The singular suggestion of serial behavior conjures images of "monsters" in human form. Movie magic is the clever sleight of hand that thrills our senses. Inventiveness of writers, directors and technicians compete to titillate our imagination. Talented artistic people develop creative works of fiction for the vast entertainment industry. Through the imaginative lens of techno-wizardry, films manifest a dream world of dramatic fictional invention. Great tales are told, representing large impact. We enter the movie theater or turn on the television with the intent of getting some vicarious experience. Along with that, we're expecting what we see and hear somehow approaches the truth. The same thing applies when we boot up the computer. Regardless of the medium, a vast world of electronic communication unfolds.
We're confronted by a sensory array of myth, magic and mystery. Our thinking accepts meshing between myth and material reality. An eerie kind of darkness pervades our feelings, permeates the genre we consume. Screens of computers and televisions skim the beneficial leads of human diversity and deviance. Supernatural illusions draw upon the sensory array of personal consumption. Darkness descends, the shadows move and the thoughts fall into a dreamland. In the crimson curtain real of the modern theater, demonic personalities are given life, meaning and purpose. But, it's only real insofar as the movie reel is concerned. Yet, for many of us, we see, believe and fail to perceive the minority trickery at work. The fictional magic of murder, mayhem and mystery becomes thrilling, enchanting and breathtaking. Evil captivates the thinking processes as reality slips away, replaced with another kind of realism.
Human nature is difficult to define. Real-life crime is often difficult to solve. But, movies figure everything out in less than two hours. At the same time, civil experts replace real police heroes, solving complex crimes by theory in lieu of effective detective work. Evidence becomes unnecessary since the latest fad of profiling has all the answers to the who done it. The unexplained, the hidden and darkly dangerous conjure an artifice of illusion suggesting all puzzles have solutions. Facts fold within the fusing fabric of fiction. Stories of fictitious creation seem, appear and feel as if true. Yarns, legends and fairy-tales provoke us to feel instead of thinking critically. The brain's mirror, the mind, goes numb. Apparitions of ilological conclusions find contemporary credence. Instead of human beings who kill people out of their own selfish desires, they are transformed by press agents into "serial killers", "monsters" among us.
We're seduced by the fakery that sells symbolism over substance, myth and magic instead of factual evidence. Diversion distracts our emotions into the make believe world of amusement. The "gothic mode" of thought and action stimulate fears, taboos and any of a serial nature. The melodrama of such fascinations leak over into the real world of everyday life. Unfortunately, when this happens we replace serious analysis with fantasy, false conclusion and erroneous beliefs. In time, public policy becomes affected. As a result, misnomers of one nature or another enter political arena. In law enforcement we've become "mind hunters", "hunt monsters" or "get inside the criminal mind".
Can we seriously distinguish the difference between fact and fiction as an American public? That requires rethinking our thinking. Conventional "wisdom", on the other hand, seems to suggest we should not be confused by facts. Some would say it's doubtful we can separate the truth from deception. Too many experts offer claimed talents, providing a maze of explanations. In the mean time, police work sufferers the interference of impressions left by movie magic. The indignity of misguided political correctness, due to the latest fad of fiction, forces itself on real-life police investigations. People without any practical experience or knowledge in law enforcement, are quick to get involved. They offer nebulous opinions, spurious interpretations and specious excuse for criminal behavior. Politicians quote from movies instead of the lessons of history. At the same time, good story tellers do what they're supposed to do. Entertain us, not educate us. Give us leisure time outlets, not teach us about law enforcement processes. The news media, motion picture productions and TV have all contributed to the glamorization of criminal behavior. Given time, and sufficient reporting, the villain can become the victim. Our criminal nature becomes type cast as a virus in an emotional production that spreads through the populace like the common cold.
