and far event horizon disasters (Twister). I think that The Poseidon Adventure is the first film or one of the first that kills off characters that the audience has begun to relate to and like, but what all those movies have in common and I think what J likes about them is how the handful of survivors overcome overwhelming odds.
And J has recently discovered bloopers. Did you know that when Jack and Rose race down the hallways trying to outrun the rising water, Rose is wearing white sneakers? J does and I get to hear all about it and other such interesting film facts.
J enjoys watching true crime shows. Sometimes it is gangster biographies, that show how greed inevitably dehumanises and leads to violence. J shakes his head, he has faith in humanity and human nature and thinks it’s some sort of genetic flaw these people have, or a hard life, or bad upbringing. I think people have choices.
From there it seems only a hop, skip and a jump to watching true crime who done its and how the awful deed was done shows. J’s interest lies in the forensic journey that leads to the arrest. Those shows are scripted, I point out. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s not really real life which is very messy and rarely has a positive outcome. Will I admit that even if the ending isn’t a happy one for the victim in these shows, justice is seen to be done? Well, yes, I respond, but outside of the world of true crime stories how many such real life situations are there where justice prevails, especially in a chaotic world such as ours is right now?
Those are the sorts of questions that I ask J, myself and others these days. And the answers differ depending on who I ask and how optimistic people are. Mostly I’m told that the world has been in and has overcome the dark ages before and will do so again. There are days when I allow myself to be convinced. That’s before I pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio.
I’d like to end this rant on a positive note and mention that J remains unperturbed by my cynical outlook on life and is as optimistic as ever about having faith in individuals and finding the good in them.