Hello, so this is a pretty specific post, kind of a rant post, my sister and I are collaborating on it, so some of these thoughts are from her.
This happens in every fandom, not just the Thomas Sanders one, it just so happens that his exploded after the Intrusive Thoughts vid I mentioned a couple posts ago, into a prime example of this phenomenon, if it is a phenomenon.
So, Remus, the embodiment of Intrusive Thoughts, basically the embodiment of the word smut, has become….popular.
He’s been shipped with people.
People are adopting him as their smutty son.
He’s made a splash…
My feelings: AHHHHHHHHH! 😤😠😯😢😡😧😬😥
Sister: This is not surprising, unfortunately. We’ve seen it happening before with similar characters but it’s more obvious here, because this character is just so focused on beignt he embodiment of all terrible thoughts…like just the worst.
Me: Yeah… so why are people adopting him. As their son!
Sister: For one thing, they feel like they’re like him.
Sister: They feel like they are like him because–which is actually really sad–because the whole point was Thomas convincing himself that he wasn’t like Remus, that Remus was intrusive not a reflection of himself. But these people don’t get that. They don’t have that freedom, Sanders has a limited freedom, but compared to theirs, it’s still more.
Me: I don’t think Thomas was trying to give people a complex about loving intrusive thoughts, since Remus is basically a bully, to Thomas. A jerk, not good at all. The Dark Sides are the sides that do nothing good for Thomas, especially Remus, because even deceit can at least help him realize the truth by arguing with him, but Remus doesn’t help him at all. He just stresses him out.
S: So this brings us back to the question, why are people–ugh– attracted to Remus?
Me: You have an answer?
S: Your thought first.
Me: What I think, is that people strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. Like we nitpick the smallest, stupidest things, but then we accept the most outrageous stuff because it is outrageous on purpose. I think that people don’t think of Remus as a character showing a problem, they only see his flamboyant personality. And many people would say there is nothing wrong with liking his personality, as long as you are admitting that is what you like.
But the problem with that is, again, straining out a gnat, this one thing you like, and swallowing a camel by accepting all the things that come with it. Liking Remus means not noticing how bad he really is. Because his personality is to cover up how twisted he is, it’s embracing the twistedness of what he represents, shamelessly, and liking that, means you are not really seeing the reason he exists.
S: My thoughts are similar, I think People like Remus because he is so reveling in who he is, and what he is, in this day and age that’s a virtue values above almost everything else.
Me: But the problem is, vile people can love being evil. Thomas even brought up in the video a guy who went form hating his intrusive thoughts to enjoying them, and that led him to murder people. It’s like the virtue of pride in who you are, outweighs who you actually are. As long as you’re confident, people don’t care if you’re a jerk.
S: That reflects on the state of people’s souls today. All over you see people whether humorlessly or not humorlessly being self deprecating,
Me: Like sheep
S: But my point is it means we’re so hungry for any sort of self-love or being okay with oneself that we are willing to swallow gallons of poison just to get it.
Me: You think we’re exaggerating this?
S: Not in the slightest.
Me: Well there are a lot of characters like this in media, anime, reality shows, and a lot of jerk characters get to be popular because they are confident. Rainbow Dash from MLP, Bakugo form MHA, Gordon Ramsey, (I am not saying Gordon Ramsey is really a jerk, but the persona for his show was like that, and it was popular)
S: Loki, villains form all sorts of franchises, even Thanos.
Me: Can you elaborate more on what the appeal is? Or why people can’t resist it?
S: They can’t resist it because they don’t have any better examples. Almost all the characters who display this kind of self confidence are villains or at least natural in the war of good and evil.
Me: And good characters are often nervous, socially awkward, and lack confidence.
S: And that’s okay because those are obstacles they are meant to overcome not stay in, we love it when that happens. But no one gives a powerful example of a good person who is so confident in who they are. That’s why people over Bakugo.
M: I don’t think that’s why a lot of people love him. It’s why we love him. Also if we do have such a character, they usually die. Or get de-powerd.
S: That’s because the author doesn’t know how to write them properly.
M: *cough Pyrrha Nikos *cough.
S: But I think it’s what our culture desperately needs, what everyone is looking for, but we’ve been forced to look for in the wrong places.
