Bad Boys – Part Two – Predators – In fiction we romance them. In real life they fill us with horror. They’re in every story arc in every genre – interesting.
The dictionary on my Mac says a predator can be animal, human or business. The animal predators get the natural credits, the human predators get the ruthless exploitation badge, and the businesses, well, it’s just seem as the normal carry on for them.
The dictionary also tells me that the word predator comes from the Latin “praedator” which means, “plunderer.”
Gotta love that word – plunderer.
In Bad Boys Part 1, we spoke of Vampires straddling both worlds, the physical, and the immortal. They represent our desire to be immortal but also still part of this physical world. They also represent a freer, darker, deeper part of our own subconscious power. [you can check out Part 1 here].
I would put forth, in the same way that we all rank somewhere on the psychopath scale, and some uber-successful people rank very highly indeed, that the heroes and anti-heroes of our story-worlds would pretty much all score well on a super-predator scale.
The theme of predator and prey runs through almost every story arc out there. And why wouldn’t it? It is a theme rooted deep in our ancient, subconscious selves.
It’s said that as a species, since ancient times, we’ve told ghost stories at night, and gossiped about each other during the day. Many of our myths carry subconscious messages about who it is dangerous to mate with and who it is not. We protect ourselves and the survival and immortality of our species – the passing on of our genes – by sharing our knowledge of all that threatens us.
The passing on of our genes is a physical path to a perceived type of immortality. As a species we reproduce, we create, to ensure our genes live on. At a basic, primitive, level, we perceive that a part of us which is immortal is the genes.
Territory, Gene Replication, Food. It’s biology, baby! Animals will kill their own kind and offspring not theirs, to get all three happening in their favor.
Territory, Gene Replication, Food, Violence, Torture, Abuse, Murder, Rape, Control, Intimidation, Bullying. Hey, we are the reigning super-predators! And we’ve added a few more delicacies to the menu.
Because we are you know, the reigning super-predators. Well, at least we are so long as we have our technology, engineering, guns, trucks, medicine, houses and ammo. Humans without modern building, weaponry and modern drugs would still very much be lunch meat to those naturally endowed to be able to take us out. Predators come in all shapes and sizes, from a microbe to a lion.[mailmunch-form id=”245903″]
But at present we are the kings of the predator jungle, if you discount the forces of nature, which are happy to give us a good red hot run for our money every now and then.
And it is the capacity of our brains and minds that has allowed us to create what we need to create to be the best predators out there. But our brains and minds have also created predators who like the more dubious delicacies on the menu. These are the predators we fear. Those we seek to protect ourselves from.
No wonder the theme of predator and prey runs through just about everything. Key to our survival is our need to be able to spot them and defeat them.
Is this why the ones who get away with the most, seem to fascinate us so?
From romantic comedies to action thrillers, we have bad guys stalking prey, good guys stalking bad guys, and bad guys stalking good guys.
In our action adventure, our sci-fi, our fantasy, our thrillers, we need the good guys to be better predators than the bad guys. We need the good guys to use their stealth, cunning and strength to make the kill(s) on the side of the righteous.
As we become more kick-ass in all that we create, in our stories we create ever more kick-ass predators to give us a run for our money. We create predators immune to our bullets and our microbes. We create predators who are like human, animal, supernatural hybrids.
They are us, and the animals that would naturally out-predator us, endowed with supernatural abilities and strengths.
There is still something out there. There is always something out there, that can get to us.
I can’t imagine a story without a predator of some sort in it. Can you?
And is that biology? Is it simply the shared ancient muscle memories and chemical reactions and predalictions that run through us all?
Or is it something more than that?
As we evolve, it is not all about breeding and gene replication, and it is not all about food and territory. We begin to explore the full spectrum of who we actually are, what we can create, what we can give, what does and can make us immortal.
And on the other side of that, we have the predators amongst us who have motivations and hungers and needs unknown to us.
Or are they? Are they not searching for power and immortality too?
If the predator can be the threat to us which results in our death, then the psychopath can also see our death as the path to immortality of their own.
The essence of the victim connects the victim to them. They become more than themselves. What they kill becomes part of them. Essence, power. The sustenance they seek is mental, energetic, emotional.
Our clever minds come back to haunt us. These guys are our ghost stories.
Psychopaths are up next, in Part 3. Coming soon.