I've done my homework on existentialism, and I've grown up
with pop culture heroes like The A-Team and Michael Knight from Knight Rider who fight the bad guys. I've seen the public service announcements about being an individual. I've learned about responsibility. I've been in enough relationships to know that a girl will dump you when she thinks you're not profound. I can't be the only person who sees inconsistency in the various influences that I've had, though. So many of these ideas conflict.
The bad guys in shows like Knight Rider are the truly profound existentialists of our culture. They do not restrain themselves for societal reasons. Their existence is all that they can be sure of, and they are true to themselves by only concerning themselves with selfish ideas.
Does this not make them appear to have true passion about life? Does their deviation from standard conventions not make them more individualistic? Are these bad guys not exhibiting the behavior that philosophers and perhaps our culture at large respects and prefers?
And a lot of times the bad guys are the ugly ones in a show.
They aren't as caught up in being superficial and looking good as the perfect-looking heroes of pop culture. The TV show was Charlie's Angels, and featured beautiful women who kicked ass against bad guys. What if it were instead called Charlie's Chubby Little Helpers? Or Charlie's Squad of Lonely, Bitter Women? Why did the bad guys they fought always have scars added to their face if there was a risk that they looked too attractive? Aren't these bad guys who still accomplish great feats better?
I so desperately want to be a bad guy. I want to just shoot someone when they annoy me. I want to just steal the money I need to live, and roam around in complete freedom. I want to use dirty tactics to drive my competition out of business if necessary. I want to drive a cheesy battle wagon loaded with ugly guys with scars on their faces. I want to mount an M-60 machine gun on the back of my car and have a thug ride into town with me with scary theme music playing. I want a hide out in the middle of nowhere where I conduct my sinister business.
But I can't. My mind tells me that there are consequences for such actions. I know the wonderful feeling you get when other people recognize your concern for them. I understand the peace of mind that comes from being good and moral. I understand that you can be a non-evil individual and be just as profound as the bad guys. But the bad guys have things easy. It's hard to fight back the urge to spy on a person when you think they're lying to you and they avoid you. It's hard to just trust people and do the right thing. It's hard to accept the restraints of our society and our laws.
It's hard to do all of this while dealing with the philosophy inspired doubts about being true to myself. It's hard to accept the shackles of my existence, all the while feeling that my experience in this world is somehow impure as a result.
But I trudge on. This is why I dream.