Certain film genres fabricate the erroneous articulation of criminal behavior. Thriller narratives strive to capitalize on our gullible notions of good and evil. They can paint a gothic portrait of human nature without the defining colors of factual evidence. In depth forensic analyzes are not needed. Dark images of vampire-like characters lurk across the silver screen. The compositions of real-life criminals can be immortalized in the titling of one lurid tale after another. At the same time, we often do not heed the warnings of caution. The one that tells us the story was inspired by true life events, but is really false. Or, the statement that plainly says the tale is a work of fiction. Literary license challenges our belief systems. So, we think what we watch is reality. That's what creative story telling is all about.
Unfortunately, some of us live by the concept that seeing is believing. Questioning what we experience by the senses, or analyzing with critical insight, often escapes the notice of cerebral processes. Urban legends spread the mythology of untruths. Overall, the public enjoys a good scary movie. The success of horror films goes without question. Many people find fascination in the viewing of violence, debauchery and murder. Our mental mayhem is tantalized by the tingling sensation of "blood and guts" depictions. Very easily, we make the leap from fact to fiction upon leaving the theater, or turning off the television set. From soap operas and sitcoms, to weekly dramatic series, we relish in the chronicle of escapism. Common sense, logic and reason seem turn off when the tube is turned on. Through various media, we experience a multitude of untruths. We forget movies are about marketing, ratings and making money. As such, movie magic transforms fictional depictions of aberrant criminal behavior into a fantasy of realism. Many of us make easy assumptions about the nature of human criminality. Such notions transform and cross over into our daily lives. This is especially true when it comes to serial killers and mass murderers. Our media culture, from the internet to television, entertains us with bizarre tales of the human imagination.
The obsession with the dark side of human nature seems to know no boundaries of sensational depiction. In collusion with our mass media, we press the edge of fascination with a passion for sensual flirtations. Peeked sensitivity, in our seductive peeking, we look through hidden windows into the ghostly regions of gloomy delusions. On the surface, we oppress, regress and hide the nature of our inherent proclivities. As a hypocritical culture, it's always the other guy who's abnormal, bad or evil. Today's murder transforms into the darkness of the vampiric personification of evil. Yet, crime and deviancy rest at the heart and soul of the shortcomings of human nature. Criminality does not hide in some nebulous realm on the periphery of the external world. Nor is criminal behavior the product of social, economic or parental disadvantage. It lives and breathes inside each us. Some control their behavior, while some choose not to. At the same time, we allow ourselves to be seduced by thinking all the bad stuff in somewhere in the pixels of the television set. From the shadows of the black capes, pale skin and darkened facial makeup, we warn to cringe at our own preoccupation with horror. Life and death issues are instructed to the simplistic by celluloid composites of clever fictional imaginations.
Fearful enticements of the darkly dangerous, devious and sinful lure our sensory array into the fantasies of our thoughts. We'll never know exactly, to every possible possible, all the thoughts inside a person's mental preoccupations. People will only say what we want to hear and what they want to tell us. To look inside the "criminal mind" is to see an illusion of the true darkness lurking there. Most of us would rather believe in fairy tales than know what's behind the smoke and mirrors of legend and allegory. Victims and villains, along with superheroes, capture the imagination. Murders have wide audience appeal due to the classic literary portrays of movie magic. The various "tales of suspense" seem to toy with our sense of vulnerability in the world we often do not understand.
The solution to criminality, policing and public policy, can be found in knowing the facts. Not getting confused by myth, magic and metaphor. Instead, thinking in logical, rational and reasonable ways to distinguish between illusion and certainty. Pursuing the truth by following the scientific evidence gains the momentum of finding the answers. Forensic applications pertain to adherence to provable results. Separate truth from fiction, myth from reality and applying critical analysis, define the search for viable explanations. Veracity clings to the necessity of authenticity, as opposed to fad and fashion. When public officials approach the podium, they must assert the courage of their convictions. Rather than lace sounds bytes with mixed messages of colorful imagery, figures of speech and metaphorical misguidance. The criminal justice community has to shun political correctness of public acquiescence to quick fix solutions, the rush to judgment and immediate gratification. The surreal gothic depiction of criminality must remain in the entertainment world of movie magic.