Travis Bickle is someone I can identify with. I often quote him: “Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere.” He sees around him, “whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal.” That is not so different from the current state of affairs we are in right now.
There is underage drinking, underage sex, and illegal drug consumption. Although teenage sex and pregnancies are supposedly at an all time low, our culture is still full of vice. Children in sixth and seventh grade engage in sexual acts in filthy school bathrooms and dingy stairwells. No longer is promiscuity strictly taboo: rather, it is seen as a freedom from sexual restrictions of days long gone. Young people do drugs. It is casually accepted to smoke marijuana. They go out to clubs and drink copious amounts of alcohol and engage in sexually risky behavior with multiple people, strangers even.
There is a lifestyle of instant gratification. Divorce rates are still hovering at just above 50%. Women wonder why men don’t want to commit. Men are wired through evolution to maximize their chances of creating a lasting bloodline. Thusly, their prerogative is to procreate as much as possible. However, I suspect that, though their number is small, there are more evolved men who are, to paraphrase Mark Wahlberg in an article I assimilated through osmosis and therefore cannot recall precisely, “not commitment-phobic, just divorce-phobic.” However, for most people, I suspect that marriages fall apart mainly for two reasons. They do not work towards maintaining the relationship, or they expect that instance of love and warmth to last forever magically and effortlessly.Perhaps it is the same likeness between myself and Travis in that we feel the same loneliness. The world just doesn’t sit right with us. Everywhere we turn is someone or something that is sick, weak, dare I say sinful?Perhaps I come off as arrogant, or elitist. If it means being alone until I find the quality people to involve myself with, then I would be glad to accept the badge of “arrogant prick.” This is the strength of doing the right thing. I choose not to dilute myself in order to find some semblance of conformity or acceptance. Travis just took it too far and went on a killing spree.