For Discussion Purposes: Video Games, Movies, Guns.

The other day I posted this on Facebook. I'm curious to see what C99ers have to say about it since you/we are a different sort of crowd.

maybe it *is* the "video games". Along with other sick weirdnesses of our national culture. Yes, there's the availability of guns, obviously. But then...so I was at the Hawthorne Hideaway last night to see the Zags.

Before they came on I was in the table area which has big screen TVs. I spent a few minutes being horrified at the sight of Robert Redford participating in a manifestation of the collective id. When I got home and googled it I found it must have been Captain America. A fairly disgusting glorification of violence and destruction with absurd illogical special effects that give one the impression that you can be a killing machine with no bad effects to yourself.

I walked back to the music area but before getting there I encountered another TV showing a "different" movie where characters were making impossible twists through the air, landing and karate chopping other people, while strange aircraft hovered with thrusters blasting, and these characters were saying something about Ragnarok. It was pretty much identical with that Captain America horror. Different costumes, though.

These movies have made crazy amounts of money which means crazy numbers of people have seen them....and liked them! And I can see how these movies play into the minds of people on the brink. Lots of explosions (explosions are cool!), lots of killing (oh boy!), planes crashing (what fun!). In short, never having seen any of this before, I am now fairly depressed this morning about what's outside my little world.

Share
up
21 users have voted.

Comments

edg's picture

Back in the 1960s, whenever West Side Story was shown, there was allegedly an uptick in gang fights. When my brothers and I would go see a biker gang movie like Wild Angels, we'd come out of the theater and pretend we were bikers. My oldest brother eventually joined motorcycle gangs and was shot to death when he was 20 years old. Did the movies inspire him? I don't know. I watched the same movies and never joined a gang.

We also watched the Combat TV show with Vic Morrow, and incorporated "Die, you dirty Kraut!" and "Achtung! Das ist verboten!" into our play. There was an old barn nearby and one of us would go into the loft, the others would play shoot him, and he'd fall into a pile of hay. As far as I know, none of us ever got hold of an M1 or a BAR and went on a rampage at K-Mart.

When I served in the US Army, I qualified as an expert marksman with the M-16. After the Army, I never touched another gun. On the other hand, my sole surviving brother, who never served, is a gun fanatic. Go figure.

up
17 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

@edg

that was what? 1961? Being in a gang seemed exotic.

I'm reminded of that HG Wells/Jack the Ripper movie with Malcolm McDowell and David Warner, where Jack uses the Time Machine and comes into the present...somewhere in the 1970s, I guess.

At one point Jack says to "Herbert":

Ninety years ago, I was a freak. Today, I'm an amateur.

and that's kind of the difference, too, between 1961 and 2019.

up
17 users have voted.
ludwig ii's picture

of state-sponsored murder and destruction under the auspices of so-called Foreign Policy?

Don't forget that our beloved Intelligence Community regularly writes and rewrites the scripts for the big budget films and TV series. Just about any production that features military equipment or uniforms was screened and approved by the Pentagon. Probably the video games too -- all owned by most of the same players, who in turn purchase our political class.

up
21 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@ludwig ii Being exposed to massive amounts of violence does not necessarily make a person more violent, but it does normalize violence as a part of today's society.

I am not a psychologist and I recognize the following paragraph is a simplification.

I believe that today's societal problems are probably more a result of alienation and isolation than just from cartoon violence. Show me a child or adult who is engrossed in video games, particularly violent ones, and I am willing to bet that child or adult has no social skills. Social skills are developed from being involved with other people instead of being involved in mind numbing video games. IMHO, the best antidote to people acting out violent fantasies is for them to be actively involved in positive social activities with other humans beings.

up
15 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

snoopydawg's picture

@ludwig ii

Lots of articles write about the effect it has on violence here in der homeland. But people don't give a rat's ass about the number of people who killed every day by cops. Instead of wondering how other country's cops can patrol without guns they just say that people need to obey the cops. How many people seem concerned that our cops are basically troops patrolling their cities which is how the PTB got around posse comitatus. Do they really think that cops need swat to serve warrants for traffic fines or because someone is behind on their taxes? No knock warrants have gotten thousands of people killed because they don't know who is breaking into their homes.

