Homer, Sade, and Rob Zombie

Mario the Epicurean:
What saves Homer, Sade and Rob Zombie, what makes their work seem somehow less virulent to me nowadays than many ostensibly humanist manifestos, is the utter lack of righteousness about their ethical visions. Zombie even mocks populist righteousness in House of 1000 Corpses when Captain Spaulding seems about to fly off the handle in a proto-teabag populist rage at the middle-class kids because they're condescending to his country ways. But he laughs it off—he doesn't torture and kill because it's the "right" thing to do, because his megachurch or his writing-studies-for-social justice class taught him to hate metropolitan elites, he tortures and kills because he likes it, because as with spiders and webs and Milton and poems it's in his nature to do so, and I defy anyone with a shred of indecency left in her not to give a little cheer when Tiny kills the sheriff in The Devil's Rejects. I'm not about to kill anybody—you know, I morally disapprove of all violence—but then it's not like the Hebrew Bible writers, Rousseau and Stephen Speilberg are pacifists anymore than their opposite-number contemporaries listed above. It's only that they offer a license to kill based on a feeling of self-righteous victimhood that picks and licks and loves its wound.

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