Saturday, 2 May 2015
Think about it - how much of our pop culture is about violence? Almost every movie, TV show, and comic book is about someone fighting someone else. If it happens to be the good guys, that makes it all right. However the flip side is that few of these show how much it hurts. People get bruised, bones get broken, bodies get crippled. And then there's the post-traumatic stress. There are hardly any action films that I can think of that take the time to show the recovery that the hero must endure. Instead, we make violence look like fun.
Perhaps the appeal is that it has become a substitute for actually putting ourselves at risk to accomplish something. It's like watching a football or hockey game from the safety of your couch while the pros get their brains scrambled a little more with every impact, then walking around saying "we won" like you had the least amount of effort in the accomplishment. We still have the base instincts of hunter-gatherers. Taking risks had to have some kind of mental reward to encourage us to take on a mammoth, or fend off a pack of wolves. The thrill pushed us to do something that would be dangerous because we were communal and taking that risk meant the community got to eat.
That is also why we still need to feel like we are part of the team, because our willingness to take a risk has to have a benefit, even when we know it could be fatal. So do we really have to ask why our culture is so warlike, why we see often war as the first alternative instead of the last?
If only we could encourage the communal instincts as easily as the bash-each-other's-brains-out instinct.