Tag: violence in our culture

A Collection of Thoughts on Violence in the Culture of Human Beings

creepy face in the Mission

My dastardly cold is finally dissipating.  If you can avoid getting sick I highly recommend it.  If you can’t avoid it and your natural remedies do nothing to alleviate your abject misery, I have two words for you:

Dextromethorphan HBr – cough suppressant

Guaifenesin – expectorant

In combination.  Normally I find any kind of cold or cough medicines ineffective and sometimes they make things worse (like decongestants that dry out your nasal passages in a superficial way so that they drip thinly and incessantly but are otherwise painfully dry which often results in mild bloody noses for me) but this stuff is THE SHIT.  Without this cough medicine I would have cracked my chest open and forcibly removed my lungs ending my budding career as a novelist and leaving Philip and Max to spend the rest of their lives not finding what they’re looking for in the house.

I was carded buying this stuff.  Reading the Wikipedia entry for Dextromethorphan – I get it.  It is apparently use recreationally as a hallucinogen.  Don’t worry – if you follow the directions on the bottle you will not hallucinate.  Unless it makes you hallucinate feeling better but that’s a hallucination I can get behind.

This morning I am irritated by the continuing conversation of the responsibility of the media to not glorify violence.   I am not going to write a long post about it right now.  It is percolating.  I already wrote about video games specifically but here are some questions and thoughts simmering in my head on this subject:

  • Is is my responsibility as a writer to only depict violence in a moralistic manner or not at all?
  • Why is no one talking about how overpopulation of the planet is contributing to the violence of humans?  Real fact: we are fighting each other for resources both as individuals and as nations.  Real fact: there is a finite amount of resources on this planet.  Real fact: the more you cram people together in ever tightening spaces, the more they will lash out at each other with violent behaviors.  A prime example of this is road rage.
  • Back to the age old question of whether art imitates life or if life imitates art?  And what the fuck difference does it make when ultimately we have a personal responsibility for our own actions regardless of the stimuli we are exposed to.
  • If we’re so concerned with the corrosive influence of violence in our culture – why do we glorify our armed forces and why do we go to war with little or no provocation and then whoop and holler at killing 100,000 Iraqi civilians?  That’s REAL.  The depiction of war in media is not real but it reflects a reality we have already created for ourselves.  We have already given the real message that war is the way to solve things.  That violence is the answer.
  • Art/media keeps us honest.  It offers reflections of ourselves as we are, as we could be, as we have been.  You want to change that?  Change comes from within ourselves.
  • Interesting that the loudest people vilifying video games and other media are the biggest supporters of the ownership of tools designed specifically to kill and of the military who actually does kill.
  • Same people harping on and on about “personal responsibility”.  Yes.  I agree.  This extends to choosing not to kill people just because you saw people being killed in a movie.
  • Also – the bible.  Seriously – is there a book on earth more filled with rape and betrayal and dismemberment and war than the bible?  Just because it says NOT to do these things doesn’t mean you Christians aren’t being inundated with violent tales.  Plenty of violent movies have the underlying message that violence is still wrong.  The bible is the original “media” with gratuitous violence in it.
  • People tire me out.
  • Classic literature is littered with violence and war and incest and crimes and rape and stabbings and prostitution and gangs and evil and genocide and assassination and every kind of bad shit that can happen to humans.
  • If there is censorship in art then there is no real art.  Art is the single most important thing that elevated us from just surviving bands of animals to animals with a life and thoughts outside the foraging and screwing and wandering.
  • Art is: paintings, illustration, performance, music, lyrics, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, movies, video games, chalk on sidewalks, graffiti, and forms I’m forgetting because I haven’t had enough coffee yet.  You censor that and you kill it.

While I can’t watch slasher films or horror films and I don’t like most epic battle stories or movies – I do consume a lot of violence.  I am not a violent person.  I am a pacifist.  Violence is a part of humanity and life that I abhor and that frightens me terribly.  Yet I mostly like to read and watch murder mysteries, crime shows, medical shows, and other violent fare.  My favorite crime shows to watch are about serial killers.  Why?  Because I want to understand it.  I’m fascinated by it.  I also tend to prefer shows and books in which the perpetrators of violence are caught and made to pay for their crimes.  I find it soothing.  I find it reassuring.  It heals something inside me that can never be truly healed because human beings will never stop being violent to each other.

But mostly, let’s start REALLY discussing overpopulation.  I think I’m going to start bringing this topic up at parties and in general chats.  “Hi, my name is Angelina and I want to know your thoughts on the overpopulation of human beings.”

Let’s see how long before someone does me a violence for bringing up the subject almost no one wants to discuss publicly.