Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled politics

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 18 Jul 2003

"This is no joke: I was mentally going over a list of fixers and damn if I could understand why they do what they do. Don't tell me it was nobility of character: that's a rare quality and I don't see why fixers would have more than the general population."

Mario, that's a damn good question. And it's easy to spin it off into another -- why do we identify with these characters, these losers (I'm assuming most of us do, at least to some extent)? And I'd say that over the decades, they are become even more the losers, and often recognize themselves as such. Tanner, to use your example, is pretty damn self-aware about his outsider status and the great price he pays for it in loneliness. And he tossed away a legal career on the inside to pursue this role.

I don't really know why we find this so appealing. Perhaps we see ourselves as losers (even if we are not so far outside or have more trappings of success) and wish we were as noble as these characters. Or maybe we wish we had the balls (as presented in the genre, could just as easily be seen as a failure of character in the real world -- was Flitcraft a hero for pursuing a new life or a coward for deserting his old one?) to walk away from all of our responsibilities and walk the lonely path. That lonely path can seem appealing (in a self-pitying kind of way) during those moments when everyone in your real life seems to represent nothing but obligation and/or betrayal.


# Plain ASCII text only, please.  Anything else won't show up.
# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Jul 2003 EDT