Are you actually the Bad Guy in your Biopic ?

I never knew my paternal grandfather, he died seven years before I was born. As a matter of fact, my Mum never met him either, as my parents started dating a couple of years after he died.

Throughout my childhood, he was totally absent. Physically, of course but also symbolically. Neither my Dad nor my uncles ever talked about him. Even my grandmother barely mentioned him a couple of times a year at most, and always in passing, as a background detail. She may have shown me a picture of him once but I’m not even sure about that, and I don’t remember what he looked like.

My grandmother died 4 years ago and, in the last years of her life, I started trying to “plug the holes” in my knowledge of the family’s history. I never asked her directly about my grandfather, but through my uncles, I learned that he wasn’t exactly remembered fondly. It turns out that he was an alcoholic and that my grandmother’s feelings when he passed away unexpectedly can be summed up as “relief”. To my surprise, I also learned that my father’s relationship with him was openly hostile. That was a bit of a shock as my father isn’t the type to hate anyone. Get angry ? Yes. Hold a grudge ? Sure. But hate ? Nope.

But the more I thought about it the more I started feeling inclined to play the Devil’s advocate. I mean, he wasn’t there to justify himself anymore. What would he have said if he’d been here ? What sort of guy was he, really ? Sure, such a consensus against him speaks volumes, but what if he had been misunderstood ? And even if he was as bad as described, was he fundamentally bad or are there some mitigating circumstances that explain what he became ?

Of course, this led me to think about myself. When I look back on my life, I realize I made a lot of poor choices and that, being emotionally a bit aloof, I may not be the easiest person to live with. But deep down, I really don’t feel that I’m an evil person. Distant and both a bit lackadaisical and rigid, but not evil. Yet, if I died today, would I be remembered as my grandfather was ? And what about you ?

That’s almost like a sick plot twist : after all the red herrings, it turns out that YOU were the bad guy all along.

It’s an interesting idea. I’m pretty sure I’m one of the good guys in my life story. I can identify extended family members who see themselves as good guys and, by my criteria, were not.

FWIW, I think you have to be a bit more than just aloof to qualify as the bad guy in your own biopic. How do you feel about ‘flawed hero’? Most of the interesting biopics end up there, one way or another.

When my grandmother EvilGran died, the eulogy she received from her son was ‘everyone shows love differently, but I believe she loved us in our own way’. Taking a cold hard look at all the evidence I think he was fooling himself (she did a bang-up job of warping and twisting him) and that she may never in her life have done anything that wasn’t promoting her own comfort at the expense of screwing those around her - but it just goes to show that even the most confirmed narcissist can get someone to believe in them. You have to be pretty out there to have *nobody *willing to say nice things about you. Yet some of these people exist, and some of them are parents.

Narcissistic toxic people usually think they’re just fine and everyone else around them sucks. They usually don’t ever admit they’ve screwed up anything in their life either (that would open the floodgates) so if you think you’ve sometimes screwed up and sometimes been an okay person, that’s probably decent evidence that you know how to tell the difference.

My biopic would basically be Howard Hughes without the money, Fame, or good ideas. :grin:

Yeah, I suck.

Hey, I didn’t open this thread to force you to do penance :smiley: .

Tell me about it.

But as you say, these people are so good at manipulating others that, if you’re a bit aloof like me, you end up looking like the sourpuss. And from there, it’s a surprisingly short and quick way to “bad guy”. On the other hand, it would be dangerous not to acknowledge one’s failings. And once you do that, you end up having to consider the possibility that you may have been wrong all along…

Well there’s one guy here who got quite upset I quoted the final line of the series “Justified” before he had seen it. I’m sure there are a few others whom I would not like to write my biography.

Why so binary? Most people aren’t good or evil, they are somewhere on the scale of “good to evil” and in some ways are good and in some ways bad and in most ways fairly average.

Good point.

Still, it can’t be denied that some people are far enough towards the “evil” end of the scale that those who knew them don’t have anything positive to say about them. I guess my grandfather didn’t see himself as a bad guy, but his family seem to believe that he was.

I think I’ll try to talk to my Dad about him.

Maybe a little a bit of an occasional asshole, but never the bad guy.

Whatever you do, do NOT take this position with your dad. The only thing worse than being abused is to have someone try to convince you it wasn’t that bad, or there’s some kind of excuse for how you were treated. Like you said, you weren’t there, and have no idea what your family went through.

My biopic has been rated NC-17 due to excessive violence and explicit sexuality.

Oh, definitely not !

I don’t think he was abused. From what I gathered, his hatred was due to the way he treated my grandmother, but that’s about all I know.

I’ll tread carefully, don’t worry. As a matter of fact, I’m not 100% sure I’ll bring up the subject at all. Perhaps if the opportunity comes up, but not out of the blue…