Monday, 29 February 2016

Why I Dislike Real Life Disaster Tropes

I want to talk about one trope I find difficult to read/watch and that is using a real-life disaster in a book, particularly a recent one.

Partly it boils down to when the disaster was. If it's in my living memory I just can't watch it. Partly I can't help thinking of all those people who did die horribly. I feel guilty about enjoying a book when thousands of families were wiped out, or lost loved ones. It's entertainment out of real life tragedy.

However, disaster tropes have been the basis of an action movie for years. I like action movies and I watch a lot of them, but I won't watch anything based on 9/11, various tsunamis, IRA bombings, even Titanic movies. All I can think is real people died and this is exploiting their deaths for entertainment. How do their families feel about this? Having said all that I can read or watch if it's dealing with the aftermath, be it emotional or physical. I can cope as long as I'm not seeing the deaths played out on screen/page.

Now, I will admit my peeve isn't really rational and the books I've read are generally very good. If I can write about abuse and homelessness and death, all of which happens on a daily basis, then attaching a plot to a natural or man-made disaster isn't much different.

Do you agree or disagree. Have you got a trope you can't read/watch? I'd like to hear your thoughts.


4 comments:

  1. I know people love them but I really don't like the "Rent Boy" trope all I can think of is the dreadful things that could have happened to them to make them sell themselves and all the things that they have to do to earn their money.

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    1. Yeah, it's not one of my favourites at all. I refused to let my boy in The Sky is Dead slip into that trope.

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  2. "The Sky Is Dead" is one of my favourite books.

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    1. Thank you!! It's one of mine (of my own) too.

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