1. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Our love of violence

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Scribe Rewan, Jul 26, 2008.

    This is something that has been interesting me for a while now.

    Why are we all (well most of us) so interested and entertained by violence?

    Don't get me wrong, I love watching or reading a good fight, with more people getting killed the better. Which kind of worries me.

    I suppose it could be that we've not long been out of an age where everyone would have been fighting. Maybe we're just naturally geared towards fighting, and now that there are few means for us to do this, we have to be content with just watching or reading it?

    Or maybe it's a way of removing our own anger and rage.

    I don't know, but anyway, my point is- how much violence do you like, if any, and does it distrub you? Could you not care less? Why do you think you, or other people enjoy it?

    I'm interested to know everyone's thoughts on this!
     
  2. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    In movies I really don't enjoy the blood and gore stuff.
    But a good fight scene is ok.
    I do not like movies that use mental abuse as a form of control.
    I never liked the 3 stooges with their form of hitting humour.

    But in books I am reading a lot of Eric Flint books where the greek army is fighting another army and he goes into great detail of the battle scenes. I enjoy it because
    I can control how much my brain sees of the violence and the blood. Also he always
    comes up with something funny that has me laughing during the battle.
    Also in books I can skip the pages of the worst of the violence where in a movie I can't control that part.

    I don't like violence in real life reading or watching it.
    I never cared for the fairy tales when I was a child and when I had children of my own I rarely read them to my children.
     
  3. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Oh no I don't enjoy that obv. I just thought it was interesting how we like to create it to entertain, and in return are entertained by it.

    I am also not a fan of gore. Or mental abuse. Or things like domestic violence. But kung fu, gunfights, bar fights, all those kidn of things are entertaining, but all it boils down to is humans getting hurt, which surely none of us like?
     
  4. skip slocum
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    skip slocum Member

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    I think it's an animal thing look all through the kingdom we are just another beast.
    Even the human female goes for the "Bad-boys."
    Some may say they are disgusted by violence but they have the shortest fuses and when they loose control they do more damage because they don't embrace it and learn to control it.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i abhor all violence and yes, it disturbs me... more aptly, it disgusts me that anyone would find it 'entertaining'...

    ...i couldn't care more!... which is why i refuse to help anyone with writing that has any violent content whatsoever [unless it's non-fiction]...

    ...i think it's because they're 'trained' to from earliest childhood, with violence-based cartoons, toys, fairy tales, et al. ... and because humans [the male half, anyway] seem to have an inherent aggressive/violent streak that will surface, if allowed to... while the female half doesn't seem to be quite so inherently violence-prone, some can still be influenced to be, by external pressure/example...

    ...that said, we were also provided with free will, the ability to choose how we act, so i can't let the violence-lovers among us off on the grounds that they 'can't help it'!
     
  6. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Hmm... that's an interesting point... I feel terrible now lol.

    TBH Maia (Do you mind me calling you Maia? Otherwise I have to keep scrolling up to make sure I've spelt it right!) it was your comment on another thread about only fictional violence that was the final part in making me post this thread, so I'm glad you've commented.

    I also think that it's maybe a tad unfair to claim that all males are violent ( i for one am a complete coward, and hate the idea of fighting) and that females only like violence when pressured. I presume you aren't making a sweeping generalistation there, but I still think that it's a bit unfair to say that women are pushed into being violent. (interestingly in the news a couple of weeks ago two old women in mobility scooters came to walking stick blows over some money that one had dropped but both tried to claim.)

    I must admit it seems odd that perhaps one of the best loved cartoons is Tom and Jerry, which is ridiculously violent.

    I can sort of see where your coming from about free will, but at the same time, I don't choose to be entertained by it, I just am. In the same way I don't choose who I find attractive, or what music I like, I can't help but enjoy a fight (fictional, not real life). But I'm under no illusion that real life fighting is terrible, and the boundaries will never be blurred for me.
     
  7. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    It depends on what kind of setting it's in.
    In the real world, I don't support violence at all.

    In books, it doesn't bother me. Not many things do when they're in writing.

    In movies, it varies. I have absolutely no problem watching Count Dooku being beheaded in Revenge of the Sith, but the more "realistic" stuff like war and horror movies, I tend to avoid.

