A short bit on redemption arcs. January 6

It’s late. I’ve almost missed my deadline for the day. I just woke up on my couch — which is really a loveseat because the space that I had for a couch was small — with a crook in my neck. I’ve got ten minutes left to write and post this. Probably nine, so I’m trying to hurry.

I am a believer in redemption arcs. In a story, in a movie, in a TV show, a redemption arc is the path a character takes to redeem themselves from the horrible, plot defining behaviors they’ve carried on with throughout the story. Think Darth Vader. The bad guy’s bad guy in the 1980s. His arc — when it came time for it — became relatively short. The distance from evil to good was relatively short. It involved his realization that he had done terrible things, and work to reverse course — he killed the evil emperor, and helped the rebels, including his son — spoiler alert.

In real life, redemption arcs for big things are much more work. They involve prison time, or putting in the work to fix what you’ve done, reparative work to show that you’re not only not going to be damaging again, but that you’re here to help. Even so, I am a believer in redemption arcs. I can be somewhat of a goody-two-shoes (you called it, Adam Ant!), but I do.

Having said all that, I turn my eyes today to the events in Washington. To the despicable acts of terrorism that have been carried out in the name of, and at the request of Donald Trump and his allies, and I wonder. What is the redemption arc for these people? I can’t even begin to figure. Tonight, I don’t really want to.

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