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When Does a Story Go Too Far?

Updated on May 28, 2022
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James is an avid reader with a book collection in the hundreds and growing. He enjoys wildlife, wilderness and the many simple things life

What is this?

To put it simply there are times in which we let these stories get to us and not in a good way. Most of us don't, but there have been a few occasions even recently that tell us that maybe we took the story a little to seriously and we need to stop and remember just who we are and what it means to be us. I have listed a few of those cases so that we may have a closer look at this horrible takes on a potentially good stories.

The Slender Man story?

I thought this photo would go well with the story.
I thought this photo would go well with the story.

First what is

The Slender Man was created on a thread in the Something Awful Internet forum begun on June 8, 2009, with the goal of editing photographs to contain supernatural entities. On June 10, a forum poster with the user name "Victor Surge" contributed two black and white images of groups of children, to which he added a tall, thin spectral figure wearing a black suit.[3][4] Previous entries had consisted solely of photographs; however, Surge supplemented his submission with snatches of text, supposedly from witnesses, describing the abductions of the groups of children, and giving the character the name, "The Slender Man":

These additions effectively transformed the photographs into a work of fiction. Subsequent posters expanded upon the character, adding their own visual or textual contributions.[3][4]

In an interview with the website Know Your Meme, Victor Surge (real name Eric Knudsen)[5] claimed that he was inspired to create the Slender Man by legends of the shadow people, the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, Zack Parsons, and Stephen King (particularly The Mist), and the surrealism of William S. Burroughs. His intention was, he claimed, "to formulate something whose motivations can barely be comprehended, and [which triggered] unease and terror in a general population.

The Murder

I don't have there names since they were all just miners.
I don't have there names since they were all just miners.

The girl -- whose name hasn’t been released because she is a minor -- was lured into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on May 31 by two of her classmates and was stabbed 19 times with a kitchen knife, according to the criminal complaint.

The accused assailants, who have been charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide, told investigators that they committed the grisly crime to impress Slenderman, a fictional character they said they believe to be real, Reuters reported.

The girl narrowly survived the attack, but was able to crawl out of the woods and was spotted by a biker. When asked how she found the strength to keep going, she said, "I wanted to live," the Associated Press reported.

But the victim isn’t focusing on the details of that dark day.

Instead, she and her family are embracing the outpouring of support they’ve received since the attack.

The girl was released from the hospital a week after the incident and has been spending her days going to rehabilitation and medical appointments, and adjusting to her "new normal," according to a two-page statement released by her family.

But part of her "new normal" involves getting an incredible amount of love and support from friends, family and complete strangers.

Heath Ledger's Joker

Sometimes the portrayal is so good it is just wrong.
Sometimes the portrayal is so good it is just wrong.

in 2008 everyone in the U.S.A. got to see Heath Ledger portray as the classic Batman villain of the Joker in the movie "the Dark Knight." Only an actor playing his role the best he can, no one could have expected the horrible things that would have followed.

More Death

James Holmes. murdered 12 people and injured 70 others.
James Holmes. murdered 12 people and injured 70 others.

“As soon as I heard about the shooting I knew why he’d done it.” Amazing words delivered in a matter-of-fact tone—with more than a little authority behind them. Like James Holmes, the speaker was doctoral candidate. Unlike James Holmes, the Brown University student had passed his “prelims,” the oral examinations that determine whether or not a candidate will continue his education or be banished from academia. “I went through a couple of periods of serious depression in the lead-up to the exams,” my cigar store acquaintance admitted. “I don’t know anyone who didn’t.” There’s new evidence that my pipe-smoking Brown friend hit the nail on the head . . .

ABC reports that “accused movie theater gunman James Holmes purchased a high-powered rifle hours after failing a key oral exam at the University of Colorado.”

Of course, this is the first case (that we know of) of a failed doctoral candidate at a prestigious University going postal. And nothing justifies taking innocent life. That said, with a fellow doctoral candidate nodding and adding his own experience, my Brown friend explained how Holmes might have gone over the edge. [NB: I'm writing this from memory.]

“When you’re smart, you sail right through high school and college. You’re used to being the smartest guy in the room. You get to thinking you’re a genius. If you have any social issues you think ‘well I’m smarter than they are.’ You get a letter from the University for your doctorate and you’re really pleased with yourself. And then you get there and it hits.

“Suddenly, you’re struggling. I mean really struggling. I went through day after day of all-nighters. Just focusing on my work. Nothing but my work . . . I had real anxiety that I wouldn’t make it. There’s sleep deprivation. And depression. Bad bouts of depression. Self-doubt. What if I don’t make it? What am I then?”

So Holmes might have started with narcissism and then moved on to . . . what? Self-loathing?

“Could be. When he fails his prelims, he can’t deal with it. He concludes that it’s not him. It couldn’t be him. It’s the system. It’s them. They don’t recognize his genius. He snaps.”

This psychological narrative is speculative, but plausible. It could also be true that Holmes identified with Heath Ledger’s Joker: an outsider who resorted to violence to establish his dominance over the criminal fraternity, exploiting and dethroning the corrupt power brokers who gave it free reign.

Honestly I think it is sad to for anyone to be able to relate to the psychopath that the Joker is supposed to be, however if you can then please don't take the step he did a ruin someone elses life.

The Search for Middle-earth

You do Realize this is a fictitious place right?
You do Realize this is a fictitious place right?

I may not have a particular case to go with this, wait yes I do. My mother said that she had a family member that was completely obsessed with finding Middle earth claiming that it was in fact a real place in history and that if you examine the land masses of the European area you can find evidence of it today.

However Middle-earth was but a mere creation from J.R.R. Tolkien in the majority of his writing and anything that could suggest that it was ever real is in fact a testament of his superior writing skills and nothing more.

Tell me what you think.

Do you think stories can go to fare?

See results

Don't blame the Writers

Please don't take it to the writers, all they want is to entertain us with good and sometimes chilling tales. it Is by all means not their fault if someone takes the story a little to far nor should we blame them if a story is taken to far for they have inspired us to do great things as well. I am surprised to hear just how many archaeologist who have made some of our greatest discoveries said that they were inspired by Indiana Jones, I don't think we would have nearly the same advancements in technology if it wasn't for Star Wars, or maybe Captain America inspired you to go the extra mile to achieve your greatest dream. And not mention that in this tough world sometimes we need those stories to help keep us sane. Enjoy your stories but try to remember, in the end it is still just a story.


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