Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

September 28, 2006
 'Good' Serial Killer Fights Crime His Way
Dexter Morgan has a full life. He enjoys his job as a blood-spatter expert with the Miami Police Department. He has a cabin cruiser and a home by the water. And a passion: He's a serial killer.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. But the Showtime drama “Dexter” is about a sociopath who copes in a pro-social way. Dexter, based on the character in the Jeff Lindsay books, stalks and executes only the deserving. He is a self-styled safety net who catches, then eliminates, bad people the cops and courts have let slip through the cracks: "The ones," he sums up, "that think they beat the system."

Mind you, Dexter is no vigilante. He lacks the moral circuitry to be concerned with righting wrongs. He's just trying to honor a pledge to his foster father, who long ago understood his compulsion.

"We can't stop this," Dad tells young Dexter in a flashback. "But maybe we can use it for good. There are people out there who do terrible things, and the police can't catch them all."

A guy making the best of a bad situation, Dexter is played to perfection by Michael C. Hall.

"I didn't anticipate that I'd jump into another television series," says Hall, whose five-season run as dutiful mortician David Fisher on HBO's "Six Feet Under" ended in August 2005. And, sure, there are similarities. Hall again is sharing scenes with drippy artificial body parts, and recumbent extras who have to hold their breath and play dead.

But David, a compassionate assistant in death's aftermath, was quite a different character than Dexter, who, as Hall dryly notes, "is much more pro-active." And not just pro-active with the murders he commits. Also with himself, busy filling all the voids in his persona.

"The thing that scared me and excited me the most about playing him," Hall says, "is his insistence that he's without authentic human emotions."

The first death sentence you see Dexter carry out is on a respectable family man with a habit of torturing and murdering little boys. Dexter tells his doomed offender that, while he, too, is a conscience-less killer, he would never harm kids. "I have standards," Dexter seethes. Then he lets his power saw do the rest of the talking.
Associated Press

April 2007
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          

« Previous | Main Page | Next »

Bear Market Hero Rises; Slays The Darkest of the Dark
By: Pete Kendall, October 10, 2006
Back in 1988, when the stock market was traversing a fourth wave correction, The Elliott Wave Theorist explained that declining waves are periods in which “more complex role models and antiheroes emerge.” This budding affinity for antiheroes is apparent on many levels of society.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, November 2004,

Mixed messages swirl in the eddies of a changing tide. Showtime is premiering this new drama about a "serial killer you can root for." I heard the ad today on a country music radio station. The young lady giving me a haircut got excited. "I'm gonna love this!" she said, "I'm in school studying criminal justice and serial killers."

Michael C. Hall (no relation) who played the moody undertaker in HBO's Six Feet Under has the anti-hero's part as Dexter, a serial killing, morally void sociopath who, according to a CNN/AP article, "copes in a pro-social way."

The article points out that although Dexter, "stalks and executes only the deserving, a self-styled safety net who catches, then eliminates, bad people the cops and courts have let slip through the cracks," he is no Dirty Harry style vigilante. Dexter is unconcerned with righting wrongs, bereft of a moral compass, and is trying to honor a pledge to his foster father, a serial killer who left him with a mission: "We can't stop this, but maybe we can use it for good. There are people out there who do terrible things and the police can't catch them all."

Despite supposedly lacking morality, his first victim is a respected family man who tortures and kills little boys. He tells the doomed man that, "[Dexter] too is a conscienceless killer, but he would never harm kids." Then he murders the man with his power saw. Evil triumphs over evil, to do good? What a muddle. Rationality has little sway here.

An asexual dysfunctional girlfriend, a foster sister, and Dexter's day job as a forensic blood-spatter expert compose the setting for a classic bear-market anti-hero drama. 24, with its torture scenes, Deadwood, lesbian Batwoman, Sweeny Todd, and now Dexter. The creative pipeline must be packed with new, negative entertainment moneymakers for sale to a fear-hungry audience.

Market analysis led to the discovery of the socionomic principle, and the meanders of the Dow in the past weeks echo the whirling moral mix of this new drama. Social manifestations seem to be an accurate mirror of the markets right now.
-- Alan Hall

The story of a good guy serial killer, and the critics love it. Says the Boston Globe: “It's not a stretch to imagine the crime scenes in Dexter as a Vanity Fair photo spread. This fiendishly excellent new Showtime series turns blood spatter into a pop art form. The show rivals Nip/Tuck in sheer perverse visual wit.”

Two interesting reference points for the role and its star are Six Feet Under and The Sopranos, both of which were ground breaking shows in the first leg of the bear market.  For EWFF’s initial review of Six Feet Under see the Additional References section of the October 3 entry.

The Sopranos was similarly acclaimed when it appeared at the outset of the bear market. Here’s what EWFF said about it’s debut:
Ask the critics, and to a man, they will tell you that the best thing on television is The Sopranos, a series about a mob family that curses relentlessly and kills people casually. “No series,” says a typical reviewer, “has ever conjured the sort of rich ambivalence The sopranos sustains for its antiheroes.” The key words here are “ambivalence” and “antiheroes,” the hallmarks of moral evaluation in a bear market, as first described by our study, “Popular Culture and the Stock Market” in 1985.

Dexter "can only mimic human warmth -- bringing doughnuts to co - workers, courting the mother of two kids -- because he is a shell of a man.”  With a serial killer who is totally lacking in human emotion, producers are attempting to one-up the “ambivalence” of Sopranos. If they get it right, they’ll probably have a hit on their hands.

Post a comment

(you may use HTML tags for style)

April 16, 2007
Does Imus Cancellation Radio a Bear Market Signal?
read more
April 12, 2007
One Small Coffee Shop Uprising for Starbucks, a Grande Leap for Labor
read more
April 11, 2007
Dazzling Finish: Cars Bring Once-Boring Shades To Life
read more
April 10, 2007
T in T-Line Stands for Top
read more
April 5, 2007
The Fight for a Free Vermont? Must be a Big, Big Turn
read more

They do have a hit! Its truly a smart calculating do gooder with a twisted diabolical side. To make him convincable, Hall has to be good too!
Posted by: bob priolo
October 10, 2006 03:27 PM

HOME | WHAT IS SOCIO TIMES? | CONTRIBUTE | SEARCH    Copyright © 2020 | Privacy Policy | Report Site Issues