Most of the misuse I've seen is exactly this.
Of the sample examples I included in this thread's OP, the worst form of misuse, by far, consists of descriptions of terrible things characters who just happen to be human do. That's it—no mention of any characters who may have brought up the issue of human nature in relation to the nature of the evil action, no mention of the evil action being used as a device within the work symbolic of the nature or base intent of the entire human race, nothing.
Other wicks which I said exist in a "gray area" are much more suitable for some kind of troping because while they don't entirely fit with what Humans Are Bastards
is specifically supposed to define, they are still explicit references to a negative view of human nature.
The human condition is toward bastardy. There may be exceptions, but they prove the rule. We are a brutal, savage people. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves, and will exist only to be proven wrong, disillusioned and/or killed horribly due to their pathetic naivety.
Coming back to Die Hard
, would Hans Gruber's actions be an example of this trope just because we could say that they convey evil which man is capable of committing? Is it entirely fair then to say that Die Hard
conveys a message about human nature? Could any
story with good guys and bad guys be fairly claimed to "prove the rule" as long as the bad guys doing bad things are human—even in the complete absence of non-humans?
edited 26th Aug '11 2:08:28 PM by SeanMurrayI