The Power of Death
The young child dies, from a hit and (Richard) run. The music is poignant. The actors are poignant. The scene is set
So, we watch Twin Peaks. We love it. Many of us have a conscience, we care for characters; we love them. New or old, we care.
People DIE every day. Especially where wars are concerned (money, oil, arms, corruption, interchangeable), so, when innocent people die and/or suffer everyday, why do we spend our life tokens (energy/comfortable posting) on THIS?
It's not necessarily the power of death, but the power of writing and directing to make us care about fictional characters. It's amazing when you consider the amount of emotion Lynch is able to elicit from the application of certain techniques. That's what I love about Twin Peaks: The Return among other things. Simple things that occur everyday all across the world are turned, through Lynch and Frost's creative direction, into massive events that shake us to our core.
That's just for me, at least.
“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.” - Dale Cooper
I suspect it's psychologically safer to grieve and worry over fictional characters than it is to face the horror that these sorts of things really happen to people. Entertainment is generally a form of escape. This form of entertainment doesn't quite let us escape reality completely, but rather it confronts us with reality while creating for us the distance we need to avoid going mad.
I had a friend work at one of the refugee camps in Syria several years ago. It was a nightmare. Not only the poverty and living conditions of the refugees, but the utter helplessness of people who care and truly want to help. Helplessness can quickly give way to despair in the real world. With television, we tend to place faith in the "good guys" to NOT be helpless and to find a way to win. We can face the horrors of the universe with confidence that either our heroes will win or, at worst, we can turn off the television and move on because no matter how good our suspension of disbelief is while watching, all shows end and we're back to our lives.
I suspect it's a built in coping mechanism at work. Too much empathy can be bad for you, and by extension, those around you. Consider the doctor's "Clinical Detachment", or that of any other medical professional, for that matter.
I know my limitations and I could never work in a job which involved sick or injured children or animals. I have serious doubts that I'd be able to cope with sick or injured adults, for that matter. It's not that I'm squeamish, either. The suffering would be too much for me.
In day to day life, if I was to think of all the horrible things that happen I don't think I'd be able to function. I'm not wilfully blind or stupid; I know these things happen and try to do my bit by doing the right thing, being honest, treating people with respect, caring for my children and, whenever possible, doing "good works", support good causes and the rest.
Sadly, I'm not Superman and, even if I was, I'd still not be able to put everything right.
It's a bugger, and no mistake.
Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum