What makes a bad guy? Is it the way they look, the way they act? Or is it just society’s way of telling us what makes a person bad or good? In looking out how we justify who fits into which category it’s kind of confusing really since we tend to praise those that are supposedly righteous but have some of the most insane ideas about what ‘good’ is and vilify those that simply try to go with the flow and make life better for others. That’s a bit simplistic, but the idea of a ‘bad’ guy is someone that upsets the natural order, a person, or persons, that set themselves against what is known and accepted and attempt to find a different way to do things.
If you’re arguing morality you’re still going to find yourself in a tangled mess.
Evil things are done in the name of what a society calls ‘good’ but often they’re justified as necessary evils for the good side. Or in other words, each side has a way to justify what they’ve done as being good so that they can be the ‘good’ guys. The ‘bad’ guys are typically those that cause disorder and chaos and try to shake things up in a way that is not at all amenable to those that fight for justice and what’s right. But really, from a moral and ethical standpoint it still begs the question, just who is the bad guy?
They’re not as easy to spot as you might think.
Bad guys don’t conform to the standard rules that used to exist to tell them apart from the rest of the populace. They don’t sneer all the time, they’re not all bad-tempered, and they don’t wear black so that you can point them out. Bad guys look just like anyone else and act about the same until you get to see the chaos and madness behind the facade. The true face of the ‘bad’ guy is that which shows an individual that the person is out to simply do what they want and will gladly harm anyone in their way just for kicks. What makes a bad guy isn’t their look, nor even their attitude, but their willingness to see the world burn for no better reason than for sheer enjoyment.
Those we call bad guys are simply another facet of society that does not conform to the societal constructs that have been set.
Think about it, in film we revere the bad guy because they will do what the hero will not, and we love the hero because they will hold to a moral code that the bad guy will see as a line to cross whenever they feel the need. This is a big part of why antiheroes are so popular right now and why villains are seen as more entertaining than heroes, they will cross those lines that heroes don’t allow themselves to and they will get the job done no matter what it takes. It might make them the bad guy in some sense, but it also makes them the more practical hero for this day and age.