M: You maybe be cutting people too much slack when you say we’ve been forced to look in the wrong places. More like, we lost interesting the wholesome stuff, and even when we are presented with innocence, many people go out of their way to corrupt it with their imaginations. Remus is more like a version of what some people willingly do, they’ve embraced it, maybe it started out as intrusive thoughts, but now they think them on purpose. And then they like it. And they spread it around to the rest of us, and that’s why characters like Remus end up popular. Because it’s popular to embrace the gross, smutty, pervy side of things. Even when they don’t really exist.
S: There’s a reason for that attitude though. It’s lack of power. See, people have abandoned innocence and 1950’s values, because they don’t think they work. They are faced with their won inner demons and the outer problems of the world running rampant, and if those things are supposed to be so great, why aren’t they working? Why don’t more people use them? Why is everything to terrible?
S: People don’t think they can afford to stick with something that won’t be powerful enough to save them. So why bother? Just abandon all those useless values and platitudes. Embrace the smuttiness because that’s all you’ve got.
M: Remember I said intrusive thoughts are based in the fear of yourself? And that people embrace them because that is less painful than fighting them and not seeming to ever win? It’s the coward’s way out, but when you have no solution, it can seem like the best way out. Because it’s painless. Except when your conscience does bother you, but that’s less often over time. Like 1 Tim 4: 2 “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;’
S: Yeah, but it’s almost hard to blame the people who stop fighting it and start embracing it.
Me: (Maybe for you ).
S: Because look at what they think their only other option is: People who keep fighting are in a constant state of inner turmoil and self hatred, just look at Thomas’es reaction through out the whole video, Thomas doesn’t know how to stop these thoughts, and neither do the people who embrace them. So it seems to reflect on who they are. If I’m damned either way at least I can be damned and comfortable. But the hard truth is it’s not comfortable it just pretends to be.
Me: Like I said when we talked about it before, in Romans 7 Paul asks “who will deliver me for this body of death?” and the inner turmoil he describes is just like Thomas’s, and all of ours, it’s the human condition.
But what is our solution then?
S: Well we both know, we can’t stop ourselves from having those thoughts, all we can do is deal with them when they come. The truth is we can’t save ourselves from it. That’s kind of the conclusion Thomas came to.
But Thomas, all he’s doing, is putting down faulty weapons, he doesn’t know how to pick up effective weapons.
Me: I think that would tick some fans off to hear, but he admitted it himself.
S: So the only way to be completely and totally free is to not think those thoughts anymore, but that’s impossible isn’t it?
Me: I could argue that you can be completely free while still having the thoughts, because you can be free of bondage to them. You don’t have to feel bad, and you don’t have to like them, they can just cease to have any power over you at all. And then they don’t come very often. I don’t have them nearly as much as I used to.
S: But why?
Me: Because I started asking God to fight the thought for me, instead of doing it myself. I would tel them to leave, but also ask Him to take authority over them, I remind the thoughts that God is higher than them, and that I have the mind of Christ. And then, it’s just doesn’t bother me anymore. And they go away. And I forget about it in a hour or so.
S: What really has been working for me, is remembering who God says I am. If He says that I am not some demented disgusting thing.
Me: Like Remus
S: But instead I am a pure, powerful, beautiful, warrior, who don’t have to take no crap, and royalty which helps, then these thoughts can’t be part of me. They are obviously from somewhere else.
Me: And that there is what I think people don’t have. Any sense of a better identity. So they have no other recourse than to say these are me, and I suck. Poor Thomas.
S: Well, he even decided they weren’t a reflection of his character.
Me: Yeah, but he didn’t go far enough. He still thinks it’s art of his imagination. I’d say it’s not, it’s just using his imagination. And what we feed our imagination is important. Part of the problem is that many people out all sorest of horror imagines, smutty images, inane humor, dirty jokes, into their mind, and then they are surprised when it regurgitates in a form they are less comfortable with. What you laugh at and enjoy effects what kind of intrusive thoughts you’ll get.
S: (Nods)…so to come back to the original question, as to why people like Remus and are reacting this way to him, it’s because we don’t think we can have anything better. And to an extend we don’t want anything better.
Me: If you’re satisfied with mud, you won’t get a trip to the beach, right? But also, he who is loves silver won’t be satisfied with silver, these people are never satisfied.
S: Yeah, cause they are taking their questions to the wrong place.
Me: We need to wrap it up.
Well, thank sis, for helping me discuss this, and figure this out. I feel kind of somber now. I feel bad for all these people. But I hope that some people found this post helpful as an explanation, or as a guide to maybe how you can deal with this problem better. I like Thomas, and I didn’t want to criticize him, I just think he’s not got the whole picture.
So, until next time, don’t like Remus–Natasha and co.