What Does Dexter Reveal About America?

Michael C. Hall discussed the European response to Dexter and how it differs from the American one.

…people are fascinated.  And I think in some markets overseas, they’re interested in the show in that it’s an American show, interested in what it might say or might not say about American culture, so that’s an added wrinkle.  It’s funny, when I was in Europe:  people over here will always say, “it’s terrible he’s killing people!” and I’ll say, “But he’s killing really bad people,” and people here will say, “Yeah, you’re right.”  In Europe they’ll say, “Yeah, but he’s still killing people!”  It’s an interesting distinction.

There is a self-righteously violent streak that disquietingly lurks within the American ethos, which I cannot help but take as a creepy confirmation of Nietzsche’s view that Christian egalitarianism and moralism have dark relationships with a violent desire for revenge.  I don’t think they’re necessarily related or inevitable by any means, but they have their own unique way of troublingly reinforcing each other.

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