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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Notes On Violence


1) The Mass Killers of gun violence see themselves in a Story: they are playing a role.

Check and see how often the boys of Columbine quoted and referenced the Quentin Tarantino film Natural Born Killers.

2) Films and stories do not cause people to kill, but they form the Semantic Meaningful framework for the killer to create their work of violent art.

3) After the first subway killing of pushing a person onto the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, there were at least 3 more copycat subway pushing killings within 2 months.

The copycats had a rage looking for a Narrative, and suddenly they found it in the subway-pushing story.

4) People who are outside of the Society of Gun Violence express their anger differently, as for example the Amish group recently in court who attacked some Amish neighbors and cut their beards off.
If they had been part of our culture, the probability of reaching for a gun would have been much higher.

5) Art is no excuse for violence.
Defoe wrote the pamphlet "On Murder Considered As One Of The Fine Arts". Anything can be Art if we find that it pays off somehow.

6) A person with perverse tastes may be offensive, but at least their sins are secret. An artist or film director makes their offense and degraded tastes public and presents it as a potential Narrative for a troubled mind to use.

7) Art is the creation of Meaning. Meaning is a powerful weapon for good or bad, yet we pretend it has no power at all compared to $80 million on the opening week-end.

8) Ritual has no meaning apart from the participation of Intelligent beings in the Ritual.
That is why archaeologists often have a hard time understanding depictions of ancient rituals with which they have little information or points of reference.
We have many, many rituals of love and hate, peace and violence. We take great care to give the bad ones as much meaning as we do the good ones.

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