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The Other Amongst Us: The Romanticization of Criminality

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by

Danbi Lee

on 4 May 2010

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Transcript of The Other Amongst Us: The Romanticization of Criminality

The Other Amongst Us:
The Romanticization of Criminality Criminals in America:
Another "Other" US THEM Though the underworld lives and operates right under our noses, most of us know very little about it. America's Love-Hate Relationship with Criminals VS Lives in Sherwood Forest, outside of society
Different lifestyle and dress: wears "clothes of Lincoln green" to "blend in with [his] surroundings," and lives in caves while hunting wild game in forest
Operates under separate code of conduct
Doesn't follow laws of government and church
A commited thief who regularly practices extortion and engages in violence with strangers A Hero? Serves as a Romantic figure
Robin and the Merry Men are honorable and brave, "cho[osing] to live as free men, even though outside the law, rather than as slaves under their Norman oppressors."
Altruistic motives
Helps the poor, ensures justice, defeats the evil forces, gets the girl (though by elopement) An Appeal to All Ages The Crew Danny Ocean
Rusty Linus Saul Frank Basher Confidence schemes and
fraudulent scams Fixer Pickpocket Flimflammer Corrupt blackjack dealer Illegal demolitions expert Prison: Today's "Sherwood Forest" Separate from lawful society
A place the general public has little experience with
A place the general public does not want to know much about

Thus, the protagonist's Otherness is established in the opening scene. Caper in Sin City The Enemy:
Terry Benedict Good by the books, but
Cold
Ruthless
Representative of the House Deliberate (lack of) portrayal of victims
Muted (almost nonexistent) violence Adding to the Idealization... The Corleone Family Mobsters, but... Incredibly strong family values and support system
Their own strict moral code and sense of justice
Business separate from personal Murder
Extortion
Adultery
Violence
Gambling racket Gracious granting of requests
Loyalty
Moral principles (ex: Anti-drug trade)
Generous assistance for friends
Utter love for family BUT... ... and, of course, the wealth and power. Conclusion More than simply a popular and lucrative national indulgence, our romanticization of criminality is reflective of our tendency to wonder about, and recreate, the everyday Other that lives so close to us, yet is (we like to think) so far from us.
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