A Blaze of Gory: The Brutality of Popular Culture

The results obtained from a study of the relationship between popular culture and violent behavior are typically interpreted in two ways based on the bias of the individual(s) doing the analysis. Defenders of the notion that there is no demonstrable connection between violent content and imitative human behavior draw too narrow distinctions while those who wish to connect every dot produce evidence supporting the position that the relationship is absolute.Regardless of which side may be more convincingly parsing the evidence at any given moment, we can all share concern for the frighteningly omnipresent facts of social and cultural deterioration presented to us on a daily basis. We see with our own eyes increasing sociopathic behavior running the gamut from disrespect for self and others to extremities of hatred and violence occurring in our very midst. At the same time, we’re increasingly more concerned about the hyper-violent content of technologically enhanced imagery in our entertainment media.Consider the bloodcurdling nature of many video games our children are playing. Develop critical awareness of recent big box office youth-culture films, such as Hostel, the Saw series, and many others in which murderous torture is served up as entertainment and vicarious thrills. It is ever more incumbent upon us to comprehend the level of vicious brutality present in contemporary film, video, music, and electronic games.Without broad first-hand knowledge of what actually occurs in much current mass-media we are persisting in a kind of naiveté which insulates us from coming to terms with the rampant mean-spirited nature of popular culture. Things are the way they are because most of us are insufficiently aware of the extent to which each new generation is held more captive, influenced, and programmed by dangerously infectious inhumanity packaged and sold as mere diversion.*http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8449 *Image: http://www.rockstargames.com/

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