- Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:13 am
I wonder if Waterstones watched the last series of "Black Mirror".
One episode - "White Bear" - told the story of a confused (and amnesiac) woman subjected to a day from hell, being constantly stalked, attacked and threatened by seemingly implacable and unfathomable enemies while other people just stood by and watched her plight, or filmed it. The reveal was that she was in fact a Maxine Carr/Myra Hindley type character, who was subjected to this torture every day, as punishment for her involvement in a particularly horrible child murder. She would feel just as helpless and terrified as her victim, for the rest of her life. The people tormenting her were actors/guards, the people filming her members of the public who paid for the privilege. At the end of each day, her past was revealed to her, and then her memory wiped so the process would begin again the next day. The final shot indicated that this had been going on for a very long time.
After it came out, IMDB was full of people saying 'yeah, we should do that' - missing the point that the murderer actually didn't stand a chance at rehabilitation. OK, you might say, in some cases there should be no chance of release, some crimes are that awful. But even so, the memory wiping meant that essentially the murderer didn't know who she was or what she had done save for five minutes at the end of each day, and then it was reset time. The process was shown to be emotionally draining for the guards/actors, and the only people getting any benefit from it were the mob, who got the chance to play out the role of the woman in the original murder (looking on and filming the carnage), all in a safe and controlled environment.
The point being, the urge for vengeance, while understandable, is not healthy. It accomplishes nothing. Taken to its obvious conclusion, what if the friends/family of the pariah take revenge on the lynch mob? Do we go back to vendetta and weregild?
"There ain't nothing you fear more than a bad headline, is there? You'd rather live in shit than let the world see you work a shovel."