What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meet Hans Faste

One of my favorite characters in "The Girl Who Played with Fire" is Hans Faste. The character is a total douche bag and an asshole. He really is not likable at all. But he adds comic relief. He has some of the funniest absurdest one liners of the book. One cannot help but be amused at his quips and assumptions. I think Stieg Larsson created the character to expose misogyny not for comic relief. But for me he always adds a touch of humor and edge to the book. How can you not laugh at his ignorance.

Take this scene from the book

“The same source that tipped us off about her and Wu at Kvarnen says that she used to hang out with a bunch of girls there a while back. Some kind of girl band called Evil Fingers."

"Evil fingers?" Bublanski repeated.

"Seems to be something occult."

"Don't tell me Salander is some damned Satanist too," Bublanski said. "The media are going to go nuts."

"Lesbian Satanists," Faste said helpfully.

"Hans, you've got a view of women from the Middle Ages," Modig said. "Even I've heard of Evil Fingers."

"You have?" Bublanski said.

"It was a girl rock band in the late nineties. No superstars, but they were pretty famous for a while."

"So hard-rocking lesbian Satanists," Faste said. 

Faste is really an interesting character. He is a good cop. In fact he is hand picked by the celebrated Inspector Bublanski. He is chosen because Bublanski believes that Faste has the investigative skills to serve on  his special team. Had it been any other criminal case Faste might have been a successful cop. But in the case of Lisbeth Salander he loses his script. He is one of those old fashioned and highly judgmental men. As soon as he sees Lisbeth Salander he makes a judgment call on her. In his world the tattooed and pierced goth girl has to be mentally deranged. There is no other reason for her self expression. He's made up his mind of her guilt. As her homosexual relationships and ties to a all female rock band emerges, Faste mentally paints her as a "hard-rocking lesbian satanist". The Neanderthal viewpoint is downright hilarious.

For the rest of the book Faste runs on a personal agenda against Lisbeth Salander. Much to the chagrin of his superiors and coworkers his views are highly misogynist and homophobic. He assumes that she hates men, and he loathes her for it. Despite there being holes in the theory, despite there being unanswered questions and several other plausibilities he refuses to suspect anyone other than Lisbeth Salander. Rather than solve a crime his agenda is to punish Lisbeth. As a result of his assumptions and judgments the following picture of Lisbeth emerges

"When all the media assertions were put together, the police appeared to be hunting for a psychotic lesbian who had joined a cult of Satanists that propagandized for S&M sex and hated society in general and men in particular. Because Salander had been abroad for the past year, there might be international connections too."

However, the reality couldn't be more different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Lisbeth Salander psychologically or socially. She is  merely socially awkward and reserved, probably due to a form of autism. Her tattoos and piercings are just a form of self expression. There is nothing occult or dark about her. In fact she has a passion for math, not occult. She's bisexual. She doesn't hate men, but actually has friends like Dragan Armansky, Holger Palmgren, Paulo Roberto and Mikhail Blomkvist whom she loves and respects. She actually falls for Blomkvist for the kind of man he is. She's not a sadist or hugely into S&M. She merely enjoys a little rough play and dark outfits. There is nothing to substantiate the conclusions about her. Most importantly, she is completely innocent of the double murder ascribed to her.

Luckily for Lisbeth her friends Dragan, Paulo, Holger and Mikhail are there for her and help her out. And thankfully, the entire force is not Neanderthal like Faste. They are all intelligent people who are able to ask the right questions, uncover the answers and establish the truth. Collectively they expose Faste for who he is.

Now one might legitimately wonder, why the heck I would randomly write about a lesser known character like Hans Faster.  The thing is there are many men like that in the real world. On the surface they come across as ordinary, intelligent human beings. However, in due time their extreme ignorance, misogyny and homophobia is exposed. Once exposed, just like Faste they are incapable of conducting themselves in a rational dignified manner. They are unable to ask the right questions, grasp facts or construct coherent arguments. Instead they begin to flounder. They start hunting for "hard-rocking lesbian satanists" instead of focusing on the real issues. They have made up their minds and there is no changing it back.

And though they are total douche bags and ass holes, you cannot help but be amused at their quips and assumptions. They do add that certain comic relief to life. After all Neanderthals in the modern era are indeed special zoological specimen.

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