Vice and virtue, eh? I guess it depends on who you ask. Not exactly two sides of a coin but the currency sure does fluctuate. So, last year I was on the down and down. This one? I’m on the up and out. I can’t say as I see much change in myself. Same crooked life, fewer crooked teeth. Nicer suits, better booze. But me? No, I haven’t changed. So yeah, I’d say it’s subjective.
Thirteen months ago, half of what I did would’ve got me run in. Now, we’re in the year of the tiger and all my goddamned luck changes. Now I’m not a thumb breaker, I’m a facilitator. I’m a social lubricator. Blood or liquor, all the same. Both get spilled, all the same. Bottles swing better empty.
Next year, who knows? Maybe I go back to being the bogey man. Maybe I move back up the hill, back into west town, back with all the other predators where I don’t look special, back into the small pond with the small sharp fish. Back where sharks stay stunted to guppies. But I got a year. I got time to grow. I get big enough I won’t fit back in my hole. I get too big, though, and I don’t get thrown back. I get gormandized.
So today’s a day where people don’t like heroes. They don’t even like antiheroes. They like guys like me who do bad things to worse people and don’t feel the least bit bashful about it. I do the same thing I did on the school yard, stealing lunch money from thieves, kicking the shit out of bullies, and suddenly it’s all good. Suddenly I’ve got reasons.
I’ve always had reasons. I’ve always had a story. I haven’t changed one bit. Yesterday, I was mister vice guy, today, I’m mister virtue. Just because you’re ok with it doesn’t make what I do any different, who you think I am now doesn’t make me any less who I was.
Today’s Fortune Cookie Friday has to do with changing interpretations. What makes a bad guy the good guy? Any given action movie sees the protagonist murdering dozens of opponents. Is he still a hero? How do we judge those who do good things for bad reasons, do we judge them by their intentions or by their deeds? How does one define morality and is it something that shifts with the fashions of society or does it remain a universal constant? What do you think?
If you’d like to play along, write a short story, scene, or blurb focusing on today’s cookie’s announcement, that “what’s vice today may be virtue tomorrow.” Tear the idea apart. Support it vehemently. The comment space is yours to use as you see fit.