Is it just me, or have the shootings and stabbings been escalating? It seems, now, I read about a new violent incident or attack, more than once a week.
Is that just the news becoming more widespread via internet? These events were happening but we didn't know about them so much? I don't know.
There was recent article on CNN about entertainment violence being "The Other Porn". Some suggest that people become jaded or immune to the horror of violence, by seeing it displayed and glorified, repeatedly.
It seems we, as Americans, are addicted to violence as a form of pornography. Not to judge - many places are violent up close and personal, day in, day out. Sometimes with government promotion and sanction. That's much of the Middle East, it seems, South Asia, and Africa. I speculate some of the violence of Islam - hangings, bombings, be-headings, stonings - is less to do with the intolerance of the religion, and more to do with the gluttony of blood lust. Slavery is also a form of violence, and persists today in numbers most people are not aware of. In the supposedly advanced cultures, Americans do seem to stand out as addicted to many forms of our own blood lust. In pop culture, rap imagery, TV crime shows (I watch those), and the stylized, formalized violence in various sports. I prefer the last as an outlet for human violent urges, instead of girls stabbing their friend in a park.
I read that the human face evolved partly as a defense mechanism against violent injuries, and there is a thousands-year violent history in central California (referenced in a separate post in the Origins group). And everywhere else, for that matter.
But this recent trend is getting to me. I don't think it's because of religion, and is no better for religious tribalism. Reading about anthropology and evolution, it's apparent violence has been around as long as animal life has been around.
But what to do? I don't really know. Just be nice to the people around me, and hope that a little of that rubs off. Or at least doesn't exacerbate the situation.
Strangely enough, I had been thinking about the same thing recently. I saw the coverage of the airport bombing in Pakistan, the friendly fire kill of US soldiers in Afghanistan, car bombs in Iraq, and the continuing violence in Syria, Nigeria and Central Africa. I initially thought, how depressing and barbaric. Then, I thought, 'really?' What about every school shooting since Columbine, the mass shootings at malls and theaters occurring on what seems like a weekly basis here in the US; the last one being the murder of the Las Vegas Police officers. Are we really any more better than those nations we look down our nose at?
Recently, groups with big rifles and small guns (those with military experience will get the joke - 'This is my rifle, this is...) have been going into fast food joints and chain restaurants with AR15s hanging from there shoulder. What's the difference between them, and the foot soldiers of Somali warlords?
Pat, I think the foot soldiers of Somali warlords may be in a difficult position they were born into, some captured and others part of the culture, and if you don't take sides, chances are you are dead. I doubt they have a choice, theirs is a culture they are trapped in, defined by violence, saturated in violence, and shot or be shot, or even worse.
Whereas, the 2 guys in the facebook pic are part of a decadent, narcissistic, thoughtless, shallow culture where they have every opportunity to better themselves, they are coddled, protected, and have only their narrow knee-jerk self deluded willful ignorance to blame for a predicament that doesn't even exist except in their minds. What the fuck - really, bringing weapons of mass destruction into a family restaurant or shopping center, do do what? Show people "this is for killing, this is for fun"?
Patricia, the US is a culture of entitlement and indulgence, self centered and where thinking is considered a bad thing, too difficult and not to be trusted. It's a shame that culture is overflowing into a more civilized country like Canada.
I do wonder if the video games and movies, showing people being plowed down by machine guns for entertainment, not viewing those people's humanity, not even a tiny bit of empathy for the victims, must harden the minds of impressionable dumbshits and weaken whatever speedbumps society and civilization create that slow down potential mass violence.
I'm sorry to hear that our disgustingly violent culture is overflowing into Canada. I agree about the video games and movies.
I couldn't agree more. The children that get into trouble are always the ones that were so pampered and coddled by their parents that they reach an age of twenty-five and have still to discover that the world doesn't turn around them. You can see them running into debt - expecting their parents to pay - and from there it's downhill all the way.
it's probably as simple as this - we have a shit ton of guns in this country. folks who are into guns buy them like baseball cards. and they sell them just as easily as kids trading those baseball cards (do kids still do this? i kinda doubt it). and who knows where they end up?
i'm not anti gun but i recognize the nature of the problem. Americans keep on buying them, they last a really long time, some conservative run localities ban the destruction of guns even in a gun buy-back situation. too many guns, too many off-balanced people. and too much inflamatory rhetoric from the NRA and their congressional stooges.
in light of yesterday's police killings, i'm worried that much of this anti-gov't, Obama's a tyrant, we're losing our freedoms talk will lead to more and more of these types of killings. when you think you're in the movie Braveheart it's easy to assume that the revolution is going to be a hellova ride, much better than the crappy existence they currently inhabit. it may even give your meaningless life a purpose. maybe you'll be remembered in history? then they start the killing and realize how futile their delusions really were and kill themselves or go out in a blaze of glory.
And today's killing of a student at a Portland high school today.
I guess I am anti-gun, if there is such a thing. I'm against people owning large amounts of ricin, nuclear weapons, and nerve gas too. There is no reason to own machine guns and assault weapons.
I know the kid in California killed his first victims with knives, and we can't also get into regulating knives, but in general, you only kill one person at a time with a knife, whereas an assault weapon can plow down the entire line in front of you at Burger King. (god I hope that's not next).
The congressional stooges are a big part of the problem. Much of our govt is a stooge - a whole assembly of stooges - for greed-monsters of the industrialists, religionists, and anyone else with $$$ and a mission.
i'm with you on assault rifles. and i don't agree with conceal carry unless you're a very trained expert, and maybe not even then. and smaller magazines. and background checks. and smart guns.
moreover, these things won't happen in America without significant violence. i'm afraid that's the truth.
I find most US TV too violent. My favorite program, The Listener, is Canadian. In my experience, Canadian TV is less gory than ours. It seems every US season is more violent than the last.
As a Canadian, most of the TV I like is British. It's like what Canadian TV might be like if we weren't afraid of being too un-American.
I find American TV can be great for things like Cosmos and PBS programs of course, but the 24-hour CSI 'n gator rasslin channels would drive me around the bend.
I've reached an age (83) at which I can take a longer view.
We know of anthropogenic climate change.
Sociology tells us that crowding increases the conflict in a population. If our murder rate is increasing, are we seeing the start of a negative anthropogenic population change?
I agree with you, Daniel. I've noticed the same thing and it is a sort of trend for "violent porn" if you want to call it that. It has nothing to do with religion or the lack of it. This thing is a blood lust caused by infatuation with the media of our times -- graphic movies, graphic video games, graphic news reporting, etc. The so called "knock out game" is a part of this. People, and especially young people, have become immune to being a part of humanity as a whole. There are so many groups that each believe their group is the "real world" while everyone else is false. Churches want to cry that these people need god. What they need to be taught is the truth about humanity -- we are one! If I am bored and want to see blood for real, then I might be harboring a secret death wish because there is "nowhere else to go" in this world. If I attack old people I am secretly showing my fear of death. If I attack women and children I am showing my great desire to be in control.
There is much we could do to change this, but it willl not happen if we keep on "doing business as usual." We are amid a time of future shock in which our entire society has to change. This will never happen as long as we cling to the myths.