Dexter and what he does.

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by SimpleLogic, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Quite a problem, really. It is not his place to determine who deserves to die.
     
  2. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^You're right, except that's taking the scripts seriously. The writers have determined who deserves to die. Dexter is just a plot puppet to deliver their pandering to revenge fantsties. Dexter isn't a skewed perspective on our world, trying to reveal the old in a superficial guise of the new. It's navel gazing, day dreaming, masturbation. Criticizing Dexter's approach to social justce is like criticizing the decor in a wet dream.
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In Soilient Green, the houses of minor officials and higher, came with sanctioned prostitutes called "furniture" which was about as dehumanizing as calling the sex opponents in your dreams STJ "decor".
     
  4. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    As determined by... who?

    You're missing the point. You happen to agree that the legal system is justified in carrying out the premeditated murder of those it deems otherwise irredeemable. Mistakes are made. Innocents are murdered. Accidents happen.

    That's exactly what Dexter does. The only real difference is that he follows a code of conduct designed for him by his father, whereas the American legal system follows a code of conduct designed by the founding fathers, and the legal systems of other countries were designed by theirs... several of which are far more barbaric and corrupt than what Dexter does. All of them, however, are completely arbitrary systems that just happened to be agreed upon by those who also agreed to follow those laws.

    You don't agree with Dexter's code? That's fine. Lots of people don't agree with [country of choice]'s legal system, including many [citizens of your country of choice]. It's no different, other than you happen to disagree with it.

    Dexter hunts the worse of the worst and removes them from society. Plain and simple.
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^Also misses the point. The script hunts down killers. There is either accept the premises or don't. But there is no criticize against any standards, because the show doesn't use any, not since third season at the very latest.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    1. I don't accept the right of the state to execute criminals. I oppose the death penalty and strongly favor is abolition.

    2. Dexter does not give his victims a trial by their peers during which they are entitled to a legal defense. Those people have a right to a trial and a legal defense, and he is violating their rights by murdering them.

    3. The legal system is fundamentally different from an act of vigilante murder, because the legal system functions as a result of a democratic mandate. Until the United States ratifies in a democratic referendum a new Constitution granting to Dexter the exclusive right to investigate, judge, and executive the accused, what Dexter does is fundamentally illegitimate. It's just another act of murder, and Dexter deserves to be arrested and tried for his crimes.
     
  7. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Law enforcement and the courts, who are the only entities with the right to do so.

    Dexter's code has no right to exist, because he is not the government. Only the government has the right to institute laws and systems of punishment for breaking them. Only the legal system's code matters. That's the end of it, really.
     
  8. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    Dexter is a legal system, just like the courts, judges, police, etc is one. There are rules, there are consequences. One may argue that Dexter is wrong, but until he's stopped, it will constitute a legal system. There are many legal systems which I do not like, but they are there none the less. And nothing stops two system from working parallell to each other, for example a criminal gang may have their own set of rules and punishments, while at the same being subject to the law of the state.
     
  9. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Says who?

    (In case you haven't caught on, I can keep doing this all day. Again: It's a completely arbitrary system, just one you happen to agree with and, for whatever reason, refuse to acknowledge as anything but. [Hint: The United States of America isn't the center of the universe.])
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Says civilization.
     
  11. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dexter never pretends that he's acting from a moral impulse or what he's doing is particularly righteous. He's a creepy serial killer and self-confessed monster who gets off on killing people and his framework for only killing people who 'deserve it' is one taught to him by his stepfather.

    That's a careful balance. On the one hand Dexter murders people the audience is rarely invited to feel sympathy for, but on the other hand he never tries to insist to us that his motives have a moral impulse. He's a vigilante without the sanctimoniousness of say, most superheroes.

    But most of us accept under certain conditions the wholesale slaughter of entirely innocent adults and children. The so-called 'collateral damage' in warfare. Our attitudes to violence revolve around lines of acceptable and unacceptable uses of bloodshed.

    Dexter is behaving in a manner most would consider unacceptable, but doing it in a way that contrasts his behaviour versus 'worse' examples of his chosen profession.

    In that respect he's like a lot of cable TV protagonists - explicitly engaged in unsanctioned behaviour (polygamy in Big Love, the mafia in Sopranos, crystal meth in Breaking Bad), but still looking morally better than 'the competition', who usually engage in something similar but are nastier about it.
     
  12. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    Dexter would be an indefensible character in the real world, but thankfully it's all fiction.

    I could NOT get behind a "person" like Dexter if such a person actually existed. I oppose capital punishment for any reason, because people are imperfect and can make mistakes and innocent people die.

    I see no harm in indulging in the escapist fantasy of a TV show, however. In his world, the character makes perfect sense.

    Not sure what my point here was except that trying to apply real world logic to the Dexter character seems kind of absurd. He's about as realistic a character as Batman or Superman. May as well ask if The Hulk would be liable for property damage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  13. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Whose civilization?

    Before you say "mine," don't forget, again, that the United States is not the center of the universe and that there are plenty of fucked up governments and legal systems around the world.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Every civilization. Every human society that has ever existed has recognized that no man can be a law unto himself. There is no country on this Earth where vigilante murder, undertaken without specific regulation from the state, is acceptable.

    And when the setting of Dexter changes to the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of Seychelles, that would be relevant. But Dexter is set in Florida, so United States law is all that matters when judging Dexter's murders.

    ETA:

    Excellent question!
     
  15. wissaboo

    wissaboo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have this theory that Dexter was raised to be a serial killer by his father and wouldn't have been one on his own. He obviously has some social issues but I think if his father hadn't assumed he would be a murderer from the day he brought him home he wouldn't be one.
     
  16. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Yeah but how many truly civilized countries have the death penalty? Answer = none.

    In the very first episode of the very first season Dexter describes himself as a monster. That is the parameter upon which his story is set. To argue any kind of morality or immorality in what he does misses the point entirely. Dexter is amoral.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I dunno. I can't speak to Big Love, but Tony in The Sopranos never struck me as particularly sympathetic. And the entire point of Walter in Breaking Bad is to show how a decent man becomes corrupted into something evil.
     
  18. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tony Soprano always straddled a line between sympathetic and un-sympathetic. On the sympathetic end the Sopranos had gangsters who were just plain nastier than Tony, to levels which Tony found uncomfortable - Ralphie Cifaretto is one of the most memorably obvious examples here.

    And with Big Love, the principal polygamist family are nice affluent suburbanites who are contrasted with the isolationist polygamist compound they have old ties to which has child marriages and various nasty practices while being led by a Warren Jeffs-esque Prophet, all of which they disapprove of.

    Just so. To be honest I started watching Dexter because the previews made it look dryly hilarious, I was somewhat disappointed when I realised he was a serial killer who only killed other serial killers - but that decidedly detached tone of his was one of the best things about the early years of the show (over time, Dexter's monologues have gradually evolved from the dryly witty and observant to the painfully banal or condescendingly factual.)
     
  19. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Bzzt, wrong. There's even a word for it: "Dictator." Maybe you've heard of it. "Monarch" comes in a very close second, as do several other titles/types of governments. Never mind the really early societies where nicknames like "living god" come into the picture.

    Thanks for playing, though.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    And every dictator in reality relies upon the support of other powerful elites in his society to cling to power.

    No man, not even a dictator, is a law unto himself.