Sunday, July 27, 2014

Did You Have A Good Purge?

I just saw The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to last year’s original movie about a United State in the near future sanctioning a 12-hour period where you can kill, beat, rob, rape, torture, and destroy people and their property—without police interference or punishment. Whatever happens in purge, stays in purge.

Why would a society allow for such insanity?
It releases anger and unleashes aggression. So is it for the good of society that one partakes in its destruction?

We learn the annual purge creates otherwise low unemployment and safer streets the rest of the year. But what of the psychological toll? What of the lasting effects for survivors, victims, and offenders?

We see that many people like the chance to get revenge on others. Some do it for sport or money. Others kill to oppose the government. And now the government uses the day to kill those it finds a drain—ethnic minorities, the poor, the elderly. It seems many have incentives to kill. Who knew how much we hated one another?

Who would you purge?
·         Your boss or a colleague?
·         A spouse who wronged you?
·         An annoying neighbor?
·         Someone who previously injured you?

This movie series can go on for a long time. There’s no end to the plots and depictions of killings and mayhem. Maybe watching this movie is our purge. For two hours we can play along, in our minds, of how we’d act in a situation involving life and death.

The book publishing world purges daily. Publishers, authors, and retailers all do battle in the marketplace. So do book promoters and marketers. But for us, death is not permanent. We shall live to write, publish, promote and sell another day.

Every March 21—in time for “spring cleaning”—people get a chance to kill at will, according to the film. The movie implies that this is a good idea, as if it’s your God-given right, to kill, regardless of who the person is.

Some see it as a race or class war. Some seek revenge for real wrongs or perceived slights. Some people settle family scores or act out aggressively over petty jealousy.

Would you kill? What would you do to barricade and protect yourself? Are you prepared to defend yourself? Would you go out of your way to help a stranger?

The idea behind the movie is perhaps greater than the movie itself but the film keeps you on edge because you feel there’s not much distance between the onscreen scenario and what boils beneath the angry skin of humans. Once the streets become a war zone, anything goes.

I’m surprised there haven’t been copycat actions in the real world. I would not be shocked to hear a group of disenfranchised teens or neo-Nazis or misinformed Tea Party Southerners formed to reenact elements of The Purge. 

This movie couldn’t exist if people didn’t feel, deep down, a desire for such a thing. That’s what movies do best—hold a mirror to our fears and fantasies—and hope it’s enough to control our urges.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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