Villainy: Things Fall Apart

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

Gospel of Matthew

Where does Sauron go on holiday?

What do orcs do when all the conquering’s done?

Does the Wicked Witch have an ensuite or an outhouse?

Who looks after Thanos when he gets the flu?

Does Zarkon read poetry?

Who eats lunch with Emperor Palpatine?

Do any of them have family reunions?

In what (strange) sense do they desire not only to be loved, but to be lovely?

My point is… what’s the point of this kind of villainy? The lack of believable answers to these sorts of questions is a way of telling the difference between pantomime villains and real ones… and perhaps between our worst and better selves.

…Thus the Commandant at Belsen
Camp going home for
the day with fumes of
human roast clinging
rebelliously to his hairy
nostrils will stop
at the wayside sweet-shop
and pick up a chocolate
for his tender offspring
waiting at home for Daddy’s
return…

from Chinua Achebe‘s Vultures

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