21st January 2022

I can appear to be very contrary in my opinions, particularly in the way I shown disdain for theatricality in an individual’s behavior, but absolutely adore the most camp of characterization in fiction. The difference between reality and make believe should in my opinion be obvious to all, and a mixing of the two in day-to-day life simply creates a confusing narrative, destroying the separation that should logically exist between the two.

Exaggeration is the stock in trade of dramatis personae, the more extreme the personality the better. Villains should reek of evil, be conniving, violent, threatening, even when being amusing. Heroic players should shine brilliantly, be models of paragon, examples of perfection. The difference between the two should be underscored at every opportunity, for their tales, their physicality and psychology, are designed as teaching aids to illustrate good and bad conduct to the public.

In reality these two extremes of the human psyche tend not to be normal, self-perpetuating. The majority of individuals falling towards the middle of the scale. Certainly an occasional demon or saint might appear, but such singular personalities are rare enough to be individually memorable, celebrated.

I have a particular fondness for cartoons and anime, both drawn and fully animated.  I favor the more westernized examples, finding the Japanese forms too idealized and pastel, lacking the grittiness and starkness I find appealing. Both styles present their characters with clear and concise moral and ethical values, comparative to the travelling morality plays of the European Middle Ages, or the Kabuki tradition in Japan. Easily associable story lines, defining appropriate messages and extolling permissible or aberrant activities and attitudes. My taste is for the unexpurgated versions, although age-appropriate forms do necessarily exist.

I view theatricality in real life as bad animation, a rather dowdy copy of the colorful entertainment that while amusing me also educates me to humanities more extreme shades, better left as moving pictures on a screen or a drawing upon a page.

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