The significance of ritual killing

I've been watching Gomorra, I show about the Neapolitan mafia. The head of the crime family at the center of the show is Don Pietro. His only son, Genny, is somewhat of a dweeb. Don Pietro is worried that, if he dies or is imprisoned, Genny won't be ready to take over the family. Therefore, he asks his trusted lieutenant, Ciro, to take Genny to do "that thing," to see if he is ready.

"That thing" turns out to be killing a random person, who has not done anything in particular to deserve killing. It is interesting to contemplate why this shows one "is ready." The effect is twofold:

1) By committing this horrific act, the killer shows that his loyalty to this particular group comes above every aspect of common human decency. The group can trust him to do anything at all it requires him to do.

2) All morally sane people would unequivocally condemn this action. But the group in question praises the action, telling Genny he has now "become a man." So, from that point on, the killer has two choices: if he rejects the group, he will be left alone to face the horror of what he has done. But if he sticks with the group, they will keep telling him that what he did was not just OK, but, in fact, praiseworthy. It is obvious which is psychologically easier.

If you spend a little while contemplating the above facts, then it will be obvious to you why Lena Dunham is sorry she hasn't had an abortion. She hasn't yet done "that thing" that will show she is ready to put aside all common human decency in order to fully commit to her "mob."


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