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May 23, 2010

We enjoy violence as dramatic fiction, but we reassure ourselves with the thought that in real life violence is something we’ll resort to only when everything else has failed.

When we glorify real-life violence, we’ve failed to consider the tragedy.  Which is that there are only two possibilities left: that everything else has failed, or that we’ve failed to try everything else.  Neither possibility leaves much room for celebration.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Les
    May 23, 2010 at 15:19 | #1

    I’m curious to learn what brought this thought to mind. Not that it’s not good, but it sounds like there was something which prompted it.

  2. May 23, 2010 at 16:25 | #2

    Well you know, when you’re sanding weathered paint off your house, you have a lot of time to just think about stuff.  I have been re-watching Batman, The Animated Series and enjoying it immensely.  But I also thought about Taser reports on Pam’s House Blend, and about “Mission Accomplished”, and about Dick Cheney pimping Gitmo and about the vile TV series “24” that has become a touchstone for people who actually think that’s the right way to interact with our enemies.  And about the 60 Minutes report recently where there was real opposition to putting lifesaving climbing ropes on a canal on the US/Mexico border.  The people they interviewed – including one of the responsible state representatives – seemed to think that it was perfectly OK for a desperately poor person to drown.

    And that contrast led to something else: people freaking out over the supposed demonic influence of Harry Potter because they couldn’t tell the difference between real life and enjoying a work of fiction.  And it occurred to me that those same people think that video games cause violence and that “Left Behind” describes real future events.  It’s one thing to cheer when Batman conks a criminal; another thing entirely to cheer someone being Tased because they were unruly or to shrug and say; “Well they shouldn’t come here” when an immigrant drowns.

    In other words, when two people cheer a violent moment in a fictional story, and one knows it’s fiction and the other thinks it’s how things oughta be, they’re not necessarily getting the same story.

    Oh well, break’s over; back to painting…

  3. May 25, 2010 at 06:48 | #3

    I have gotten weary of, and seldom watch/read violent fiction.

    I have come to evaluate novels differently. A good author can get me involved with a story without including violence. Most of the real drama in the human condition does not involve beatings, rapes, stabbings, gunfire, etc.

    That’s my view.

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