A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

18 February 2004

Not a hell of a lot going on right now, so today will once again be. . .

Random Search Day!!!!

Warning: Multiple exclamation marks are quite clearly the sign of an unbalanced mind.

It occurs to me that while I've often heard of gratuitous violence, I've never hear of un-gratuitous violence. So why not look for some?

  • Here's some people who want to tell you what your kiddies should be watching.

  • They actually sound fairly credible, although the sight is furiously busy and crowded-looking. Definitely not intended for the junior set.

  • A five-year-old study calling for a reduction in TV and movie violence.

  • The study really doesn't reach any shocking conclusions: parents mind your kids, TV isn't entirely to blame. Nonetheless, you need to keep track of what they're into and what they're watching.

  • Interesting rant, with a rather cool perspective.

  • Causes one to wonder: what is the difference between written violence and the visible kind?

    I suspect it's ease: It is not necessary to contemplate the death of a bit character, another Indian or background Cowboy, but film may force us to--even if briefly. Where film falls down is the place where main characters are killed or injured. We focus on them for a moment (usually shouting something stupid like "Go on! Leave me!), but then we get on with the living.

    On the other hand, while deaths in print require reflection. It always interested me that when I read phrases like "My seething blade wove a net of death about me" (E.R. Burroughs) I didn't think about how it felt to be on the other end of that blade. The battle scenes from books often don't bother detailing the deaths of the foot soldiers. But we are forced to at least consider the deaths of main characters.

    Perhaps, in order to gain balance, we need moderate doses of both types: We need to consider the Indian dropping from his horse: why he was there, what his last thoughts were of, what he'd been doing that morning.

    But we also need to recognize that life moves on, and carries us, the living, with it (except under certain specific and largely fictional circumstances). We can't continually dwell and mourn. Though we do need to consider the lives and acheivements of the dead.

    We need Gandalf hollering "Fly, you fools!" and the Boy on the Burning Deck. But once their honours are done, we put our hats back on and leave them behind.

    So why the hell are the Smurfs still around? One would think that of all the little annoyances of the Eighties that have gracelessly passed around the bend in the river of Time, they'd have been most securely disappeared.

    Oh well--it's all a plot on the part of the Boston Illuminati, no doubt.


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