What I found intriguing about the interview was the amount of work that has apparently been devoted to looking at the social context these characters exist in, and having that influence everything from the type of crime that would be present in Hell’s Kitchen at the time to the realization that Matt’s options in life would have been severly limited in that kind of time and setting. These guys apparently really did some thinking about this, and that is definitely something I respect.
Another thing that got me thinking was that the story focuses on the psychological downside to being a human lie detector (and presumably other negative consequences of the hyper-senses bag of mixed blessings as well). In fact, the social consequences of Matt’s perceptions was something I thought about myself not too long ago. Because the thing is that white lies are a necessary component of social interaction. Few of us would want to know when we’re politely being lied to. We also wouldn’t necessarily want to know other people’s secrets. If you can overhear your neighbors’ every conversation and guess where people might have been or done based on smell, you’d have a lot of those “too much information” types of situations where you would honestly have preferred to remain clueless.
You would also hear things said about you behind your back, which would strike anyone as a little disconcerting. When you add the complication of there existing a visible physical difference between yourself and the average person, making people more prone to dropping thoughtless comments, there’s no doubt that it would be tough to handle psychologically. This reminds me of the debate we had over on ManWithoutFear.com a few months back about whether or not Matt was a nice person (or should I say “character,” it’s starting to sound like I’m talking about real people here…). I voted for yes, but I believe I was in the minority. Part of my reason for stating that I perceive the character as being a nice person was that I don’t necessarily equate niceness with being either pleasant or charming. In light of knowing the things he does about people, and how they operate, he’d probably have a low bullshit threshold and not too much patience with people who say one thing and then do another. Given the sad fact that real-life blind people often get asked questions like whether or not they can dress themselves, Matt would have probably also reached the conclusion that most people are in fact complete idiots. The amazing thing is that he still puts his ass on the line to protect said idiots, and I guess that is mighty “nice” of him. 😉
Well, I should get to bed. I’ll let you guys read the article I linked to and hopefully we’ll see some comments. It’s an intriguing kind of “what if?” when you really start to think about how having heightened senses would hypothetically impact a person psychologically and socially. When you also look at whatever role the missing sense would play in all of this you start to realize the vast potential complexity of the character. Maybe writers have barely scratched the surface so far.