In certain cultures (or with some patterns of using language), there is basically a holy trinity of three roles. The key role is the savior.
What makes the savior a savior? The savior saves the victim from the villain. (Those are the three primary roles: savior, villain, and victim.)
What is the most common role for people in general to act out? Of course almost no one goes around saying that they are a villain, right?
Further, most people also know that they are not really a savior (and they are spoon-fed suggestions of exactly whom to identify as the archetypical savior, such as a historical personage or a current political candidate or “the government” in general). Who will save us from the latest crisis? If the government is the “go-to answer” for someone, then they are relating to the government as a savior (or at least as a prospective savior, like they “should” fill the role of being our savior).
Here’s some shocking news: sometimes governments do save people from specific dangers (such as a forest fire). However, no single government deserves a monopoly on being savior. By many observers, governments are “cast” in a variety of roles, yes, including the role of savior, but not just that one. For instance, one government can also be labeled as the victim of another government which is labeled the villain or enemy.
So, what happens when a “savior” does not fulfill their role (according to some critic)? Labels for the government may shift toward the label of villain. When reconsidering which role a particular government is playing, people may ask did that government “turn” on “we the victims?” DId the entire government betray us… or was it just a small group of “mega-villain” politicians, such as infiltrators that quietly invaded our savior government from some other villain government?
Notice that the same archetypes of savior, victim, and villain show up in comic books, mythology, pro wrestling, political news, and many other stories or narratives. These are very basic archetypes and any idea that these archetypes should not be widely used is actually a remarkably ignorant idea. These archetypes work. They trigger powerful emotions.
Why would someone arrogantly say that these archetypes should not be prominent? Because they are presenting themselves as “the savior of everything” and the next crisis that they will pick to show how they can rescue the world is… yes, the frequent use of three very common archetypes in language!
Of course, some people will compete over who will be the great savior of the world. They will argue over which crisis is the most pressing. Or, they will argue about which crisis is most pressing not in order to present themselves as savior, but as victim. They will also have their latest savior chosen and perhaps even displayed on their bumper stickers or t-shirts.
The most popular role for the average person is not savior and definitely not villain. So, what is left? If I definitely do not want to be villain and I would rather that someone else besides me (such as “the government”) play the role of savior, then what is left?
The most popular role for people to play is victim. However, not only do many people play victim frequently, but with great sincerity.
And that is the source of a problem that is truly tragic, at least in the theatrical sense. How do all of these people who are all struggling to avoid being cast in the roles of villain or savior interact with the other people who are “playing the victim?”
Well, obviously it is a competition, right? People compete over which crisis or victimization is the worst. They argue over which villains are the most terrifying. They argue over which saviors are the most capable. They may argue intensely over which victim is the most deserving of salvation.
They do all tend to agree that the most victimized one of all is whoever is talking. However, they all keep talking at the same time. They shout “you should not have said that to me!”
In their hysterical panic of competing for the greatest victim of all, they may end up vilifying each other. “Look, you don’t even recognize that I am the mega-victim here!?!?! By not enthusiastically validating my declaration of extreme victimhood, you are victimizing me! To add to all of the other crimes against me, which were the worst ever and far more extreme than the victimization suffered by anyone ever (such as a public ritual of human sacrifice by crucifiction), there is the added atrocity of failing to enthusiastically scream agreement that I am by far the worst victim ever.”
Some movie critics watching may ask… “does that actor really know that their performance is one of the worst victims that I have ever seen? Their tantrums yes are sincere, but it’s just not realistic. Regular people do not whine like that, do they? I mean… I certainly do not!”
So, some people compete for worst victim in human history. Others compete for best victim in a mini-series. Others compete to have their picture printed in the yearbook next to the words “most likely to be victimized in the future.”
Why all the competition? Well, playing victim obviously is a great way to test other people for their response. Will they respond defensively with “hey, look, I did not victimize you?” Will they respond with passive agression and say “I only did what I did because you were victimizing me?”
Further, there is an obvious underlying issue. People do victimize each other on occasion. At least, people take actions that are later labeled as “what should not have happened.”
If two little kids are caught “playing doctor” with too much enthusiasm and adult content, isn’t it predictable that one of them might say “you should not punish me… because I was a victim here!”
Or, if there is an actual incident of bullying, what if the one bullied does not want to admit their fear? What if they want to pretend they were not victimized?
In that case, then an old case of victimzation can get suppressed. The young victim is so terrified that they do not ask for help.
Then, in later years, they respond to a variety of interactions as if they were being victimized. Why? They are playing the victim to access those old experiences and release the old tensions. The tensions were useful to block the display (physically) of the emotions associated with being victimized.
All of these people competing for “biggest victim” have been victimized… but maybe just not lately.
How many people have ever been attacked by scurvy? Scurvy is a label for a medical condition and labels in language do not attack anyone.
But how many people have been attacked by cancer? Cancer is also a medical label for specific effects and labels for effects do not attack anyone.
How many people have been attacked by poverty? Poverty is a label for an outcome. Labels do not attack anyone.
However, people may be programmed to speak about a variety of labels as if the labels are victimizing them. People say things like “my cancer is killing me.” Whose cancer?
As for me, my scurvy and my baldness are competing for who will kill me first. The baldness has removed a bit of hair from a few spots on my head so far, which apparently is not fatal. So, the scurvy is way ahead at this point.
Keep in mind that the only reason that I experience the effect labeled baldness is that I have been attacked by the label “baldness.” I went to a hairstylist once who apparently thought she was qualified to diagnose me and she said “your head has been attacked by baldness.”
I told her “that is ridiculous. Baldness did not attack my head. My head is fine. Baldness only attacked my hair, causing my hair to go bald.”
She replied, “well you have some very bald hair missing from your head in a few spots. You should probably see a diagnostic specialist to find out which kinds of baldness has attacked, such as a receding hairline or just baldness that is a side effect of head-shaving.”
Anyway, as I was saying, she gave me a haircut so bad that I attacked it with a trimmer. But the reason that I brought this up in the first place was because when I was very young, I was severely attacked by baldness. The emotional damage was extensive. As a newborn, I had even less hair than I do now.
I need to vent now because in my youth I had so little social power that I was repeatedly victimized, deceived, betrayed, and also quite naive. Why did I have to be so naive when I was young? It’s just not fair. It’s like I was victimized by naivete.
It sure is a good thing that now I am saved from naivete. I pay attention to my own words so now I am magically free of every possible kind of naivete. Just to be clear, if you do not agree with me on this issue with sufficent enthusiasm, I will label you as a negative person and withdraw from you as much as possible.
I mean, how could you betray me by paying more attention to how I use words than I do? It’s just not right, right?