Finding a muse

The most amazing thing happened this week! I met my good friend Dr. D, who is so like me it is eerie, for lunch. Apparently being born in 1973 led to some pretty twisted personalities. In addition to getting our Ph.D. in the same field (at different institutions with different specialties), Dr. D and I share a love of crime novels, BBC crime/mystery shows, Discovery ID, and a healthy fascination with serial killers.

The idea of a healthy fascination with serial killers could seem like an oxymoron, but hear me out. While she and I will both spend hours watching Discovery ID and Biography specials, reading mystery novels, etc, each of us maintains an empathy for the victims, and neither of us is going to start writing letters to prisons any time soon.

As I have written before, though perhaps not here, I believe my fascination with serial killers stems from having grown up in the Pacific Northwest. Although Bundy had been caught in Florida by the time my family moved to Washington, the stories about Bundy and his preference for girls with long straight hair parted down the middle were still omni-present. Those stories also held a particular fascination for a 10 year old girl with long straight brown hair that parted in the middle. I’m not saying any of his victims really looked like me,Bundy's Victims image from http://justmeinthisbox.tripod.com/BUNDY.jpg but they did present a window into what I could look like when I grew up. By the time we moved from Minnesota/Canada Bundy’s Washington siege was over; however, Green River Killer victims were being found at an alarming rate through a good part of my childhood.

Dr. D, I learned that first day we spent getting to know each other, grew up in Atlanta during the Atlanta Child Murders. While she did not fit the victim profile for those murders, the similarity between our likes and fascinations seemed to bolster my opinion that growing up in the shadow of an active serial killer leaves a mark. It is not any one thing I can describe clearly, but I do not believe the similarities between Dr. D and I are that odd when you take into account our formative environments. Children pick up on so much more than we give them credit for, and I couldn’t even guess at the consequences this contemporary melange of misogyny, sex, and violence will have.

Anyway, I think you can see why Dr. D told me I needed to watch Hannibal and tell her what I thought. It might also explain why I broke through my television ennui to actually do it. Dr. D’s recommendation, and my love of the characters in Thomas Harris’ series, led me to go so far as to get the NBC app to catch up to where the series is now. Having admitted to my love of this particular set of Harris’ characters, I also have to give this disclaimer – that love doesn’t extend to some sort of desire for utter faithfulness to Harris’s world or vision. While I enjoyed the book Hannibal, I think there are some important ways the movie is better, which is also true of Silence of the Lambs. All of which could be the topic of a different set of posts.

The television ennui I mentioned above extends over the whole of my life.  Being truly done, having finally received my Ph.D., left me at some fairly significant loose ends. Sure, there is more time to fill, but I haven’t had the drive to fill it with anything. The last two weeks I have spent poking at things – starting crochet projects instead of finishing the ones I already have, whacking snakes in Tapped Out, looking at the mess of a desk I still need to clean up, and wanting to write a blog post here or there – but not feeling like I had anything to say. So, something pretty amazing happened as I began watching NBC’s Hannibal, I realized I had something to say. I won’t make any promises about the speed in which I will write these posts, but I do know there are at least two different posts coming about this show.

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