5 Ways Americans Would Make A Real-Life Purge Boring As Hell
Well, it's March of 2017, which means it's time to start getting ready for the First Annual Purge. According to the disturbingly not-that-fictional universe of The Purge Trilogy, the first Purge should be the 21st of this month, kicking off a 12-hour period in which, "any and all crime, including murder, will be legal." It's a movie premise that stole America's hearts during the 12 continuous hours when that was legal. The only trouble is that The Purge movies are incredibly unrealistic, but not for the reasons you might think.
They aren't unrealistic because America would never willingly pit its citizens against one another in a Battle Royale because it might (maybe) help the economy. That would absolutely happen if it would increase truck sales by 3 percent. And it isn't because of the cornucopia of legal troubles that would stem from a 12-hour murder rumspringa. You've got to figure that Hollywood is simply glossing over the boring details in the same way every trial movie does ... we all know that court cases aren't decided by fiery closing statements but a fiery filing of a motion isn't nearly as cinematic. No, they're unrealistic because the laziness and narcissism that are fundamentals of human behavior won't suddenly change on Purge night. The idea that people might engage in a night of pure mayhem isn't crazy, but the idea that they wouldn't be live-tweeting it is sheer madness.
There Would Be Tons Of Purge Merchandise
Throughout all the Purge movies, we see a lot of weapons, elaborate homemade costumes, and masks. For some reason people like wearing vision-blocking masks while murdering people even when there's no reason to hide your identity. Ask yourself when's the last time you made yourself a creative, personalized costume rather than buying a plastic one-size-fits-lazy one from a store? These people wouldn't be running around wearing unique, body-hugging, custom-made costumes. They'd be wearing polyester Ring Wraith robes. Or a costume of whoever we decided the mascot of The Purge was, like Nicky Purge or whatever. And all the girls would be dressed as Harley Quinn.
"We saw a movie once!"
Nary a national holiday exists without some kind of swag surrounding it, so you can bet your ass there would be miles of Purge-appropriate clothing. Christmas has ugly sweaters, Valentine's Day has teddy bears, St. Paddy's has bus tickets that take you away from urban centers. Come Purge time the seasonal aisle of Walgreens would be filled with Purge-themed merchandise.
Stores would be selling star-spangled .38s and night vision goggles with the year molded in plastic around the frames. And not only in years that make sense, like 2020. Idiots would keep buying them in 2019 and peering through the circle of the nine, looking downright gauche as they murdered people in the night. Stores would stay open as long as possible to cash in on people who always put off their Purge shopping until the last minute.
"Ugh. This is so last year's Purge."
Yet not once in the movies do we see any kind of Purge signage for sales on bulletproof vests with Purge designs embroidered into them. And you just know you'd have like six of those. Your mom would get you one every year for Christmas ... and your birthday ... and Valentine's Day, because she doesn't realize how embarrassing that is.
There Would Be Purge Movies
I don't mean that purgers would be aware of the movies we know and love, they'd have their own movies that take place on Purge Day or are about Purge Day. Sure, most of them would be horror movies, just as most Fourth of July movies are about how America kicks ass and most Passover movies are about how everyone in ancient times had British accents ... it's what the topic lends itself to.
But there would also be plenty of movies only tangentially related to The Purge, simply meant to kill time while hunkered down with your loved ones. Hell, in the present, we have a movie about fucking Columbus Day that's about a heist! Wait ... I guess in a larger sense that's spot-on for the story of Christopher Columbus. The point is, there would for sure be an ensemble cast romantic comedy about The Purge where Mila Kunis loves The Purge and a nebbishy guy who hates The Purge try to find a way to make it work. Hell, there would probably be a whole genre of sappy Purge movies to remind everyone about the true meaning of The Purge.
The real purge was inside us all along.
But in the films, nobody ever mentions any of their favorite pieces of Purge culture. In fact, one character in Election Year mentions he had a lot of trouble picking a playlist. What, did Spotify's entire playlist-making department get a machete to the capitalism center of their brains? There would be playlists titled "Chill Purge," "Rock'n' Purge," and "Purge Family (defense)."
