Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Jacques Coulardeau at Academia.edu (43)
Sweeney Todd For Ever
THE BARBER WITH INSPIRED RAZORS
He is the sword of God, the fire of hell and the
punishment of all your sins and crimes, you, the middle men of the financial
moral and hypocritical dictatorship of some kind of aristocracy. That film
would have been loved by the hardliners of the communist revolution who would
not have seen the poetry but who would have only excogitated in a rush and
considered in no time at all the social and political justice in this
revolutionary barber who cleans up society in its own blood and feeds the flesh
of his own crime to the gullibility and greedy hunger of the masses.
If you are not convinced about the poetry, the justice and the revolutionary
meaning of this Sweeney Todd, just listen to his hymn, gospel and blues to his
These are my friends.
See how they glisten.
See this one shine,
How he smiles in the light.
My friend, my faithful friend.
Speak to me friend,
Whisper, I’ll listen.
I know, I know –
You’ve been locked out of sight
All these years –
Like me, my friend.
Well, I’ve come home
To find you waiting.
And we’re together,
And we’ll do wonders,
Here we are dealing with a famous myth of serial killing
in the name of vengeance, hence perfectly sane and calculated, though it gets
out of hand after a while. What interests me in such a case is how the
fascination for such crimes and criminals developed in the 19th century, rather
at the end pf it. Edgar Allan Poe was still considered as horror, maybe
suspense, more than serial killing or crime literature. My question is then to
know if this interest in crime is to be connected with a certain development of
society or with a certain evolution of human psyche. This means that recent
terrorist attacks could be seen in two different ways: either the resurgence of
mass violence which was common several centuries ago in feudal or ancient
civilizations that were not quite civilized in our modern meaning; or it is the
result of the present level of development of western society that incites
people who disagree in a way or another with some values or customs (and some
of these can be negative and bad, like alcoholism, drug addiction or sexual
promiscuity) of these various western cultures to become serial killers, to
become multiple killers, to become mass murderers. I have not yet chosen which.
And they might be other solutions you may suggest.