Good essay topic.

up
15 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Daenerys's picture

Blaming video games for violence? It's 2019, video games have been around since the 80s, but violent crimes and mass shootings have gone up in the last ~10 years. Violent video games exist in other countries, but other countries don't have the almost-daily mass shootings we do.

Also as an introvert I find the whole "people who play a lot of video games have no social skills" claptrap silly. I guess yall don't know many introverts.

But, I'm just a kid, what do I know? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

up
15 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

snoopydawg's picture

@Daenerys

Columbine, but of course they happened before that. I already talked about our foreign policies up thread.

Another thing with video games is that the CIA is helping design them. And manufacturing consent for people blowing away thugs and non whites. I'm betting that there is a good chance that Bolton and Pompeo were involved in the new season of Jack Ryan where Venezuela is supposed to trying to get a nuke.

What are you thoughts on this? Being a just a kid and all.. Smile

up
8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Daenerys

Also as an introvert I find the whole "people who play a lot of video games have no social skills" claptrap silly. I guess yall don't know many introverts.

But, I'm just a kid, what do I know? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ride easy there, Daenerys! gulfgal was talking about the small minority of people who obsess on violent video games. Most introverts prefer video games possessing plots, puzzles, and the like, finding the "kill, kill, kill" games flat and boring. And most introverts read, too -- another activity the violence-prone tend to eschew.

(As you can see, I do know some introverts!) Smile

up
9 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

travelerxxx's picture

@Daenerys

Violent video games exist in other countries, but other countries don't have the almost-daily mass shootings we do.

Excellent point and it cannot be dismissed. Hell, the Swiss have machine guns in their homes, Israelis too (as long as you're not Palestinian). The US isn't the only nation with guns in the hands of civilians and violent video games in the parlor. There's a stoichiometric mixture that brings us to the violence point. Perhaps the games add to it, but clearly they alone cannot cause it.

I can't put my finger on it, but I think it's by design and there are many parts. Much of it is fed by the think tanks, the most pernecious of whom are throwing out Harvard-and-Yale-educated poison all day, every day. Best I can tell, the sum effect of the propaganda is to divide the 99 percent, to the benefit of those writing the paychecks for the propagandaists. Our dear Caity Johnstone pretty well has this figured out. I believe she's right, too.

But, there are many lumps of coal fueling the fire. I just don't think they got there by themselves. A few of them might be labeled "violent video games," but not many.

up
12 users have voted.

@travelerxxx after ww2 we had over 1 million combat hardened vets most likely suffering from ptsd and trained in state of the art weaponry. Close to 7 million more were trained in the same weaponry. We had mail order guns, no background checks. Somehow we didn't end up killing each other. But the republicans latched on to right wing media and it's been them or us ever since. It's not only ok to hate, it's virtuous.

up
3 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

Look instead at the reasons why people commit violent crimes. Then people in power refuse to do anything to help the people or mitigate the causes of violence, so it becomes normalized. Of course there are many people who have trouble separating reality from fantasy, and again people in power take full advantage of that.

I guess it's just easier to blame video games/smart phones/rock and roll music/the internet than actually doing something about it.

up
15 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

Shahryar's picture

@Daenerys

I think many of us are utopians. We can look at the world and picture how we could all work together to make it a paradise for humans. And we know that those in power not only aren't interested in doing such but are actively opposed to it. If everyone took care of each other it would be bad for business.

So we get a society of unfulfilled dreams, where people do their best to approximate how they'd like to live.

