Friday, April 20, 2007

Glorification of Violence

Has the glorification of violence in our culture through entertainment such as music, TV, and movies been a factor in how people seek to resolve conflict?

If the answer is yes (and I think it is), what should the response of the follower of Jesus be?


Jonathan said...

Step 1: give up Heroes and Battlestar Galactica. ;-P

But seriously, I'm eager to see less violence in popular culture and for parents to be more careful about the steady diet of violence (and consumerism and...) that the media tries to feed our kids, but I'm pretty sure that violence was one of the most popular options for conflict resolution long before these media were available. I'm somewhat ambivalent about assigning too much weight to the general influence of violence in media.

Suzie said...

I think it is the substitution of media, be it violent or sexually charged, for real, human relationships that is one factor in our seemingly crumbling society...isolating yourself in popular culture to the point that its "realities" become your realities and its truths become your truths. There is a huge difference between a father and son playing a video game together as opposed to the dad being absent so the son plays the video game as a substitute for relationship.

David said...

I know you didn't directly mention Monday's events but I can only imagine you bringing up this topic right now because of those events.

Perhaps there is some glorification of violence that has an amplifying effect on violence committed in our society. It is hard to believe that we accept as normal 16,000 murders each year and think or do nothing until a mass murder event. Even then, it is a short-lived outrage. People make speeches, people blame something or someone, someone might even try to pass a law about the specific circumstances of that mass murder event. But, it is all a delusion, an attempt to ignore the tenuous veneer that is the fragility of civilization. In the end, we dont' really want to think on such things and we go back to "normal", ignoring the golden strand that holds a civilization out of chaos.

I would love it if there were something or someone to blame for Monday's events that would somehow make us actually safer from such tragedies. The truth of the matter is that only the compliance of the vast majority of people with laws or morality or the sanctity of life or whatever it is that keeps them from doing such things keeps us from utter chaos and darkness.

Think about that the next time you are sitting at a red light at a busy intersection. What makes us comply with this little glowing light and not just plow on to our destination? I recall one picture specifically from Iraq from late in 2003 that showed a snarl of traffic because there was no authority of any kind to make people sit at a red light.

Sorry for the long look into darkness. It is just something I think we ignore and find any excuse to not look.

David said...

Sorry to double post but I can't let this go. I was so caught up in your topic I forgot the most important part.

There is great strength and hope in humanity that makes us persevere through tragedy like this. There was an interesting documentary on PBS the other night hosted by Richard Perle. He visited Bosnia in the recent past to interview people and to see what the country looked like some 10 years after the conflict there. If you'll recall, the country was decimated by war and hopeless during that time. The streets were bustling with commerce and children were playing everywhere. That hope thing that pushes us through the darkness in life was evident everywhere. I am thankful that hope is far stronger than those dark emotions. 10,000 candles in a field far outweigh anything a single gunman can do. I choose to look at that and see what is right with humanity and our society. Off-topic, I know, sorry.

Thomas+ said...

Sorry I'm late posting. I was watching "Grindhouse." It was awesome. What were we talking about?

Phil said...

Suzie, I agree with you to a great extent on the relationship aspect. I do wonder how the easy access to violence affects culture.

David, great, great points. It is sad that it takes a tragedy on the scale of VTech to wake us (me) up to the violence that happens here in America every single day.

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