We (the writers) are sure that everyone has been wronged at some point and time in their life. The little things, like your classmate not returning your pen, to things like theft or even, in rare cases, murder. Commonly in more serious situations, the victim would be valid in their sheer anger and grief and this kind of emotion can lead to the desire for revenge. Today, we will be discussing whether quenching this need, that is, committing a crime as an act of revenge is justified.

YAY

Revenge crimes got me thinking of The Penthouse. Murder, assault, deception, and a grisly end await both the victims and the perpetrators. Bloodshed may be how we imagine revenge crimes, but I believe it occurs covertly in our daily lives. Do you send a birthday greeting to someone who did not wish you on your happy birthday? Does screaming filthy obscenities at someone who has harmed you help you feel better? Do you punish someone in your own unique way before reconciling with them later? A crime is a crime, no matter how large or little, and if one of those questions triggered a memory, let’s find out if you felt guilty or justified.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a question of morality. The rules that govern the difference between what is right or wrong, or what is good or bad conduct. As such, desiring revenge is just a normal urge. With a thorough understanding of how human urges have led us to this point, why should we back down after all this time? The Rule of Hammurabi, the sixth monarch of Babylon’s code of law, was adopted around 1760 B.C., making it the oldest known system of laws in human history that was firmly anchored in the idea of an eye for an eye. The issue only arises when it becomes two eyes for an eye. Today’s legislation, among other things, protects victims’ rights by ensuring that the culprit pays for his crimes to the extent of the offence. The pursuit of revenge is legal.

“Because the hour is certain to come, so we should forgive graciously” – Ali from Euphoria. Technically, forgiveness only extends to those who are willing to seek it. You have been wronged, you have been hurt, and it is unjust. After experiencing the worst, vengeance is justice. Irrational leaps of logic may be avoided in part because there is controlled chaos. Iterating examples where the truth was revealed as a result of revenge crimes. The pursuit of revenge leads to the discovery of the truth.

Do I need help? Please, a healthy mind is one that is completely aware of our feelings rather than dismissing them by denying your subconscious inclination. Sweetie, sitting tight and assessing will only lead to the same conclusion. Don’t be fooled into thinking that revenge crimes in fiction never happen in real life. Here is evidence that it is unquestionably true and has transpired. All of these folks received what they wanted, and most importantly, they stayed within the boundaries of revenge and moved on. Although some were eventually punished, you could call it the state’s revenge. It’s all over the place, darling, like a loop.

By the way, isn’t it thrilling to witness what happens when the devils are punished in The Penthouse? With a slew of positive reviews, individuals secretly like the series and gruel in delight. Don’t be a dummy, come with mummy. Wink. 

– Jamie, the one who is a therapist to all but in truth requires the most therapy herself

NAY

If you’re an avid Sunway Echo Media fan (thank you, by the way), then you might remember a previous Yay or Nay, “Fiction has diluted what a relationship looks like” by Diya, Maki and Sumitra. Regardless of whether you agree with Sumitra or Diya regarding relationships in fiction, I think we can all agree that fiction has definitely gone the other route with revenge stories. Rarely in real life do you read in the local newspaper about extravagant plots, like what you may usually find in thrilling action like the film series Taken , starring Liam Neeson, or the mid-2000s cultural reset of the century, Mean Girls. I mean, chasing a pack of random kidnappers across the globe to get your daughter back is highly unrealistic for most folks. As for getting hit by a school bus, well, maybe that’s more common.

But back to the point, revenge plots in fiction are incredibly dramatized. You might now be wondering how this relates to the point of this article- trust me, I’ll get there.

Let’s talk about the 2014 American computer-animated superhero film, Big Hero 6.

If you’ve never seen it, you don’t really have to, the basic plot is that there’s a 14 year old robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada, he has an objectively hot brother, Tadashi, who invented a robot named Baymax, his brother dies in a fire (queue the “hot” puns), someone’s massively producing his robots, Hiro unites all of Tadashi’s friends, they do cool hero stuff and the day is saved. Also the movie takes place in the beautiful marriage of San Francisco and Tokyo… “San Fransokyo.”

The aspect I want to focus on though is the movie’s “twist” villain, Professor Robert Callaghan. He heads the robotics program at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, and is the teacher of that hot brother I mentioned earlier. However, deep inside, he had been plotting to take revenge against a wealthy CEO, Alistair Krei, who had “killed” his daughter, who was a test pilot during a teletransportation experiment that went horribly wrong. Or at least that’s what the movie tries to convince us. Truthfully, that Callaghan guy must have swapped bodies with a murderous supervillian at some point because that twist villain reveal made absolutely no sense to the plot.

This all culminates in the final action scene, of course, when the portal in the teletransportation experiment Professor Callaghan’s daughter died in gets reopened, and Baymax senses an alive person inside the portal. Surprise, she’s alive! Professor Callaghan’s daughter was still alive. She gets saved, Callaghan gets arrested for almost committing mass genocide against the CEO and everyone else in the vicinity, and his entire revenge plot was basically a waste of time, money and energy.

You never really know what truly happened, and that’s the argument I’m trying to make against revenge crimes. Is it really justifiable to enact revenge on someone who’s actually innocent? When something does not go according to plan, or when we are wronged, we often find a way to quickly place the blame onto the easiest target. “That person has caused my pain, that person has caused my sadness, and they deserve to pay”, we think.

Every time I see a YouTube comment talking about the twisted things they would do to some people, I’m more disgusted by their comments compared to the actions of the person the commenter is referring to. Even if we forget to consider that the facts given about said person may be biased, we may not be getting the full story, or that they’re being falsely accused, how can commenters, who obviously consider themselves moral, even give these horrible actions a thought? Feeling the need to take revenge on bad people goes way too far off the deep end. This is something even the protagonist of Big Hero 6 experiences, when Hiro tries to reprogram Baymax to kill Professor Callaghan.

The problem with jumping to conclusions is that we don’t take the time to process our emotions and investigate the situation properly. This is probably harsh, but being sad and mopey, or an angry baby about how you were wronged by the world and yearning for the people who’ve wronged you to burn in a fire is overrated. You are entitled to your own emotions, but I think we’re also entitled to judging you for it when you turn violent and hysterical. Therapy, girl.

What I’m trying to say is- being fueled by revenge is oftentimes the easiest way to become a monster. Adding yourself to a growing statistic of emerging criminals is not a healthy way to deal with your grief and should never be romanticized and justified in any way.

Revenge crimes are not cute. If you’re tempted by the sweet taste of revenge, stop it, get some help.

– Haikal, living a material girl fantasy, wondering if he’s being mean, but also not caring in the process!

That’s it for revenge crimes, described like Parenting 101. One parent supports you, while the other questions your audacity. So? Which explanation piques your interest? If you’re having second thoughts, rest assured that we’ve done our part. At the end of the day, it is up to you to determine what morality means to you and whether you will adhere to it or succumb to fundamental human desires. In any case, remember that sticking to your beliefs shapes you into the person you are today. Kudos!

By Jamie and Haikal Daniel

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