A Culture of Violence

On Saturday mornings when I was growing up, I could watch one hour of television.  I was not allowed to watch “Superman” (the old one with George Reeves) because my mother thought it was “too violent.”  So I usually picked “Mighty Mouse” and “Sky King.”  On Saturday nights, I could sometimes watch “Have Gun Will Travel” and “Gunsmoke” with my father.   In the old Westerns, if a bad guy was shot, he’d fall down.  Narry a drop of blood.  No coughing.  No twitching.  No movement.  And no gloating.   

In 1969, Sam Peckinpah ended that age of innocence with his iconic “The Wild Bunch” in which blood flowed in rivers and the carnage was suffocating.  I remember seeing the movie and going “whoa!” 

Today we accept that young people can watch movies that glorify horror, death and fear.  They play (often for hours on end) the most violent, brutal, cruel and bloody video games.   There is the scalding inhumanity of and bloodlust for ultimate fighting and the degrading and debasing reality television shows where manipulation and back-stabbing win.  Hollywood sinks lower.  And lower.  But – hey – don’t you dare try and impose your values on anyone.   Don’t even think of mentioning the word “God” in school or a public place.   And heaven help you if you bring a Bible to school.   The ACLU and secular “progressives” (who want to impose their values on you) will sue you and run you out of town under the guise of safeguarding liberty.   

When you see the horrific violence that we as a society wreak upon ourselves, I have to wonder if our culture of violence, the casual acceptance of it and the disintegration of traditional values — don’t invite it. . . .

One thought on “A Culture of Violence

  1. Darrell Bloom

    I do remember those shows and the sheltered, protective enviornment we were kept in. We were so blessed. As a entitled child (my father had a job) I was not exposed the segregation and violence that existed in the US or abroad. The technology was not there to support the transmission of “all” information as broadly as it is today. I guess that few of us can control the multiple sources of media today, like our parents did. We can’t even control the use of assult rifles and conceiled weapons (sure it is in the constitution, written for an outdated context). I suppose the “right to bear arms” is a traditional value, but it is contributing to the killing of our children and it doesn’t make it right. So whose values are being imposed? I would hope that we might get to a point where we focus on the transmission of values the relate to a culture of love and compassion rather than a culture of violence. That takes action on everyone’s part, so that when we and our children are exposed to violence we have a new paradigm to use in making our judgements about it and everything else in our lives.

    May we have peace in the new year.

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