What Am I Missing?

Pray tell, why do we have some much violence as entertainment?

We’re good people. We love peace. I don’t believe we want to train our children to be fighters. Am I wrong in this? We lobby for gun control while using guns abundantly in movies or on television. Are we teaching that a gun is the way to solve a problem?

I don’t get it. What am I missing?

We have no television in our house. Oh, we have a television set, we watch DVD’s, and download certain television shows primarily Gray’s Anatomy, and Glee. Project Runway ended a while back as did Americas’ Next Top Model, so we haven’t watched them for a while. Having no regular television or commercials has, however, heightened our sensibilities. Now when we watch we are appalled at what we see.

 On the rare occasion that Daughter Darling takes Little Boy Darling to the movies I say, “Wait until after the previews, you can’t trust them.” We did go to the movies with him recently—husband and I regularly attend, but daughter and her son do not. I retrieved them from the race-car game outside, thinking the feature was about to begin, but still we were assaulted with about one half hour of commercials—of course the military was in there—and then came the previews of coming attractions. We were so rummy by the time the feature film came on screen we had forgotten what we came to see. (Oh yes, I remember. It was Parental Instincts. I love Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.)

When a particularly violent movie scene manages to hit me unawares, I sometimes I look around at the audience and notice that people are generally sitting with no expression or reacion. That strikes me as strange. Are people internalizing this activity? What am I missing?

 People want to feel. We want to feel even if it is a bad feeling. I’m from the old school, I think angst is to show the hero overcoming obstacles and rising triumphantly. That way we believe we can also do that. Yes, yes, yes, I have heard ad-nauseam that without conflict you have no story. I believe that writers resort to violence as a convenient way to add conflict. Fight scenes reign supreme—even in so-called children’s movies. Okay, I know stories are to entertain, enlighten, or enrage. I guess the violence is doing its job—it is enraging me.

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