In Praise of Morbid Curiosity

For years, my father has hung a series of photos in his living room that have baffled and troubled me. Giant prints of film-star serial killers—Hannibal Lecter, Heath Ledger's Joker, No Country's Anton Chigurh darkening a door—hang next to photographs of my high school plays and Christmas dinners. It has always been strange to me, my father's obsession with these gruesome characters, their lone-ranger sadomasochism revealing my own fears about my father's interests: Why does he seem to venerate these men? Is he angry? Should I be concerned?

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