Nietzsche said that one of the greatest tragedies of the modern era (and even before) was that slave morality usurped traditional Roman values. Roman values promoted strength, justice, beauty, hierarchy, nobility, responsibility for your own fate and honor. The slave morality is the inversion of these values.
Slave morality values weakness, turning the other cheek, flattery, mercy, egalitarianism, helplessness and feeling superior because one is actually inferior. The Beatitudes (“Blessed are the weak, etc”) are a prime example of slave morality infecting our culture.
One the most frustrating aspects of media today (particularly television shows and movies) is the prevalence of slave morality. How many times has the good guy had the villain cornered, only to let him go free so he could “Live With what he had Done!” (during which time the entire audience is thinking SHOOT HIM!)? Many of times, it is unnatural forces that lead to the demise of the villain, which sends the message that one must not seek revenge, for the supernatural will do it for us. That’s not the case in real life.
Battlestar Galactica is a prime example. When a dying Gaius Baltar (man in the picture) confesses to Laura Roslin, president of the colonies (woman in the picture) that he was the one responsible for giving access to the cylons, causing the near extinction of the human race in a nuclear holocaust, she decides to save his life instead of letting him die.
Not to mention the humans made an alliance with the cylons, the same people that destroyed their home-world, their second world, and made it a point to chase and torture them throughout the galaxy.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation it is decided that although they could send back a Borg with an infection to wipe out all Borg, they would not. This was a species that terrorized the galaxy, including one Loqui-err- Jean Luke, Captain of the Enterprise, and threatened the existence of mankind on numerous occasions (including one really shitty movie).
In Game of Thrones (yes, i’m a fucking Sci-Fi/Fantasy Geek) Ned discovers that the Queen has cuckolded the King (his best friend) three times and produced no rightful heir. He tells her he knows, and shows her mercy by not killing her, despite the fact that she tried to kill HIS SON (succeeding in crippling him) and killed his brother in law Jon Arryn.
Spoiler alert: The idiot with the honor dies. So does the King.
So after countless frustrating hours spent shaking my fist at the television, it was nice to find a movie that not only showed Roman values, but did not seek to paint them in a bad light. The movie is called Taken, and if you have not seen it, you should.
Taken is the story of a father (retired CIA) who goes looking for his daughter once she is kidnapped in Paris for sex slavery. For once, the bad guys are not retired Nazis or KKK members (they are Albanian immmigrants and Arabs). The story is predictable, he saves his daughter, maintaining her honor (virginity) and becoming a hero to her. The most surprising part is how Hollywood allowed him to go about doing so.
Disclaimer: It’s a mass of spoilers from here on out. I would suggest watching the movie first. It really is an exciting movie unlike any other I have seen!
1) No mercy to enemies
The guy on the phone? He finds him.
He tortures him. He gets the information he needs.
The guy begs for his life. Liam Neeson kills him anyway.
2) Revenge is good. Punishing others for their evil actions is good.
Liam Neeson (sorry, I don’t remember the guy’s name) does not just kill the man who stole his daughter. He murders every single person involved in the sexual slavery enterprise, including, but not limited to, connected higher ups, businessmen, waiters, men that beg for mercy, cronies, and goons. He does this because they are immoral and weak, and lesser men than him. It is his duty to kill them.
3) No warnings, no chances to repent.
In one of the best scenes in the movie, Liam Neeson confronts his friend in Paris. The friend was a higher up diplomat who was looking the other way in order to get a kickback from this sex slavery business. The friend was supposed to be helping Liam get his daughter back, but only put obstacles in his way. Liam goes to his house.
He then shoots his wife.
He does not say, “I am going to shoot your wife if you don’t tell me the information.”
He just shoots her.
Liam Neeson gets the information he needs.
If you want to be taken seriously, act in a serious manner.
4) Do not negotiate with your enemy
In one of the last scenes the man who is to deflower Liam’s daughter has her by a knife. He utters the words, “We can nego-..”
Sorry Mohammad. You’re dead.
5) Your fate is yours. Do not trust in the supernatural to bring you justice.
Liam Neeson does not expect God or nature to extract justice, he gets it himself. He is the master of his own fate and the protector of his family.
One of the most poignant aspects of this movie, is how popular it is among teenage girls. While perusing my sister’s Tumblr feed, i noticed as many Taken gifs and memes as I did for Twilight and Hunger Games. Many girls are looking for a father that is an ubermensch, but unfortunately, society has beaten all the uber out of our mensch.