Damaged Goods

I’m a big fan of 80’s movies.  I love Ferris Bueller, Risky Business and Heathers.  I especially love Heathers and have become a fan of the movie written by Daniel Waters and the musical by Lauren O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy.   As I have been reading the Broken Earth trilogy, a character from Heathers, J.D. keeps coming into my thoughts because he reminds me so much of Nassun.  

If you haven’t seen the movie or the musical Heathers, J.D. is a teen with enough angst to kill.  He targeted his peers who hurt him or his love interest, Veronica. In short, he wasn’t loved enough by his parents. His dad destroyed things as a profession and for fun.  He walked around saying things like, ”The extreme always seems to make an impression.” He decided to kill people because he thinks society will be better without them. He killed Heather because she bullied Veronica and he murdered the jocks who spread nasty rumors about her.  He justified these killings by saying “Our love is God.” (Movie and musical) everything else is insignificant. He felt their love was the only good thing left in the world, the only thing that was worth living for. His dark thought processes were revealed in his comment, “The only place different social types can genuinely get along with each other is in heaven.” Veronica was the only good part of his broken world, so he planned to massacre the whole student body. He felt that the world was too broken to fix and it had to be destroyed.

Strangely,  J.D. reminded me of Nassun.  Even though Nassun’s character was an eleven-year-old girl, her thinking process was reminiscent of JD in Heathers. She was willing to turn the whole world into stone eaters, to save someone she loved; Schaffa.  She stoned the whole Antarctic Fulcrum, saying, “This place. These people, who have no right to exist.”(Jemisin 268) . Both the Fulcrum and the school were wrong in how it treated “outcasts.” JD’s plan failed but Nassun killed all the orogenes, even children who were like her.   She thought the world would be a better place if its only inhabitants were stone eaters, virtually enslaved for eternity. Her love for Schaffa became her God and gave her the only love she had ever known. She felt she couldn’t live without him. Her world consisted of a distant mother, a dad that stopped loving her,  and a murdered brother. Veronica pleaded with JD in the musical version:

I wish your mom had been a little stronger,

I wish she stayed around a little longer,

I wish your dad were good!
I wish grown-ups understood!
I wish we’d met before
They convinced you life is war!

JD’s Reply was, “I wish I had more TNT!”   Suffering made them both blind. Veronica sang:

We’re  ‘damaged’, Really ‘damaged’, but that doesn’t make us wise,

We’re not special, We’re not different, We don’t choose who lives or dies

JD’s and Nassun ’s view of mankind developed from their sad and tumultuous upbringing. and humiliating existence as outcasts.  They both found one person to pour all their love into i.e. Veronica and Schaffa. Nassun was in the processes of turning everyone into stone eaters when she killed her mother.  After her mother ’s death, she considered her mom’s last wish, “Fix the world” and she ceased her destruction. J.D. also stopped his destruction and blew himself up. Both saved humanity by not following through with their wrathful violence.  In both cases, the characters thought it was much easier to destroy the world than fix it.

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