Our Love of Violence
Violence is fuelled by a plethora of causes.
Oppression, borne long enough, will eventually erupt into violence. Notable exceptions do exist, but often the voices of change are themselves done away with – Gandhi is an excellent example, Jesus the best. Their calls for peaceful protest on one hand, and a different kind of love on the other, were met with a bullet and a cross. Nice.
Circumstances brutalize some people, making them violent. Jails may rid society of a temporary problem, equally they can return people to the streets well versed in more efficient means of deceit and violence.
Human nature is often expressed in violence. This may not be a popular view, but it is a true one. The appeal to kindness is laudable, but an appeal to the essential goodness of mankind surely should have died with Rousseau.
Being fed a diet of violence must affect us. It is not possible to fill our minds with violence, and continue to insist it has no material effect. Beauty begets beauty and ugliness, ugliness. The seed determines the crop; wheat grows wheat, and weeds spawn weeds. A farmer knows this, or he/she is not going to be farmer for long.
The media fuels violence.
I began watching some movies that quickly were so explicitly vicious I stopped watching them. And that is what I should have done the makers of the movie would insist. If I am offended, press stop. They have a right to make the movie – I have a right to not watch.
Nobody who actually perpetrates violence walks away from a blood bath, smiles at his family, and has a nice cup of tea and a sandwich, quite like a movie star does. And if they do they are monsters, and have become immune to suffering. Avoid them.
Men who return from war are never the same, and they did what they did in defense of the realm, or to rid another country/region of tyrannical leadership or ethnic cleansing. They are told what they do is justified and necessary. It makes little difference to their nightmares, their inability to return normal life.
“But a movie is not real. It is make believe.” Granted it doesn’t actually kill anyone, but it can only be naïve to say it doesn’t influence people, and make the rest of us just that little bit more callous. And that is all that is required to further and gradually desensitize us.
Maybe this is discernable in the alarming blood baying from men and woman alike in that most awful of sports -UFC. Men and women pulverize each other, until one submits, or is insensible. Their brains are rattled around in their skulls, like jelly in a centrifuge. It is their choice, they argue, but since when does my choice not affect others. (The idea of the good of all has been swamped in the choice of the one, and woe-betide anyone that questions the holy mantra of individual rights. Twitter is the new guillotine).
We aren’t far from the Colosseum.