Donna and I went to the movies last Saturday. We saw “Zero Dark Thirty.” The movie was excellent and moving. It was the “Coming Attractions” that turned me off. Every coming attraction began with loud, angry violence. And each one got worse as the “attaction” wore on. We saw trailers for “Blood Demands Blood” “Dead Man Down” “The Call” “Pain & Gain.” All were smothering in violence, gunfire, car crashes and horror. I feel like saying “come on, people – don’t you know what you are doing to your children? To our society?” But I am one small drip of a voice.
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. . . .