Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Quick and Easy

This is probably the easiest post that I have ever written:

I sent an e-mail with the following quote to Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, and Cicero. 

I suspect the reason has to do with one of the unmentionable realities of contemporary American social life—the fact that so many Americans these days long desperately for a good excuse to hurt someone. Watch the way that Americans behave toward anyone they’ve decided it’s okay to hate, and you can count on seeing a really impressive degree of viciousness in action. This is why we fetishize vampires and zombies, why mass murderers occupy so large a place in our collective imagination, why policies that punish the poor for their own destitution enjoy bipartisan support, and so on.   
Return From Cicero
Relatedly, our video game culture, which mostly involves killing guys (human or monster) and stealing their stuff.   Talk about an "impressive degree of viciousness in action."
Interesting that all the violence in the video games and movies is classified very clearly in our culture as entertainment. I believe it is true that bullet manufacturers have struggled to meet demand from the general public - since the beginning of Obama term one! This is also part of the entertainment industry - ripping off rounds into a picture of a hated individual. Or maybe patriots are just stockpiling the bullets - daydreaming of the day when they might be called upon to commandeer a Bird Sanctuary or something even more patriotic. But if the bullets are being stockpiled, eight years of maximum overtime production is a lot of bullets isn't it? Anyway, the classification of all this stuff as entertainment might be a little red flag that folks are a bit warped these days.
Return from Claudius
(A paraphrase of something I read years ago, I don't recall who said it.)
In commercial, advertising-driven media, you the viewer are not the consumer.
The advertiser is the consumer.
You are the product.
Return from Gaius
It's probably that we've always been a bit warped in the head. Humanity as a whole, that is; look at all the stuff we've come up with (Crusades, slavery, cultural superiority); this isn't really new. You could make an argument that some of the game developers probably just wanted stuff like those video games to work as a vector; that is, something for people to channel their anger on instead of other people. Like a punching bag. And still, there are games and books who show that people are trying to move past the whole hate/violence thing. But even then, it's still there today. That's likely always going to be true.

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