Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fascinated With Murder

By Ben Small

C’mon, admit it: you – like me – are a murder junkie. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. C’mon, it’s not so hard to admit. Say after me: “I AM A MURDER JUNKIE.”

But let’s be clear: not just any murder. Spree killing doesn’t do much for me. Nor does routine domestic violence, or gang violence, or run-o-the-mill drug violence. For me, it’s gotta be intelligent murder, or unique murder, or clever murder, or tantalizing murder, or serial killer twisted murder, or murder for sport, or puzzle murder, or longtime festering grudge murder -- you know, stuff that titillates (Can I say that word?)

Okay, so whip me a wallop with a willow. I like that stuff.

Headshrinkers could and have written volumes on why so many of us are murder junkies. And what’s that solved? I still read ‘em; I still write ‘em, murder stories, that is. And so do you.

Pound sand, Doctor Freud.

But I cringe at CSI and House, won’t watch movie or television gore in general, and have no use for violent video games. I have a rule: If my flinch factor starts looking like a facial tic, I’m gone.

I think I understand why I enjoy murders. Freud may not “get” it, but I know what works for me. I like thrills and the abuse of power. I like the planning, the calculation of risk, the sick urges. There’s surprise, and yes, realization in the victim’s eyes. The murderer screws up, it’s over, he does not pass Go. Toast. The killer knows this, but he murders anyway. Oh goodie, goodie! Yeah, baby!

And look what comes next: The hunt. Righteousness. Everybody wants to be righteous, right? [Head nod required] More good stuff.

So bring it on. Shock me, titillate (Am I in more trouble?) me, make me say, “Oh!” And then let me chase you and bring you down. Let me get my justice and rub your face in it. Face it, folks, this is adult play time, a form of Hide And Seek.

Do I want people hurt? Not real people. No, of course not. This is fantasy world I’m talking about. I can make it as dark as I want and nobody gets hurt.

Just entertained.

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