It occurred to me a few months ago while reading some religious material that there is a lack of evil in the world. Now, I know what you are thinking, evil is everywhere.
Think of all the horrible, evil things we know about and then, like a chalk board eraser, wipe away anything you saw in the media or work of fiction.
Now, how much evil is there in your world, really?
If you were the villain of a book, how many twisted, disturbed way of death could you inflict on your enemies? Probably far worse than what has been, in fact most human cruelty has been relatively crude, brutish and ugly.
I don’t mean to dismiss all the personal, terrible tragedies we all suffer, I am asking you to think of the bigger picture. The closest humanity has ever come to a truly evil organization were the Nazis and although we were slow responding, we did eventually kill them all and destroy every institution they were involved with. Had the Nazis won, the planet would have been horrible and hellish for some, but it would not have been a wasteland. As bad as the wars of history have been, the human race in every case would go on. Most of these wars were fought over ideology, not survival. Mankind fights itself for direction, not extermination.
I was looking for some artwork while researching for the Legion and I came to the conclusion that there really are no evil museums, or evil art anywhere. Sure we have gothic paintings and scary movies but there is no Sistine Chapel of Evil. There is no Mordor, no Forbidden Zone, no towers full of witches and evil flying monkeys.
Even the people we’ve branded as “evil” have some sense of modern decency. Adolph Hitler liked well cut suits, Saddam Hussein had a gorgeous palace built for himself. Even the most twisted of men have their own form of beauty, that which they find pleasant.
Superheroes have always represented our cultural dreams of being the hero and savior, but horror stories and monster movies serve as our flirtation with evil. Something inside the human mind or soul is something that seeks compassion and kindness and ultimately rejects the horrible and vile.
I am not a religious person but if I were to make an argument for the existence of a higher being, this would be the basis of my argument. No world that seeks out love, no people that so thoroughly reject evil and cruelty, could possibly be alone in this universe, could they?
Or perhaps, no matter what we might tell ourselves, we know we truly ARE alone and that no matter how bad and broken we become, we ultimately just want to reach out for something that will respond to us.
As bad as real life is, it could be worse. . .