    In video games, the only kind of violence I can't stand is senseless, extremely graphic slaughter. Not like in shoot-'em-ups, but rather in games that center entirely around killing your enemies in the most brutal ways you can think of.

    I think people enjoy this kind of thing because it's exciting. I know, some people are perfectly fine reading calm stories about life on the farm/the tragic stories of two lovers/whatever, but some of us are bored by such things. Action scenes mix things up, keeps the story interesting. Interesting for those of us who don't mind violence, anyway. As for violence in the real world... I have no explanation. It's just the way some people are.
     
  8. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love horror. THe more blood and gore the better. But I am not a violent person as such. When I was younger, I wouldn't watch horror movies and the like. I was far more of a violent person. I broke someones collar bone and 6 of her ribs... but I am no longer that kind of person. I have learnt to control my anger some what.

    Now I write horror poetry and watch horror to relax. I remember when I was younger, ever single cartoon was based around violence. I always questioned why there were no cartoons that didn't involve violence and if it were possible that violence could not exist somewhere, somehow. I even wrote something on it once. I was 8 years old...

    I think that the reason why we are entertained by violence and the like, is because we are a pack animal. We are also meat eaters, and hunters. So it really is a natural insitinct in a sense.

    maia I commend you on your beliefs and your feeling towards violence. It shows a lot of strength and individualism. You stand by that, and I admire you for that. But in a world where violence is everywhere... I don't see how you can actually avoid it. Maybe it is ignorance on my behalf and I am willing to accept that maybe it is, because my upbringing wasn't exactly the most violence free one.

    I am by no means disturbed by violence, but the places in which it is found now-a-days, and how far spread violence is, the volume of violence in every situation now. That does disturb me. I mean the number of people I know who are beaten, or have been beaten in a relationship... is atronomical!!! Not just woman, but men as well. And children, they are developing violent personalities at such young ages now. Heck, my son had given me a hairline fracture before he was 2. And it was a deliberate assault. I don't love him any less for that though, and he has since lost that aggressive behaviour.

    Violence is never going to be out of our lives. We can mentally shut it out, but violence is everywhere, just in different strengths. Knowing that we can be a violent species, we are responsible for making sure that our violent tendencies never harm others. We make the decision, we have to like with that for the rest of our lives. Shutting violence out won't make the world a better place, but learning to have self control over your own actions, and learning to be responsible for your actions, will help.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A hypothesis:

    Conflict is what defines plot, and violence is a simple, literal, intense form of conflict. That may be part of the attraction people feel for it, as long as they don't have to personally feel the associated suffering.

    It's violence decoupled from consequences that begins the addiction, then the need for stimulation even tolerates consequences as long as the adrenalinbe rush is sufficiently intense.
     
  10. Amphisbaena
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    Amphisbaena Member

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    Violence is a basic facet of change. It is necessary and inextinguishable.

    What's disturbing is a civilized society trying to eliminate struggle and discomfort.
     
  11. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, I think you're right Cogito. (Stupid people who say the words I want to say, and say it before I can figure it out. I need to go hit something.)
     
  12. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Remind me not to get on your wrong side, Torana!

    I suppose actually in a sense we have improved as a race, considering 2,000 years ago for entertainment we would be watching real violence in the colleseum/ arenas. But then maybe that begs the question that we only watched real violence back then because we didn't have the mediums to fake it, namely television and film. But writing was around then, and they could have simply enacted choreographed fights.

    We're a weird bunch aren't we? (the human race, not everyone on here!)

    (And just to clarify, I in no way enjoy or condone real life acts of violence- in this thread I was talking about why we feel the need to recreate it for entertainment.)
     
  13. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    At first glance, I would say I do not like violence, I think movies where it is just a lot of reckless fighting are boring, the same as movies where it is just a lot of guys driving fast cars, I don't see the appeal. Then, having thought about it a little more, I do actually watch and enjoy a lot of films with violence in it.

    For example, I love a good thriller film, murder crime solving ones especially, one of my favourites being Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. Now I know, there is not actually a lot of outright violence in it, but there is a fair amount of gory details, and I enjoy that, not the gore directly, but it all adds to the film.

    Then you have funny violent films, like Jackie Chan movies. The Rush Hour films are hysterical, and they have a lot of violence in them. One of the reasons I quite like those films is because Jackie Chan does most of his own stunts, and I find that quite impressive.

