Culture of Violence? Us?

After mass shootings, many people point to easy access to guns as the cause of the problem. Others look at America’s culture of violence. How, they ask, can we put an end to that culture that glorifies violence? There’s almost certainly no way since it’s baked in on the left as well as the right.

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15 thoughts on “Culture of Violence? Us?

    • Indeed, it does not. But after all, this is how the West (and the East, for that matter, was won….

      What goes ’round, comes ’round….

      Henri

      • «Aluminum airplanes can’t bring down steel-framed buildings. 🙁» Especially ones that were never hit by the aircraft in quesiton. But I suppose it all depends upon how they’ve been prepared beforehand….

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday –

        “But I suppose it all depends upon how they’ve been prepared beforehand….”

        ***

        Do you realize what you’re suggesting? Building #7 was brought down by “office fires” — the first and only time in history. (Follow the money.)

  1. «What the hell ? This stuff is supposed to happen in Iraq or Afghanistan !» Nailed it again, Ted. I suppose this is what the notion of karma is all about….

    Henri

  2. Why didn’t he stick to watching movies like Kingsmen, series like Game of Thrones and Daredevil, and playing computer games such as ego-shooters, Beat-them-ups, Jet-fighter simulations, or strategy (war)games… like the rest of us normal and well-adjusted people? 😉

    • andreas5: Why didn’t he? Because that doesn’t make what passes for the news.

      Easy access to guns is part of the problem, but another part is the temptation simply to throw up our hands and say Gosh, nope, nothing we can do — it’s too big, too ingrained, too hard to solve NOW, so let’s just pack it in. There are plenty of culprits to point to: the aforementioned access to guns, including many designed for the express purpose of killing people quickly and efficiently (sorry — I’m still not jaded enough to yawn at that fact); the disturbing (to me) reality of having our attentions spans reduced to seconds, or nanoseconds, waiting for that next adrenaline rush of a new ping on our phones, with its concomitant creation of the need for ever-greater thrills. We’re simultaneously appalled and thrilled by each new atrocity, each new outrageous performance emanating from our shockingly outrageous current administration — and we want to be outraged and entertained in equal measure, which is depressingly easily accomplished right now…. (Somewhere in here too belongs the blurring of fantasy and reality, the 20-somethings who grew up playing those video games and then take part in wars that are conducted very similarly….)

      I saw the movie Lucky Logan recently, and suddenly any confusion I had about why Donald Trump is president was erased. (We’re not all as prescient as Ted.)

      In her brief collection of essays Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, Doris Lessing talks about what we don’t want to admit, namely, that war is exciting. Among other things, she writes, “What we live through, in any age, is the effect on us of mass emotions and of social conditions from which it is almost impossible to detach ourselves.” This was in 1987, prehistoric in digital media terms. Solomon Asch’s work in the mid 50s and Stanley Milgram’s in the 60s (among many others, such as Philip Zimbardo’s prison experiment in the 70s) have shown how easy it is to manipulate human behavior, whether intentionally or not. An article in the Guardian two days ago (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia) looked at the unintended consequences of, for example, the seemingly innocuous “like” button and the ways in which those pings and clickbait are highly addictive, threatening to undermine the political process and doing bad things to kids’ minds (worse than rock ‘n’ roll!) — I hate sounding like Helen Lovejoy wailing “Who will think of the children?!” but such are the sacrifices we make. Taken together, it’s hardly surprising how we got where we are. Now, how do we get out?

      Me, I still think it all comes back to education — real education, not the abysmally-funded obedience training that passes for it, controlled by politicians, textbook publishers, overpaid administrators protecting their sinecures, and the ETS, with nary an actual knowledgeable scholar ever consulted. (They NEVER seem to show any concern about profits or maintaining the status quo!) Changing the culture of anything is not easy, and it certainly doesn’t happen quickly, but if indeed it isn’t possible (which I don’t buy), then I’ve wasted an entire career in education. Thank god at least for the prestige and lavish lifestyle it provides!

      • Thanks for this, well considered responses are not as common as I’d like. You make me think a little and lead me to readings that require deeper thought than Star Wars sequel novels. I too was a bit taken aback at Ted’s despairing conclusion that it can’t be changed. However I must admit it won’t be changed within my lifetime, all I can do is plant sees where I can and hope that the ground is fertile and remains so.

        I’ve not liked the trend to home schooling, but at least it provides an opportunity to counter the indoctrination that kids get in mass-schooling venues. Maybe I’ve been looking at that wrong too.

  3. No, no, no, no. The violence in the ME is because *they* are intrinsically violent people. Here in ‘murika we merely have a few bad apples. Well, the white ones anyway – blacks get shot by cops because blacks are intrinsically violent people.

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