Predatory Martyr

Hello, February! This ought to be a good month because the birthstone is purple, right? And I could never resent Valentine’s Day, because any holiday that somewhat revolves around candy, non-anotomical hearts, and martyrs can’t be all that bad. I happen to love martyrology to a point of near obsession–which is how it’s always been. For a very long time, I have done way too much reading about Christian martyrs, out of pure interest. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs has been on my shelf since I was in middle school. At random times during the day I find myself reading about Christian martyrs. The word “martyr” probably resonates within me quicker than any other word. This is a natural condition I have, I never chose this. Of course this instantaneous resonation extends to all uses of “martyr,” not just Christian. So let’s talk about Predatory Martyrdom. Or let’s not talk about it. Or maybe we can talk about locking someone in a cage and setting him on fire, and then hanging a would-be Predatory Martyr in retaliation. And let’s talk about cameras and this digital layer of depravity. Martyrdom is this terribly beautiful, painful thing; but when the word “Predatory” comes before “Martyr,” what is prohibiting you from rethinking…everything? Everyone is the hero of his or her own narrative. Sometimes being a so-called villain is the way to achieve one’s specific concept of heroism. “Villain” is in no way an antonym for “Hero” because we all want to be heroes to ourselves. I wonder if the core of being human is wanting to be a self-perceived hero.

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