"Why are there no bad guys in our neighborhood?" Ivan asked me recently, after emerging from a movie theater. The previews had presented a full line-up of villains – in 3-D, no less.
Ivan had been trying hard to find some real-life miscreants, wondering daily about the boisterous youth on our block, who do a lot of shoving and yelling: "Are those bad guys?" I'd been assuring him that while these young men could be more polite, they're not bad guys. Real bad guys are very rare, I always say, but a lot of people do make bad decisions. We can all try harder to be good.
Today I say, "There are a lot more bad guys in the movies than in real life."
"Why?" he wants to know.
"Because," I explain, "the people who make the movies think that bad guys make movies more exciting."