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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hypocrisy/Step off the Grid

Thursday - my how the weeks fly! Piano bar was fun last night - I sang often and well. Friends Kenneth and Lisa joined me. He is a terrific singer in the style of Nat King Cole - very smooth and classy with a fabulous sense of timing. And handsome too! When James and I saw him in concert once, James said, with admiration, "I'd go gay for him!" Last night he sang a couple of chestnuts: Lush Life and Angel Eyes. I sang Walk on By, Skylark, Them There Eyes, and La Vie en Rose.

Today I'm shaking my head over a video Carol sent me that I'm really hoping you take the time to watch on YouTube.


Her sending this comes on the heels of my seeing, with friends, the Osama Bin Laden capture movie, Zero Dark Thirty. And I realize the trailers at the beginning are chosen in keeping with the theme of the featured film - if you go to see, for example, the new movie Quartet, I doubt the previews will be violence layered with more violence. And yet....something is so wrong when there is even the option of choosing so many movies where violence is the featured star. Just went to Fandango to see what's playing in my local Evanston theater. Check this out! Out of twenty movies playing, 13 of them are violent, even the ones targeted to kids! And that doesn't include Lincoln which I'm sure must have some gory Civil War scenes (haven't seen it yet)!

Identity Thief 
Side Effects – (violent)
Bullet to the Head  - (violent)
Stand Up Guys – (violent)
Warm Bodies X – (violent)
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters  (violent)
Movie 43
Parker (violent)
Mama -  PG13 – (violent)
Gangster Squad  (violent)
Quartet – PG13
Zero Dark Thirty (violent)
Les Miserables
The Hobbit (violent)
Life of Pi
Silvers Linings Playbook
Wreck-It Ralph  (violent)
Argo (violent)

Hypocrisy abounds, not just among the Hollywood actors and actresses you will see on the video, but also within us - we are the the target, plunk-the-money down, consumers of violence. Case in point, my friend with whom I attended the Osama movie. After a preview of a new Die Hard movie, she turned to me and whispered, "I've always loved Die Hard movies!" She then went on to bemoan the rest of the violent previews as disturbing and alarming - her words, "This country is in trouble." Hmmmm......

Our dualistic nature...seems we are not always "sweet little bunnies" (still laughing that Martin called me that when I see myself more as Tank Girl). Seems, if we're honest, we should admit we've got an inborn thirst for violence and gore. It's not just the fringe of us who want to see someone mowed down with bullets once in a while in the name of good shoot 'em up entertainment. I personally loved the movie Matrix and really, you don't get much more violent than that!

So what do we do???? Thinking we shouldn't lie to ourselves and each other and maintain that the thirst for violence doesn't compel even he best of us from time to time. We're wired for it. Seeing a good guy kick butt and exact revenge, thrilling to see evil obliterated, right? Heady stuff! Thinking we need to admit to and own up to our often violent-loving dualistic nature and then figure out how we can live with it and manage it.

How about a two-pronged approach where we address the issue of  violence both from a societal perspective as well as a personal one? I've newly decided my portal (brain) is off limits to gun violence and violence in general. I know there is a section of my brain that enjoys being lit up by things like a good James Bond movie or worse - it's pleasurable  But there is also a zone in my brain that would enjoy being lit up by heroin and I would never think of indulging that! So, no violence for Sarah, no violent books, no shoot 'em up movies, no violent news clips, no violent video games (not sure about Mrs. Pacman - is it violent when she eats her adversaries?). Just think, if other individuals made this same commitment, to be anti-consumers of violence, all that crap would dry up! No demand! No product!

I believe we also have responsibilities as a society to examine our group hypocrisies. We are appalled when one of us goes on a violent rampage and yet we vote for candidates who help to perpetuate violence (war wagers, supporters of the NRA, etc). We don't protect our children from violent images and lyrics. We glorify force and belittle the efforts of pacifists.

Challenge today is to join me in giving up violence. What might that look like for you? Making your home a violence-free zone? Giving voice (probably unpopularly) to the new thought that, "We don't let violence into our home in any form: movies, books, magazines, games, song lyrics." As for the movies we take ourselves to and the ones we allow our kids to see? Due diligence to make sure they're films without violence and explaining unapologetically to our friends and kids, "I/we don't do violence. We need to see something else." Good luck though! Non-violent films are slim pickings!

Are we fucked up on this topic or what???????  Thinking we really need to work hard to nurture our better natures and work to make violence taboo - both personally and societally!  Not easy though when the world is full of bullies (or are we the bullies?) - is there such a thing as a good war? Thinking about Hitler.


1 comment:

  1. How ironic is it that one of the violent films is a version of Hansel and Gretel, but for adults? The Grimm tale IS pretty grim, I guess.