Lucky for me, most of the folks that read Wolves end up loving it. But of course, there are always those that don’t. And one of the most common negative reactions that I get from someone who has read Wolves, is that they found it too violent, and the characters too cruel.
Some have gone so far as to say that they don’t believe human beings would stoop so low as depicted in the book. That even after a decade or so of lawlessness, there wouldn’t be that level of cruelty.
Well…I beg to differ.
Case in point: Marina Abramovic’s “Rhythm 0.”
Marina Abramovic is a performing artist. I don’t know much about her other works, but I’ve read about a particular performance piece that she did, called Rhythm 0. In this piece, she stood in front of a live audience for six hours. There was a table with 72 objects, ranging from things like perfume, to things like a gun loaded with a single bullet. On the table were instructions to the audience that for six hours, they could use those objects on her however they liked–she would be completely passive.
To quote an art critic who witnessed it, “It began tamely. Someone turned her around. Someone thrust her arms into the air. Someone touched her somewhat intimately…In the third hour all her clothes were cut from her with razor blades. In the fourth hour the same blades began to explore her skin. Her throat was slashed so someone could suck her blood. Various minor sexual assaults were carried out on her body.”
Someone put the loaded gun to her head and began working Marina’s own finger into the trigger when someone stopped them.
At the end of the performance, according to her own plan, Marina began to walk toward the audience. And what did everyone do? They ran away. They were unable to face her.
Folks, this was six hours.
Six hours where you were promised that your actions wouldn’t have consequences.
Six hours where you could do whatever you liked.
And what did they choose to do?
They chose to exhibit cruelty. Normal people that went back to normal lives and were probably very non-violent in general. But we kid ourselves into thinking that human cruelty is gone, simply because society punishes it, and most people are unwilling to deal with the punishments.
This is one of the major points of Wolves: Evil is a part of human beings. It cannot be excised. It cannot be bred out of us. It cannot be civilized out of us. And under the right circumstances, anyone–and yes, I mean ANYONE–can be cruel.
Six hours with no consequences and they’d cut a girl they didn’t know with razor blades, sexually assaulted her, and almost killed her.
Still think people wouldn’t be cruel after a decade?
I’d like to talk a lot more about some of the other, more hidden aspects of Wolves. There are some metaphors and analogies there that may not be readily apparent. I plan to approach some of this stuff in December. So, if you’re interested in that conversation, you have until then to dive into Wolves! Get your copy HERE.