    You get childrens films, which portray violence, although usually as being bad This I think is a good thing, as it is teaching children that violence is wrong. It is usually the "baddie" in the childrens film, that goes around hurting people, or being mean etc etc, and the "goodie" which solves this problem, although sometimes also in a violent way. I think this is a good message to get across, the violence is wrong, in the case of the "baddie", but sometimes it is needed to protect yourself from them ... which I agree with full heartedly.

    I am not sure what conclusion I have come to from all of my rambling to be honest with you ... although I do agree that yes, I enjoy watching films with violence in them, although like I said, not just mindless, countless fight scenes, and I think in cases, it can aid the plot, and teach good morals sometimes.
     
  14. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Especially seen as he's 60ish. Jackie Chan is awesome.
     
  15. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Scribe, don't ever get on my bad side!

    Consider yourself reminded LOL!

    And for the record, I was young and not that person anymore. I don't condone violent behaviour what so ever anymore!

    <now I must sign out... bubeyes! :D>
     
  16. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Thank you for the reminding!

    And don't worry, I'm sure your lovely now!
     
  17. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I thought I might present the other side of the coin to that - this is a quote from Joss Whedon (I'm fond of quotes :redface:, and Joss is one of the most quotable people ever).

    "Ultimately, stories come from violence, they come from sex, they come from death. They come from the dark places that everybody has to go to... If you raise a kid to think that everything is sunshine and flowers, they're going to get into the real world and die... That's the reason fairy tales are so creepy, because we need to encapsulate these things, to inoculate ourselves against them, so that when we're confronted by the genuine horror that is day-to-day life we don't go insane."

    The crux of that is 'day-to-day' life - Joss created an entire show on the concept that 'high school is hell' - literally!

    Personally, I think that if these things are presented in their proper context, they should not be able to act as an educational tool of any kind. De-sensitisation is a different matter, however, and I would certainly agree that children should not be exposed to things of a certain nature, because it would be impossible to place it in the correct context for them.

    I am no fan of horror or gore (I've had arguments about some films in that genre before - I have a big problem with certain films that are so gratuitously violent and/or gory that I fail to see how they can be classed as entertainment), but I am a fan of martial art films etc. There is a tremendous amount of skill involved in the choreography and execution of a good movie fight (not the wire-fu stuff, though that can still be quite entertaining if done properly), and that is primarily what entertains me about them - watching Jet Li perform in a film like Shaolin Temple or Fist of Legend, it's not hard to see why he was the national wu shu champion five years running. :)
     
  18. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    I have to agree with your point on martial arts fights. They're so beautiful to watch, like a good swordfight- they're more like dancing than fighting. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had some amazing fights in it, as did Hero.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...???...

    ...not at all, since it's my name...

    ...i didn't say that, ("humans [the male half, anyway] seem to have an inherent aggressive/violent streak that will surface, if allowed to... ")

    ...didn't say that, either... ("while the female half doesn't seem to be quite so inherently violence-prone, some can still be influenced to be, by external pressure/example... ")

    ...if you'd read it more carefully, i don't think you'd have to presume that, because the wording i used made it clear i wasn't...

    ...it probably would have been unfair if i'd said that, but i didn't...

    ...not odd at all, if what i opined is true...

    ...you may have been 'conditioned' by the society you were born into to see such violence as 'funny' but as an adult, you will still have the free will to make use of your intelligence and choose to see it as just plain violent and thus not funny...

    torana...
    your last comment sort of proves my point... people are conditioned to see violence as 'natural' when they see it all around them in real life, as well as in entertainment... but they can just as well be conditioned to see it as the 'wrongfulness' [or 'evil'] it is...

    ...i find that terribly sad... imo, we all should be disturbed by it... the fact that so many are not, is what contributes to there being so much of it...
    ...so, where do you think that all comes from?... nowhere?... can't you see that by minimalizing the 'evilness' of violence and excusing it and using it to entertain, people grow up thinking it's ok?... men think it's ok to beat their women and kids think it's ok to fight with and kill each other, because they see it done in every part of their lives, from fairy tales and cartoons they're started out with, to the violence-rife movies and games they're bombarded with and allowed to see and play...

    ...you're right... but only because everyone won't ever see it as NOT OK...

