The Big Question: Does Violence In Media Cause Violence In Real Life?


There is a huge jump from wanting to eat cake after watching it on TV to wanting to kill after seeing it on TV. Eating cake or playing poker are not nearly as against our morals as pulling out a gun and using it.
I think this is side stepping the fact (or at least the huge amount of empirical historical evidence) that humans are extremely violent creatures, and that we crave violence, we seek it out. We all know what happened in the Coliseum in Rome, we know the mob violence of the French Revolution, we know the violence that happens in the Congo today.

While it’s likely that media contributes to our dehumanization of other people, thus aiding violent tendencies, we should remember that the most popular media is not forced upon anyone: people willfully seek out this extreme violence and find sick enjoyment in it.

Personally, I think media is not violent enough, true violence is a terrifying and horrible thing – but when you create these fantasies around it, when violence is cartoonish and campy, that’s when it makes violence appealing and not shocking. Then again, real violence in front of people is age-old entertainment. Of course, our media is a reflection of what people WANT to see.

I look at other societies, especially European societies, where they are not fascinated with violence to the same degree, and those societies seem to substitute sex. If instead of “24” showing a dude torturing another guy, how about some really nice tits? Everyone loves tits. Let’s get people fucking, not fighting.
@ fidelity:

Totally agree about media not being violent enough -- REAL violence. If more of us were exposed to what the human body looks like after a horrible wreck, decapitation and all, perhaps we would slow the fuck down and not drive drunk as often.

Same with gun violence -- if more of us actually saw what a bullet does to human flesh, i think we would take it much more seriously. I'd be willing to bet that a HUGE percentage of the population has never seen an actual bullet wound outside of fictional film...
@human - you're assuming a "HUGE percentage" of the population hasn't ever hunted.

What's it like living on Hawthorne? Do you ever ride your bike out of the city, or is SE 55th the limit?
"Less than seven percent of the U.S. population hunts."

What's it like living up your own ass?
@Drunk, It's better than living on Hawthorne, that's for sure.

"One in 10 Americans has gone hunting every year for the past several decades."

I bet if you go anywhere outside of Portland or any major city, the percentage of people who have hunted at least once in their life jumps to 1 out of 3 or more.
Nine in ten is a HUGE percentage. So is two of three.
@ fidelity:

SE Flavel & 82nd was my limit, but i haven't been back there since i found my current dealer, who operates in the NE forties. No more bullshit $50 eighths for me, no sir.

Fuck 55th -- i have no business east of 52nd now -- i don't leave my gentrified enclave for anything except work and emo concerts.

But seriously: Are you such an enormous dolt that you'll argue against your own point in order to quibble with me over the definition of 'huge'? You said that the media wasn't [in a realistic fashion] violent enough, and i agreed. I said that i'd be willing to bet that a huge percentage of the population hasn't been privy to what bullets really do, and you called me out with some vague statistic that basically says something like 90% percent of people haven't. (Clearly, Drunk's figure of 93% was total bullshit.)

I'm going to put my foot down here and state that, yeah, 90% is kind of a 'huge' percentage of the population. But, whatever, knock it down to 65-70% if you go out into the sticks -- that's still pretty fucking significant.
Actually, both of you fuckwits, the number I posted was a conservative one. Here's a CBS News report that shows that numbers of Americans who hunt continue to decline, and that it was down to 5% of Americans by 2006. You're right that the numbers go up in rural areas (no fucking shit!), but nowhere in this country does it reach a "HUGE percentage." Even Montana, where it's still under 20%. That's hardly "1 in 3."…
Yeah, @Drunk, I'm sure the VEGANS you cited previously used a conservative number.

How is this going to advance my goal of getting more tits than guns on TV?

Also, why hasn't Xbox/PS3 released a pornographic video game? I mean, they can start Call of Duty with a man being burnt alive inside a box, you can slaughter hundreds of innocent people - but when Grand Theft Auto had a secret sex scene, SHIT HIT THE FAN. Titty slip at the Super bowl? Congress gets involved. These are the real problems in the world.
What is happening here is that Fidelity Axiom is displaying a profound lack of empathy and ability to understand the 'other'. In Fidelity's mind, anything Fidelity has experienced, ALL people have experienced. So if you claim that people have have NOT experienced something that Fidelity has experienced, to him, you seem you like a crazy person. When in fact, to EVERYONE else, Fidelity appears to be living in a near psychotic solipsistic fantasy world and should seek serious help from qualified mental health professionals.
Mostly I used the vegans' number because 1. It was conservative compared to other estimates, and 2. I was hoping you'd blow up at the source in the first place (allowing me to then come in with the CBS News estimate of 5%).

You now just sound crazy. Slow clap.
@ Drunk:

You must've missed my sarcasm -- i was obviously joking about your 93% number being so far off from my 90% one.....nowhere in my comments did i do anything but agree with you.

@ fidelity:

Tits kill, too, just not as suddenly and loudly.
To head back to the question at hand for a minute:
There's lots of people who can watch violent movies, play violent video games etc. and not view them as suggestions for how to spend their lives. And there's people who can't make that distinction, and might well go off if the proper whistles are being blown. There's a lot less of them, but they tend to make a pretty large splash when they go off. They also tend to respond to dumb politicians who spend all their time pitting groups against other groups.

There's the answer to the dumb question. As to a solution? Y' got me.
You guys are so funny. I mean, I'm funny. But you guys are FUNNY.
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me? People fear what they don't understand, People put things on a pedestal that which they have no actual experience with. Shooting a deer is a lot different then shooting a person. One screams more. Until you've had that deep personal connection with actual violence, you're a bystander that deserves no comment. Until Blood stops selling, it will saturate the media. There's enough tits making money out there to please the world.
Canadians are exposed to pretty much the same TV and media that we are, correct?
And yet their society is much safer than ours somehow.
They even got a bunch of guns up their too.
I think somehow it is ingrained into the American psyche, but how and why, I don't know.