He eventually lands on George Clinton for the last song but what about Purge classics that would undoubtedly exist in that world? Are we to understand that Michael Buble wouldn't write a song called, "I Just Haven't Bayonet You Yet?" Or that Weird Al wouldn't have made a parody of a Salt-N-Pepa song called "Purge It?" Their conspicuous absence points to lazy world building.
We'll swallow that for some reason people are wielding axes in The Purge even though, in real life, people show up better armed to a Raiders game. But when you act like there wouldn't be a full-on corporate media blitz to sell us Purge movies and songs, you insult our intelligence.
Instagram Would Be Intolerable
A sprawling estate with pastel-clad douchebags, posing with their fathers' guns, hunting the most dangerous game, all underneath a Valencia filter: Welcome to the posts from Instagram celebrities on Purge Night. It would be that and "hot girls" doing duckface in front of flaming cars while subtly sneaking in product placement for Ray Bans. Come on! The purge is from 7:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. Sunglasses would be a huge liability if they were in any actual danger.
And while rich people show off their lakefront purge homes, celebrities would try to look more relatable. Oprah would post pictures of herself purging like normal people do -- mounted atop a polar bear, shooting helicopters out of the sky, eating a low-cal snack. Just because laws don't exist during The Purge doesn't mean diets don't count.
Meanwhile, you'd want to do a friendspurging with your buddies. Drinking, relaxing, hacking government records to make you the beneficiary of the Louisiana Purchase. But because "family's the most important thing" you'd probably be stuck at your parents' house or your significant other's parents' house ... assuming they hadn't been brutally murdered yet. You'd be in a closet arguing with your racist uncle about Obamacare, unable to raise your voice above a whisper.
People can't help but post about the most important moments in their lives -- engagements, the birth of a baby, lancing a spectacularly gross boil -- but people never seem to be posing for selfies on Purge Night. If you think they wouldn't post their first meal of human flesh on The Purge, you haven't fully appreciated the depths humans will sink to. That's both a meal and a Purge 'gram.
Remember: People's Purge Instagrams are not representative of their actual Purge Days. They're a highly curated, idealized Purge that only exists on social media.
Travelling Abroad Would Be Really Awkward
As it is, the rest of the world thinks of the U.S. like we're an insane Wild West country with six-shooters on our hips. A land where you can get shot for basically anything except a vaccination because those are prohibitively expensive. The Purge would not help that image. Every conversation an American had abroad would inevitably revolve around The Purge.
"So, how's the weather ... during the Purge?"
Now, Election Year does have a part where people fly in from other countries to be "purge tourists," so obviously people could still travel back and forth to other countries despite having purged. But there's no reason to think that other countries would think it was morally acceptable or not-terrifying. So if you were doing a foreign exchange in Spain you'd have a ton of explaining to do to your host family.
"So you have one night a year where you can all murder one another?" "Yeah, but not everybody does it! You can't paint all Americans with such a broad brush!" "Ok, calm down, please don't purge us."
Every March 22nd Would Be A Pissing Contest Over Who Had The Worse Purge
Obviously, the truly difficult part of The Purge that we never see on camera is dealing with the aftermath. By "aftermath" I don't mean repairing billions of dollars of damage to infrastructure, cleaning up the bodies lining the streets, or somehow trying to trust your neighbors again after you'd seen them hunt your cousin for sport. No, I figure we'd find a way around all that. After all, we were able to keep society going despite the fact that millions of people liked the show Bones, which was equally mind-boggling and morally reprehensible.
"Back in our day, we Purged both ways, uphill."
No, by "aftermath" I mean the interactions the day after that would be so painfully awkward you'd wish you hadn't outrun that guy with the flaying knife the night before. Absolutely everyone you interacted with would have their own dumb take of the Purge that you'd be forced to listen to. The people at your office would be telling sob stories about not finding a single person to Purge all night. Waiters would talk you into dessert with cheesy jokes about burning enough car(b)s the night before. Your older friends would talk condescendingly about how they don't purge anymore because it's, "too much buildup for not much payoff." It would be a living nightmare.
It would be one of those things people talk up all year and then can never possibly live up to the hype -- like your birthday or the Shamrock Shake. So when The Purge actually comes, be ready for it to be a commercialized, idealized, lame version of what you see in the movies. It's almost enough to make you think it isn't a good idea.
Aaron Kheifets hopes that the inevitable rise of The Purge won't negatively impact his Twitter.
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