This produces a lot of unhappiness which we sometimes call "normal". In society there's an intersection of people who are the unhappiest and the people who are the angriest and the people who, for whatever reason, are what we'd call "crazy".

Then we have virtually unlimited access to guns and this "entertainment" that says killing people is exciting and fun.

I mean, it's easy to make a list of why this violence happens and any sensible society would then take care of it, which I figure is what other countries have done.

up
12 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Daenerys

I guess it's just easier to blame video games/smart phones/rock and roll music/the internet than actually doing something about it.

Exactly. Our people are hurting. And there's no real answer available to their unhappiness. You can't have a reasonably well-off populace and the ginormous unearned profits being realized by the investor class at the same time; and American government has clearly and blatantly opted for the latter.

Bad

up
10 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Travelerxxx commented: "I can't put my finger on it, but I think it's by design and there are many parts. Much of it is fed by the think tanks, the most pernecious of whom are throwing out Harvard-and-Yale-educated poison all day, every day. Best I can tell, the sum effect of the propaganda is to divide the 99 percent, to the benefit of those writing the paychecks for the propagandaists. Our dear Caity Johnstone pretty well has this figured out. I believe she's right, too."

I agree with all of this. In addition, I would emphasize the "by design" part. I am reminded of the "strategy of tension" that intelligence agencies implemented in Europe after WWII. This consisted of attacks and bombings of civilians in places like train stations, etc., which were blamed on terrorists of the time (the "Red Army" etc.) but were actually carried out by intelligence operatives. The intent was to terrify the population and get them to demand protection from the government, in the form of restrictions on civil liberties, more power for the police, etc. (One name for this was "Operation Gladio". Members of the Italian judiciary have testified to the existence of this program in Italy in the 1960's.)

I look at what is happening now, with one incident after another, and wonder if we are being subjected to an updated version of the "strategy of tension". After all, instead of doing the sensible thing, banning assault weapons, which would have virtually no effect on most civil rights, instead we have proposals to put police everywhere, search all travelers (not just those on airplanes--though that is bad enough), arm teachers, and train the populace to run like scared rabbits if they hear anything that sounds like a gunshot. Along with proposals to monitor and control everything we read and watch. And a constant diet of "news" that bombards us with whatever the violent incident du jour is.

Controlling people via fear is really effective, as we are wired to turn off our critical thinking when confronted with life threatening situations. Subject the general population to experiencing such situations vicariously, and you can get away with an awful lot.

up
11 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@out of left field

I would emphasize the "by design" part. I am reminded of the "strategy of tension" that intelligence agencies implemented in Europe after WWII. This consisted of attacks and bombings of civilians in places like train stations, etc., which were blamed on terrorists of the time (the "Red Army" etc.) but were actually carried out by intelligence operatives. The intent was to terrify the population and get them to demand protection from the government, in the form of restrictions on civil liberties, more power for the police, etc. (One name for this was "Operation Gladio". Members of the Italian judiciary have testified to the existence of this program in Italy in the 1960's.)

Bush the lesser did that with the color code system and would increase the danger level whenever he wanted congress to pass his legislation or if there was a vote coming up. I'm still amazed by how people rolled over when the tsa was created and continued going along with their increasing rules. Now people stand there helplessly and watch as they grope kids, senior citizens, vets who have prosthetics and others in wheelchairs. If enough people refused to fly until they rolled back their rules.

As to the removal of our civil rights when it first happened people said that they had nothing to hide and now people are buying the surveillance systems themselves. Alexa, Googles stuff and the Amazon ring that people buy for their doorbells so they can see who is at the door or who steals their packages. But how many of them know that Amazon is partnering with cops everywhere and letting them see the videos without having to get a warrant for it? Cops are using them to see who was in the neighborhood when a crime was committed.

We want sensible gun control and an assault weapons ban put back in place. But Trump wants to pass red flag rules which allows cops to take people's guns if they think they are 'crazy' or mentally ill. Slippery slope...?

up
9 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery