The Agony and the Irony

I know it’s comparing apples to oranges, but I came across a couple of interesting things in the paper at lunch today that sort of conflicted with each other. The first was reader responses to what sounded like your standard “violent video games make people go out and kill people” bullshit article. I really don’t know where people get the idea. Everyone knows that anyone who has seen a movie with violence in it is far more likely to go on a homocidal rampage simple from seeing hollywood blood and gore, I mean come on! Hit the read more to see more ranting that will no doubt bring me flames and cause people to mock my intellect (as was done when I mentioned these thoughts at work today 🙂

Some very sane people wrote in to clue the author in luckily, both channeling my sentiments very well.

Anyway, so some groups of people are opposed to violence and the glorification or reproduction of it.

In the next section in there is an article (or two) about the new Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ.

Two interesting things were said. The first was that this was the movie was extremely gory and violent:

Imagine the torture scenes in Braveheart, just more explicit and running almost the entire length of a movie, and you have the gist of The Passion of the Christ.

The second was that this movie was huge with groups and has blocks of seats outselling the likes of Harry Potter and Star Wars. Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of these groups are going to be church groups. Happy teens and young adults going for a good wholesome night at the movies. You and your friends hanging out and having fun. Watching a man being tortured, beaten and crucified for two hours.

Uh huh. I have this vision of a line of happy go lucky young teens all dressed up in their ankle length skirts and button up shirts, that innocent gleam in their eyes going into this movie, then coming out two hours later ash faced and unbelieving (or even stranger, maybe they’ll come out happy, and not at all affected).

Now I’m not going to make the assumption that these are the same sort of people who oppose video game violence, and I know that onscreen violence portrayed to envoke an emotional respose is different from onscreen violence portrayed for entertainment (ie: movies) or fun (ie: video games). Or is it? When I frag someone in quake it envokes an emotional respose (wh00t I 0wn3z j00!), and when I see a movie with Arnold blowing away legions of bad guys (you can tell from the black hats) it envokes an emotional response (poor arnold, I hope he makes it), why is this different? It’s just a different emotion.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to go into different emotions and which ones are ok and which ones aren’t, as I can hear the thought police coming up the stairs now. I was just wanting to point out the irony and odd logical disconnect between one article (violence bad and evil, causes killers!) and another (new Christian movie very violent, huge lineups).

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