Crushing defeats! No happy endings! Abject misery! Pointless, endless grief! True stories of totally undeserved suffering! Spectacularly depressing! Nobody gets their just dessert!
Sin, suffering, redemption. That’s the movie, that’s the front page news, that’s the story of popular culture—of American culture. A ray of hope. A comeuppance. An all-for-the-best. Makes it easier to deal with the world’s suffering—to know that there’s a reason behind it, that it’ll always work out in the end, that people get what they deserve.
The fact: sometimes people suffer for no reason. No sin, no redemption—just suffering, suffering, suffering.
Tales of Woe compiles today’s most awful narratives of human wretchedness. This is not Hollywood catharsis (someone overcomes something and the viewer is uplifted), this is Greek Catharsis: you watch people suffer horribly, and then feel better about your own life. Tales of Woe tells stories of murder, accident, depravity, cruelty, and senseless unhappiness: and all true.