Is Love the answer? by Kurt Brindley
There’s a rather talkative pigheaded brute of a character in my latest release, a dark, violent thriller called THE GOOD KILL, whose name is Rick, Happy, Henderson.
Happy is an unscrupulous thug of a security guard for an unscrupulous thug of a billionaire mogul and he is quite the talker. He especially loves to philosophize and pontificate to… at?… his work partner Sean, Big Mac, McKnight as if he’s now a subject matter expert about whatever the latest topic is that he’s studying during night school.
He’s not an expert of course and he always manages to maneuver whatever it is he’s rambling on about toward a general diatribe of how the weak, with their Rule of Law and “societal norms,” have managed to upend the universal natural order of might makes right, which, in the end, as he sees it, limits his ability to pick up chicks.
While an obvious jerk, Happy was a fun character to write, especially in this day and age where being politically incorrect can lead one, especially one who looks like yours truly – an old pasty white dude – into ruin. And, for the most part, rightly so.
However, while hiding behind the shield of creativity and poetic license, I could, with limited fear of retribution, allow this obnoxious dude called Happy to be and to grow naturally into his debased self and, as he was doing so, I often found myself marveling at some of the things I found him saying.
While acknowledging that much of what he says and does in the novel is wrong, unhealthy, and dangerous, and while sidestepping the issue and the incriminating implications therein that these awful things he says and does originate in my head, I think he may have hit upon a pretty interesting point about love in one of his most pedantic scenes.
For instance, it is his firm belief that love, not money is the root of all evil.
While Happy’s no fan of the concept of money, a concept that, as he sees it, in application has become an arbitrary system that appoints arbitrary value upon arbitrary objects, objects such as pieces of paper and digital bytes, he blames not money itself for being the root of all our societal and personal evils and ills, but love.
For, to him, it is our love of this arbitrary system/object of value called money that causes the problem. And love, in this instance, is of course often referred to as greed.
Greed, love. Love, greed… a thorn by any other name is still a thorn, right? (I think that’s how the saying goes).
Greed, as Happy sees it, is nothing more than a point on the long and woeful gradation of love.
So is lust.
So is jealousy.
So is envy.
So are all forms of desire.
So, then, even is hate.
Perhaps Happy would feel that the Stoics and the Zen Buddhists had/have it right with their similar concepts of no attachment.
Anyway, what does he know, right, the flawed, pigheaded brute that he is?
Speaking of flawed characters…
Is it even okay for an old pasty white dude like yours truly to create such flawed and politically incorrect characters in times such as these?
Times where classics are being rewritten so as not to offend?
Times where those of my ilk in particular are getting slammed for even attempting to develop female characters as they/we/I see fit?
I mean, is not Art, regardless the medium or message, a sacred place where any effort of censorship should be condemned, and where often ideas and concepts, regardless whether they be conveyed in a real or abstract sense, should challenge and sometimes even temperamentally hurt us, and where one should always, always, enter at one’s own risk?
Anyway, what do I know, right, the flawed, pigheaded brute that I am…
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Kurt is a retired Navy Senior Chief Cryptologist and former Defense Contractor who proudly supported the U.S. Intelligence Community mission for nearly thirty years. He traveled much of the world in support of the IC, met many interesting characters, and bore witness to many spectacular events, much of which he will never be able to discuss publicly. Nevertheless, he will always hold fond memories of those times and, aye, despite the classification restrictions, he still has many a story to tell…
Kurt occasionally haunts the following internet locales and he would really dig it if you were to give him a visit and say hey:
NOTE – I couldn’t get the text to line up properly with my profile picture in the email. The profile paragraph should begin in line with the top right of the photo. You should be able to correct easily this in the WordPress editor.
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