silver lining in violence?

Daily Prompt: Write about something you consider “ugly” — war, violence, failure, hatred — but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.

wild summer sky in VT

by tim bartlett, nephew

Gratuitous violence. As entertainment. OK, that’s two things I consider beyond ugly. Sadly, however, they are often linked in our culture: movies showing extreme/graphic violence of one human to another. I remain revulsed and numbed by the insensitivity of those who claim it entertaining to watch children maimed, women raped, men senselessly killing one another point-blank and in increasingly appalling (if creative) fashion.

As you might guess, I do not support such ‘entertainment’ in any form – by watching, even discussing it. There’s enough toxic energy in our world. Why introduce more? And how is it entertaining? The ‘news’ is violent enough. And I won’t start on my opinion of the (rather direct) connection between watching/playing at violence and learning to be violent.

So where’s the silver lining? When my children were young, shows and movies that portrayed (never mind glorified) violence in any form – name-calling, gun-swaggering, knife-pulling, bullying, abuse of one over/against another – became a supreme teaching moment.  And I’m proud that each of them has emerged into adulthood compassionate, thoughtful and actively working for change in fundamental systems that impact us all: criminal justice, education, the environment. Now THAT’s a silver lining to support.

15 thoughts on “silver lining in violence?

  1. I was never a fan of violent movies, such as the typical Summer ‘blockbuster’. I found that once I had a child it was even less likely that I would watch any violent movie.

    • So true! I love hearing from a dad with the same view – thanks so much for visiting and sharing/validating the idea that violence is neither entertaining nor appropriate for children.

      • Even comedies will often have plenty of violence. My wife and i tend to watch mostly foreign language films and documentaries now.

      • I’ve recently come to that same conclusion!! Perhaps we should create a ‘film share’ for those of us seeking true entertainment/enlightenment in lieu of becoming horror-struck or ill as the result of watching a movie . . . 🙂

      • I used to watch one or two movies a week, now I’m down to maybe one or two a month – I’m usually just too exhausted from running around after our 3 year old. But to give you an idea of where I find good movies, here’s a link to Film Movement. I don’t belong to their film club, but if something looks good, I’ll see if I can get it on Netflix. One of the better ones I’ve seen is ‘The Grocer’s Son’.

      • I don’t have Netflix – yet! – but appreciate the link to Film Movement. Will give it a try once I’m past current deadlines and book launch planning. A good film is just the ticket for down-time from active writing. Thanks for the tip!!

  2. When I read the title, I wondered, “Now how’s she going to pull this off?” And then as I read, I was even more curious. What a great ending, and a lovely way your children have learned from you and vice versa.

    • Thanks, Emlee. Mind you, I wouldn’t choose to watch something gratuitously violent just for that opportunity; however, there WERE times when my kids were growing up that it was the only way to deal. I appreciate your visiting.

  3. This is a great post! I whole-heartedly agree with you 100%! The violence in our culture through EVERY venue has become totally ridiculous! I did not let my children watch it while they were growing up (which was difficult at times), and I refuse to watch it myself now. I have even watched a show for quite a while and had to quit watching it when they began to show more graphic violence. While working on my masters, I did a research project on television violence and the correlation to increased violence in real life. If those statistics were more widely known (but of course the media is NOT going to expose those facts), people in this country would do something to change it. Hollywood will NOT keep making violent movies IF they don’t MAKE MONEY. It’s all about the almighty DOLLAR! Sorry I got on my soap box…I just abhor all the violence to which our young people are exposed. Again, this is a great post!!

    • Thanks for visiting, Betty. And I completely understand your ‘soapbox.’ It’s a topic I find particularly hard to discuss standing on flat, even though quite solid, ground. After all, the military trains by the using videos. Exposure. Repetition. Practice. And as you say, research proves . . . Sigh. I appreciate your comments.

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