The modern anti-hero like the antichrist is a mythical figure that gets a tremendous amount of attention in the popular media in fact one could easily make the argument that it is the supporting girder in the framework of American storytelling. You can go back to tales like that of Washington Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” for examples with schoolmaster Ichabod Crane overturned in his quest for marriage by cruel fate in the form of a headless horseman. Herman Melville’s fate struck loners and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s socially outcasted characters qualify and certainly the many of the damnable characters of the ilk of Edgar Allen Poe. We Americans knew from the start that we were outside the normal definition of the rest of the civilized world sporting different notions of individualism and identity. And the authors that attempted to allure audiences with their yarns gave us tales that challenged our own self-determination to prevail as part of a spiritual test the success of which spoke to a common vitality of the human spirit.
The current landscape of ‘modern’ characters for the modern market of same seem different as they challenge our sense of community with tales that seem to amplify despair. Fate seems to forever takes on a disparaging tone reminiscent of Old Testament parables, where the John McClane’s are always tested by virtue of the qualities of their endurance to survive a non-stop gauntlet that offers little in the way of reward beyond some cursory fragments of dubious moral value of being assigned the rolls of being one of the ‘good guys’. The resultant mayhem that seems an undetachable fixture to these usual extravaganzas of broken hearts and car chases only serves to denigrate the premise of spiritual growth offering only a demonic form of empty altruism that in turn presents simple survival as the only reasonable goal of that quest. The proposition of nobility to be found in these twisted Arthurian grail quests is quickly snuffed out by the kill ratio of these contemporary gun toting Percival’s whose only issue is to fight their way through the action from point a to point b.
One would feel fate the consumption of such material that the world in general is a very grim and unforgiving place indeed fraught with unforeseen pitfalls and failures that one must endure without benefit of heaven in the surety of an waking endless hell. These ‘hollow shell’ franchises’ only purpose is to provide a rationale to disarm us both physically and divinely. Wherein the past two thousand years man was offered the hope of eternal salvation, we have come to expect only a cold rock lined universe that is surrounded by emptiness and dust. The attacking demon’s within this realm resembling us in their cold empty Darwinian mentality of a ceaseless game of ‘survival of the fittest’. In the scientific sense of analysis one might conjecture that their oeuvre is the closest transcendental form of addictive substance too freely offered by those Satanic pushers of Hollywood’s current dark agenda. Surely we can find better altars to worship at where the hero always gets the girl and then lives happily ever after?