Friday, August 14, 2009

Moral Conundrums

So the other day I was watching a couple of episodes of the underated but amazingly cool show Millenium. The first season is vaugly meh, the second season though, the second season is a work of art. Then it was canceled and the planned third season never happened. NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED. One of the things I really appreciate about the show is how well it really captures the rising panic of an era. So many things where changing then and we were having a hard time coming to grips with all of it. One episisode in paticular sparked all of this. A serial killer mastermind was killing people over the internet and taunting the police with crypitc cyphers as to his location. The thing is this is mid/late 90's there was no streaming video then. So it all happened over the course of rapidly uploaded photographs.

It is a chilling look at the future where now we have youtube, and anyone with a little bit of knowlage can see real people being killed and and tortured for free.

There is a problem here. See here's my thing. I am deeply invested in the idea that violent media doesn't cause violent behaviour. I don't watch Ong Bak and punch people in the head, I don't watch Gone in 60 Seconds then go drive a stolen car really fast, I don kill people after American Psycho. The same is true for roleplaying games, video games, books, movies, and porn. It just doesn't happen that way. This is an argument I have heavily theorized, and to protect it I will leap all over some seemingly innocent theories just because of their potential applications. It is one thing I will not back down over, and if you ever really really want to see me argue with someone this is the way to do it. Yet I have a problem.

The main flaw of my argument, which oddly enough no one ever brings up because people don't know how to debate is, "If it isn't violent media then what the fuck is the problem". Blaming parents? Trendy but a little overplayed, also parents have been fucking up the gentle art of raising children since the dawn of time and we didn't nearly have the same problems we do now. SO I'm willing to let them off easily.

The thing is that the core of my argument is that what people are watching is a fictional representation of a series of actions. They aren't real and they are in of themselves inert. See how two people can read the same book but get wildly diffrent views of what happended? That is part of the proof that media doesn't cause violence because media doesn't cause anything. If it did then we would all have the same reactions and we'd all buy pepsi and a consordium of poets would rule the earth with an iron fist.

However, this youtube thing. I can go watch someone die. For real. And to me that is sick. I have a solum rule which not even I want to break. I don't watch movies where people/animals are delivertly injured for my enjoyment. So no "Children of the Sun", "Cannibal Holocaust", or "Apocalypse Now" for me. I've watched some intense movies. Really intense disturbing movies, and I got to say that I enjoyed them. I am looking foward to the third Lucien Valentine vomit movie if that is saying anything. But watching real things die for my petty burgeoisie entertainment is wrong. Flat out. If I am bored I can watch tv, masturbate, inflict my prescense upon other people, drink, do drugs, but to go onto the internet to watch people die? That is pretty delibertly fucked up.

4chan takes it to another level. Where they will take the deaths of real people and turn them into jokes. People who will no longer dance, laugh, love, or sing, who's lives ended in cruel horrible ways plastered over the internet so that people can laugh. That whole activity is fucking sick.

So how do I rationalize the two. How can I say that violent media doen't cause violence when people are turning real pain/tragidy into their own warped form of entertainment. I don't know. But I do care. I slightly feel that I have been backing the wrong horse. Maybe I have. Maybe, despite all their fear, their terrible terrible ignorance, bullshit science, maybe they are right. There something out there has eroded our ability to maintain a healthy relationship between what we watch, how we watch it, and what we do. Something that is inside the individuals themselves.

I dunno. In other news NASA wants to move the damn earth. That deserves it's own entry though because what the fuck NASA seriously you are made of retarded.

Well I am apparently going to go shoot up a school now because I play violent video games. Or something like that.

No comments: