Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Post of Not-So-Sweet Revenge

There are only so many books in my reading history whose contents have been gruesome enough to inhibit my sleeping patterns. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was one of them. Yet you probably have read this book before. You probably remember the novel's heroine, a ferocious Ms. Lisbeth Salander. You probably recall the novel's hero, "crusading" journalist Mikael Blomkvist, with whom my admiration lies for being so health-conscious at middle age-great job! But the phenomena that there is an excellent chance you remembered most was what horrible happenings our two heroes endured during both the time leading up to and their actual time on Hedeby, a Swedish island where the formerly prominent industrialist Henrik Vanger's niece, Harriet, disappeared over forty years ago. And the mystery is set....
     Now let me inquire something of you-if, per say, I was once again a child in the third grade. One of my little friends and I both possess a great, strawberry ice cream, one with actual slivers of strawberry all enveloped in a waffle cone. Sound appetizing? To me it does. That is why I am immensely melancholy when my appetite has consumed every last bit of that pleasurable ice cream. But then the fact comes to my eyes that ignorant amigo is still contently ingesting his ball of desert, licking every pink creek that runs down the side of his waffle cone. So what action do I perform in order to fulfill my brazen desire for that strawberry-hued gold? I suddenly extend an arm out, elbow my indolent friend aside, and catch the ice cream cone as he falls onto the concrete with a desperate scream.
    Can you guess what happens now?
    What is expected: the amigo looks up at my fine enjoyment of his ice cream cone and begins to utterly hate me for it. He then oh-so-classically shoves the ice cream into my now gaunt face. What's that called, kids? REVENGE: a human primal instinct that is ignited when we think that someone has given us an unfair dealing in this lifelong game of poker. It mostly occurs when a person feels threatened in some way because of a wrong done unto them, giving that person the need to commit a giving of equal or worse severity against whoever or whatever committed the original wrong. This is done so that the person will never feel so threatened again. Let's take a gander at how Mr. Larsson deals with the REVENGE issue in his first novel...
Rooney Mara as a perfect Lisbeth Salander
in the the Northern European version of
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  
     Lisbeth Salander is raped by her legal guardian, Advokat Bjurman (it's so fun to spell Swedish names!), in his office. After this crime is committed, the Advokat explains to her that he will only give Lisbeth money from her own bank account (a traditional responsibility for guardians in Sweden) if she agrees to have sex with him every week that cash is needed for her expenses. More rape will occur upon her refusal. Lisbeth now feels threatened that she will have to experience such an atrocity from the Advokat once more, and it is because of this feeling that she decides to protect herself in her own fashion. How, you may ask? Well, Lisbeth refuses sex the following week only to receive a sadistic rape that includes getting an anal plug forced into her while helplessly chained to a bed. What Bjurman doesn't know on this occasion is Salander's secret taping of the the entire crime on a security camera. The next week, we see Lizbeth tasering Advokat Bjurman so that chaining him to his own bed will be easier. Lisbeth then draws the revenge mission to a stunning conclusion by tattooing the expletive phrase "I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT, AND A RAPIST" over the front of his torso. And if he ever mentions this supreme act of revenge and/or tries to exercise any nature of control over her in the future, she says, then the video she so cunningly forged will find its way to most every newspaper in Sweden. Readers of Larsson's novel will later come to infer that Lisbeth had been a rape victim before the Bjurman incident, and it is all of her former experiences with sexual violence that inspire her to almost kill yet another sadist who desires to rape Blomkvist before ultimately killing the journalist. Since she is close to Blomkvist, Salander feels personally threatened when this criminal so ardently intends to hurt him...
     So you want to live a life without any acts of revenge committed against you? All you must do, my good friend, is never commit an act that makes someone feel threatened. Don't be the average politician.


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