    ...and how many actually do that?... do you refuse to read your children any fairy tales or other stories in which people harm each other or their fellow creatures?... do you refuse to let them watch any cartoons or movies in which the same things take place?... and do the same for games of all kinds?... do you buy them any toys that have any violent aspects to them, like guns, or swords, or soldiers?... do you refuse to let them play cops and robbers, or cowboys and indians, and other games where they 'kill' each other?... do/will you refuse to let them play any 'sports' that are thinly disguised symbolic warfare and where hurting the other guy in order to win is the 'manly' thing to do?

    ...but, as parents, that's not enough, is it?... if we believe violence is not a good thing, then we must also teach that to our children...
     
  20. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    In that case I am very sorry for not reading properly.
     
  21. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    This thread is loaded with generalizations and value judgments. Violence is simply a word describing a high level of force. Nothing more. For example, "The violence of the category 5 tornado resulted in destruction of several steel reinforced buildings."

    IMHO - When violence (extreme force) is directed between humans, then it is either justifiable or contemptible. It is the circumstance of the violence that defines its nature, not the act itself. I have great contempt for a cold blooded killing, but I understand, and do not condemn, a killing in self defense . . . yet both acts are violence.

    Violence in life is not uncommon. Why would fiction NOT reflect such reality? If a writer's story shows a violent response to a lethal threat, then it simply mirrors life. Fortunately, each of us as writers have our own moral compass and the freedom to choose how we apply our values. While I may make different choices than mammamaia, I deeply respect her right to set her own limits and behave accordingly.

    I contend that writing a book with an occasional violent scene is not the same as the gratuitous violence which is the primary attraction of many video games, movies, internet postings (youtube) and some television shows. I believe many people in the world are bored. Their lives have been made "easy" by 40 hour work weeks, relatively safe communities and lots of creature comforts (cell phones, cars, supermarkets, microwaves, PC's, the internet, etc). Extreme violence provides the adrenaline surge that the bored people crave. It is an addiction, not much different than drugs, sex or any other behavior/adrenaline powered obsession. As a writer, the analogy is simple. Do you write "to" the "addiction", in hopes of selling more books, or do you write with your own convictions and maybe lose out on sales to those adrenaline junkies?

    It is both a moral and a business decision. You choose . . . mammamaia did!
     
  22. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    maia...


    That is very true maia. They can definitely be conditioned to see it as the 'wrongfulness' it is. But how many people do you honestly think will bother? People are afraid of change, even the smallest amount of change. Sadly!

    Ok, I didn't explain myself quite properly there... I mean I am disturbed by the amount of violence in this world. THe number of people out there harming others and themselves. But violence in movies and such, doesn't really disturb me. I watch the Saw movies, and I find that it is relaxing to watch... yes I know that sounds disturbing, but in a way, it helps me to deal with my own stresses in life. I have lived a life of horror, you could say. I've been in a lot of violent situations in life, where others have done harm to my own being. Violent acts. And in a way, I find watching a horror movie helps me to cope. By desensitising me in a sense I suppose. I've been through a lot, seeing more graphic horror, like in Saw, knowing I have never been through that and probably never will, does bring me comfort. I don't know how else to explain. That I guess is disturbing really....


    Well my son... that came from a family influence actually... things he had seen and thought were ok. But my son had NOT watched shows, movies, etc. that had violence within them at that stage in life. He was only watching educational programs, Play School, books like "I'll See You In The Morning", things that promoted mental, intellectual, and emotional development. I have since stopped my son from watching movies like pokemon, power rangers, and the like, because children DO mimic the behaviour that they view in those movies. I mean when you see you 4 year old and 2 year old outside with sticks beating each other... you step back and realise that things MUST change!!! So I am careful what I do allow my children to watch. I DON'T read fairy tales to my children, I read them educational books, and the books that teach children about 'good' and 'bad' behavioural traits. Teaching them that name calling is wrong, and to use manners at all times. Just hard when others encourage children to play fight.... my children play educational games, nothing else!

    Sadly maia, that is the case and always will be. People see a little child wrestling and funny and cute, punching you in the arm as cute, because it doesn't hurt and they put so much effort into it. Sadly, it takes a long time to break children out of such behaviour, and most people never bother.



