I’m at home, watching trailers for upcoming movies on Five. Guns, fisticuffs – combat as a fundamental dramatic component. It’s so all-pervasive, you don’t notice it any more.
And I’m sick of it. Sick of the reduction of the subtle emotional conflicts inherent in drama to meatheaded literal battles; sick of the constant presentation of violence as a positive response to problematic situations; sick of the idiot miscalled-morality that can only respond to opposition with absolute destruction.
Encoded in violence-as-entertainment is a whole broken world view, over-brought in to a narrative structure that demands a frangible antagonist for every protagonist, and makes every hero an innocent victim of evil, a by-definition justified responder to a situation that’s been forced onto him or her, thus absolving them of any real moral responsibility for their actions.
This sickened externalisation of such a limited view of evil, this self-indulgent definition of the other as both dispensable and perpetually unjustified, is at the root of so much of the damage we do in the world, complaining about our own hurt while butchering by the thousand to re-confirm our brutally narrow, boneheaded definitions of what heroism is.
You want to hold up a mirror to up to the worst parts of what we are? Turn on the television, and watch endless butchery presented as narrative positivity, casual massacres as a constant solution to opposition. We are our obsessions – and, in the modern world, our obsessions are so brutally, perpetually present and exposed.