Going Too Far

We’ve all done it at one point or the other.  Some make a living at simply doing that.  Just push past the limits of all sanity, decency, or reason.  It’s how shows like Jackass ever got anywhere or even how boy bands came about.  Sure the correlation may not seem obvious, but it’s there. Oh yes.  So going farther than is absolutely necessary.  Do you do it?

Sometimes it is a necessary evil in writing stories but that can be what makes them fun or a challenge.  Going to that uncomfortable place makes you do things that you don’t(openly) enjoy.  Things that marinate and only appear at that long dark tea time in your soul.

Sometimes you come across other’s attempts at doing so while reading, watching tv, or even on radio.  What is the line that once crossed you fell you must bow out?  Not calling you a wuss or nancy or anything like that.  Unless your name is Nancy at any rate.  But everybody has that line that may be toed to make the uncomfortable-ness felt, as though you are fisting a 5 gallon bag of mayonnaise.

Mine have changed with age and life experience, as I think everybody’s does.  I remember being a teen, and I’m not sure if that line even existed then.  I can’t remember feeling uncomfortable in that essence.  There were other times obviously, but not in worrying that something had gone too far.  I would have to say that the thing that gets to me more than anything else now since I have a child, is anything involving their death, mutilation, rape, etc.  Or sometimes even just the one of the parent’s being killed and the child forced to cope with that.  Sometimes I do understand that it was completely necessary to the story, but other times it is just done for effect.  When people go that route for simple shock factor I have much more of an issue with it.

Past that…. Well.  I suppose I still don’t have much that really bothers me.  Nothing homo-erotic, torture-esque scenes, vulgar language, rape, slander, segregation, discrimination, racism, sexism, you know the usual.  None of that would keep me from reading a book.  A lot of that(as screwed up as this is going to sound) seems to be part of many people to one degree or another.  However, I can not see it to be natural to want to harm a child.  Well anything past a spanking or something along those lines to teach discipline.

So what are your lines that you don’t want crossed when enjoying whatever media you happen to be perusing?  If you were creating your own story, could you ever see yourself having to cross your own boundaries?  I wonder this simply because normally those boundaries have some kind of root in them, that either you are actually morbidly curious about them or they do just creep the poo out of you.

  1. I have several stories that it is pivotal to show the fall and rise of a character through horrible acts of violence and degradation. I have a few that are on children, and let me tell you they are not easy to write. They are there to show the breaking point for a father and the heroic point for a brother. It is a hard thing to accept sometimes, but lines occasionally need to be crossed so we remember they are there and why we don’t mess with them.

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