Good Guys and Bad Guys

Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly aware of the American obsession with “good” and “bad”. It seems to be accepted by all strata that there is such a thing as a good person and a bad person.

There are apparently good cops as well as bad cops. Good protesters as well as bad protesters. Good clerics and bad clerics. There are probably good bank-robbers and bad bank-robbers too. If only there was a simple hand-held test that would show if someone was good or bad – life would be so much easier.

On one occasion, while entering the States during a short period working for a pen-testing company, the immigration officer asked what I did for a living. On learning I was a “cyber-security professional” he said “ah, keeping the bad guys at bay?”

It was absolutely bewildering to me. He really thought it was about bad guys: evil people trying to hurt the good people, purely because bad guys want bad things to happen. No middle ground there.

Then I noticed how many times I hear people on the news – the fucking news – invoke the notion of  “bad guys”.  Because they’re the problem really aren’t they? Why don’t we just put all the bad guys in prison? Wouldn’t that solve all of society’s problems if we simply outlawed bad-guyism?  If we did that, then all that would be left are the good guys. And they’re good!

It’s like living in a really crap cowboy film.


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