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School Shootings & Psychoactive Drugs

Malcolm McMahon malcolm at pigsty.demon.co.uk
Mon Apr 26 03:20:24 EST 1999

On Sun, 25 Apr 1999 21:02:14 -0400, ken collins <kenpc at banet.net> wrote:

>one more thing... it should be possible, to sort some of this out
>by cross correlating quantity of media violence per year with
>birth dates... the thought being that the "current generation" of
>Children has increased vulnerability because they've matured
>completely within the established violence-as-"entertainment"
>culture, while folks born earlier (including most of those who
>develop such "entertainment") had acquired "imunity", to a
>degree, because their development was not contained entirely
>within the violence-as-"entertainment" culture... the point being
>that such total immersion might be a key thing, in that it
>disallows alternative, healthy, development. (remember, the early
>years of Life are critical years in development... it might be
>that what we're seeing is due to the "current generation's" being
>the first to be exposed to violence-as-"entertainment" during
>those critical years.

Well I certainly remember being exposed to violence as entertainment in
my formative years in the fifties and sixties. It wasn't as realistic
but I'm not convinced that lack of realism shouldn't actually make
things worse.

People want, very much, to believe that the bad behaviour of children is
due to some environmental influence beyond their control. The Internet
is the latest scapegoat but TV is still going strong. Before that is was
rock-and-roll. Before that comic books.

I have to say that I was grimly ammused by Clinton's speach about how
parents ought to prevent their children accessing things glorifying
violence. I wonder if that thought included guns?

Truth is every viable society has to feed it's boys on a diet of action
hero stories because young men are always called upon to do any
necessary killing and dying. A society that failed to do this would be
replaced in a few generations with one that did. It would be nice to
live in a world where we could survive without a warrior class but we

There is, I think, within all of us a resentment of the necessary
restrictions of social living. The conflict between our genetic and our
socially inculcated drives. The Fenris Wolf bound by a magic cord of
domestication. (see http://www.pigsty.demon.co.uk/fenris.html for an
essay on the subject). There's no good pretending it's not there or
trying to starve the poor beast on a diet of blandness. Rather we must
pay carefull attention to the state of the cord. We must accept the
presence of Evil within us and see to it that within is were it stays.

If child violence has become more commonplace I'm affraid that it's may
be down to just what thinking people don't want it to be - lack of

In entertainment terms, for me, the classic expression of this drive is
not some Steven Segal action movie but King Kong and it's imitators.
Goaded beyond endurance the hero goes on the rampage and is finally
killed. The film "Falling Down" expresses it rather well, I think.

>, the early exposure to violence-as-"entertainment"
>would act as a predisposing factor which, when coupled with later
>"normal" trauma, might tip the balance.

I'd say, in a case like this, what tipped the balance was probably
precedent, the widely known and detailed reports of it happening before.
Americans are living in a society where a childs tempter tantrum can
turn into a masacre.

>at any rate, the thing that's unacceptable to me is that the
>violence-as-"entertainment" stuff was done in a
>calculated-to-win-"profits" way. as such, there's victimization
>for "profit" in-there, and such is unacceptable.

But that the profit motive should leed in this direction is simply a
reaction to the public demand (though advances in special effect
technology have some influence).

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