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Why We Love Bad People.

Oyemaja Executives, a division of The Oyemaja Group.


Business, Advertising, Marketing, Entrepreneurship.
Oyemaja, Why We Love Bad People. Photocredit: Unsplash

Heard of the Bonnie & Clyde Syndrome? Ignore the ‘syndrome’. It’s not exactly a medical thing, but it’s serious.


Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow met in Texas in the 1930 and quickly became one of America’s most notorious criminals. They robbed banks and stores in daring and violent high-speed getaways across Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and other states during the Great Depression. Think of it like a little start-up with two co-founders. Clyde’s the CEO and maybe Bonnie the CTO. This, they did for about three years uncaught. They were eventually nabbed and killed by the cops in gunfire in 1934.

They were sweethearts and co-conspirators, a cute couple enabling each other in crime.

What’s unique about their story? They were sweethearts and co-conspirators, a cute couple enabling each other in crime. Their story has been used to describe a situation where an individual is willing to get involved in a criminal activity in order to win affection, prove their love, or please a lover. It can comprise covering up a lover’s crimes or committing crimes together. It’s, in essence, a strange attraction to bad boys.



Why do we always like the bad guys?


Seen Vampire Diaries? Damon got more love than Stefan from fans. Ladies found House of the Dragon’s Daemon Targaryen cute after a few episodes. Is it the name – Daemon? Darken Rahl in Legend of the Seeker was so evil that he became fascinating to many; that grew to admiration, and maybe even fan worship. Few other characters have experienced this. Niklaus in Originals, a spinoff of Vampire Diaries, became everybody’s sweetheart. Women adored him, men wanted to be like him. T-Bag in Prison Break was hated at first, but viewers increasingly grew excited whenever he showed on their screens. John Abruzzi too.


“Oyemaja, that’s all movies.” No, Sir. Ted Bundy, one of the most famous and infamous American serial killers, has a fandom to date. Yup, the necrophile who confessed to murdering over 30 women and young girls in Washington, Utah, and Florida by feigning injury or impersonating an authority figure to lure his victims, has a fandom. Shocked? Me too.


There are others such as Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, Pedro Lopez etc. So why do ladies turn down earnest nerds and gush over Ted Bundy? We went through stuff and didn’t like what we found.




The Media


Misinformation is a bigger problem than no information, as far as media tricks are concerned. When people have knowledge of a fact, you cannot mass-brainwash an entire country so that they no longer remember it. You can’t just make folks “un-know” stuff. You only need to distort a few elements and feed them a different version of the truth. You’re basically updating their knowledge. Correcting that lie is more difficult to accomplish than supplying a population with new knowledge they’ve never come across.


How does this media distort the image of bad people? By portraying a bad guy as an unlucky, traumatized, bullied, and an unloved kid who grew up to be a socially awkward loner who couldn’t get a girl. The audience voluntarily offers the young man pity, and even begins to offer to “fix him”. Ring a bell? Niklaus…right?


We all ‘understand’ where the broken defenceless boy is coming from. A lot of real-life fandoms are like that too.


Don’t blame the people for being attracted to a criminal. Blame the media for making a criminal attractive.



"No one man should have all that power"


Kanye West put it right but say that again with a tone of surprise and admiration. Like – “wow, no one man should have all that power”. That’s how a lot of people sound…and feel, when they see a famous bad boy. We see ourselves in them. We want to be like them – rebellious, condescending, confident, happy-go-lucky, feared, and all that.


“Oyemaja, but he’s a serial killer. Who wants to be like a serial killer?” you’d say. The object is not the issue. What they do with all that rebellion and confidence matters very little. The confidence, fierceness and power intrigue people and they’d excuse that, even if he murders women and children with it.




Birds of a feather


Many people are fascinated by the idea of evil. We live in a pretty twisted world with diverse cultural standards and a fickle value system. So, if there’s a serial killer out there, what makes you think he’s the only one to ever exist? There are many potential serial killers who are inert due to the fear of God or the police. A famous serial killer is just one bold enough to go after his dreams.


If there are people who are like him or are fascinated by him, then that’s your answer. Those are his fans. They’d cheer him, create fan pages, make excuses for him, throw ad-hominems around, compare him to worse people and call him ‘misjudged’.


It’s really not that hard to believe. Have you noticed that awful people also have friends, albeit a few? Yeah. A terrorist’s mom still cares for her son. It doesn’t make her bad. She’s not the criminal, after all. She just ‘understands’ him.


Be very bad


2 billion is a lot of money. Think about that versus stealing 5 dollars. You’re described as pathetic for not being able to afford 5 dollars, but you’re deemed bold enough to deep-loot the state’s treasury. As far as financial crimes are concerned, for instance, people hate the government, big corporations, banks, whatever, and the man who robs them is a friend.


People really love those who are great at what they do. The earth rewards geniuses with riches, and fame. People loved Einstein for being extremely good at Physics. Elon Musk is popular for his electric cars and cool rockets. Ted Bundy has some fans because he really was good at being bad. It works all the time. Be great, and you’d get some followers. Be bad enough, consistently, dramatically, or unrepentantly, and you’d receive love notes. It’s a twisted reality, but it is what it is.



Be good,

Oyemaja Executives.

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