    I don't read them fairy tales and try to stop them watching movies/programs, with violence. I don't buy games that aren't educational and include violence at all. Young minds like a 4 and 2 year old is too impressionable for that kind of thing. And I REFUSE to buy my children guns! My mother bought my son a gun and I threw it in the fire. I don't want my children playing with guns, swords and the like. Why? Because they do not require such items. If my children were older and in the army, or police force, then yeah, sure let them have a gun. But a child does NOT need to play with violent weapons made to look like a toy. As for sport, I can't comment on that. My children aren't invovled in sports, they are too young for that. But I try to stop them playing games with each other, and friends, that shows any form of violence, because they are children and should NOT be showing violent tendecies at all... <I kind of explained this above though...>

    You are right maia. It isn't enough, and yes we must teach our children that it isn't a good thing. But the problem is that not all children will agree and take on that kind of thinking. Some have other family members, that will come back and say, violence is ok. My sister taught my son violence towards myself is ok, as did my son's father. I am still trying to teach my son that kicking me and punching me, even playing around, is not ok. It isn't easy.
     
  23. Risen Glory
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    Risen Glory Senior Member

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    Why do all of you write about violence being bad? It's versatile, just like how love is, how war is, how anything revolving around the earth is.

    What about the people who use violence to do good? What about all the police cops who use violence to sustain evildoers, those who use violence and those who do not?

    Will they be included in what you call 'violence'?

    I believe that violence can be beautiful as much as it can be ugly, just as words can be beautiful and ugly. You see a perfectly choreographed fight scene or martial artist, you cannot but help to be awed. But wait--is he not demonstrating the enacting of violence? He is.

    Also, it's human nature that we tend to adore violence. Some use violence to protect those who are victims of it. Others are violent to prove a point, whether it is as far as evangelizing your religion or performing terrorist acts. And even still, others use violence just to see the world burn.

    Whether it's to protect, harm, or do, violence was and always will be a part of our already broken society.

    Without violence, there would be no need to use violence to fight the former, correct? But, depending on how you perceive Creation and what-not, because of Man's fall, violence, evil, and sin were placed in every person's heart, unconscious, subconscious, or fully awake. Like the Joker says: All it takes is one push, like gravity, and the rest fall with it.

    People like violence because it's primitive, it shows us who we are and how royally f***ed up we are. I love violence. I love the beauty of how movies portray it. Executing people with guns is something I do not like, for some reason. Maybe it's because it has no beauty in it. Maybe it's just naturally disgusting.

    Like how even the emotionally messed up people love violence, they also have a good side, a compassionate (as The Word Lady says[not in this thread, mind you]) characteristic, that motivates them to appreciate the right thing.

    No matter who we are, we mostly tend to fall to the good guy's direction, as he fights and struggles to win and prove his point.

    Violence is a hideous beauty.
     
  24. sfr
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    sfr Contributing Member

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    I'm suprised by this coming from you Maia. I imagine a world with no violence. I don't think it will happen in my lifetime, maybe not for a very long time. Perhaps not with the human race but it's possible, it must be. I do not like any violence but I can sympathize with it as last ditch self defense. I think the media glorifies violence to suit their needs. One need might be to keep the underclass at war with itself as a means of keeping the concentration off the corrupt ruling elite. However, they can't take ideas out of nowhere. We have violence in our past, that however doesn't mean we can't get past it. As to Gone Wishings post I think violent stories harden people. But being a harden person is not desirable. To be numb to the world is not the path to happiness. Being sensitive with respect to your feelings is. While we sometimes live in a world that is hard we need to evolve like we always have. Things usually don't change in a small amount of time.

    As somebody said the first person to hurl an insult instead of a rock was the founder of civlization. We do need to make constant effort and never retreat. I am sensitive and am bothered by many negitive things, but the more confident I am in my beliefs of Good and God the more at ease I am. I know that at any moment anything can happen and I try everyday to be content with that fact. I just hope that the moment I'm in is peaceful. I believe in the golden rule, and try not to worry about things outside my control. When I am comfortable with these ideas I can not be bothered. I need not to be scared of men. I need to love god. Others will more often than not suprise you with similar thoughts. I love you all because all of you are atleast in part purely good, and a piece of god.
     
  25. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Humans as a whole are violent by nature, and for the most part society needs an outlet to that. It has been apart of human civilization since it began.
     

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