With all of the quality programming available I have very few boob-tube addictions. I refuse to watch new shows because it usually takes only one episode to get me hooked. I don’t need the loss of another hour in my week. I have far too few of them as it is. Nevertheless, there are a small number of shows that I watch regularly. One of these indulgences is “Dexter”.
“Dexter” had me captivated from the opening scene of the first episode. Very briefly, it is about a Miami Metro forensic blood analyst named Dexter, who moonlights as a vigilante serial killer. Severe childhood trauma replaced all of his emotion with a compelling need to kill. Dexter refers to this compulsion as his dark passenger.
Part of my interest in this show is this idea of a dark passenger. I often reflect upon my childhood behaviors and those of children with whom I have had regular contact and ask myself it is possible that ALL people are born with a dark passenger and not just a random few? Could it be that everyone starts their life with some degree of malice? Are humans naturally cruel creatures who only with the help of socialization are able abandon this dark passenger?
I think that I have grown to become a good person full of love, compassion, understanding and (for the most part) patience. However, if I look back at my childhood I can pick out scattered moments of malice.
For example, as children, my brother and I had little sympathy for the grasshoppers that we impaled on the long spikes of the cactuses in my grandmother’s garden. Likewise, we didn’t see the cruelty in our actions as we tied long stalks of grass to the legs of these insects and mercilessly threw them into the chicken coop where they were hunted and eventually eaten by the two legged residents locked inside. The sport in this was to see how many times we could pull the grasshopper from the gullet of the fowl before it died. Yuck.
As a teenager, a friend and I started a bite club where we would simply bite initiates. I look back and wonder what could have inspired us to create such a ridiculous club. Then again, why would anyone want to be part of it? Nevertheless, regardless of the foolishness of those being bitten, I was still causing pain and suffering for no apparent reason. To me this is nothing short of malice.
Moving back to the present, I have noticed how children interacting in the classroom, or playground often hurt each other for no other reason than they can. Whether it is with words, hands or other instruments children seem inclined to cause suffering in others without any perceptible provocation. Why?
It is doubtful that any of these children will grow up to be such monsters as Pol Pot , Hitler or Hussein; nevertheless, I wonder what they have the potential to become if they aren’t taught the values needed to achieve a sense and understanding of humanity.
Raise a Little Hell, by Trooper, reminds me of a couple of instances in my youth of which I am less than proud to have been involved. I raised a little too much hell and caused damages that were unwarranted and inexcusable. For this I am truly sorry.
Right now, the hour is late and I am nowhere close to finding an answer to my question. But then again maybe it isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. Maybe, the question of whether or not we are born with a dark passenger becomes obsolete as long as we don’t allow our youth to be scarred by its sinister touch. All we can do as parents, teachers and people is to learn from our mistakes and use them as tools to teach our youth what it means to be human.
Raise a Little Hell youtube link