"It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubborness of the inorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed." - Albert Einstein

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I aspire to a stubbornly incorrigible nonconformity. The degree to which I have achieved my aspiration I leave in the capable hands of those whose wisdom and humilty exceed my own.

Monday, April 23, 2007

America Loves Violence ... Surprise, There Are Consequences

America just loves violence. The two movies topping box office attendance during the weekend of Friday April 20 through Sunday April 22, 2007, "Disturbia" and "Fracture", both prominently feature, and depend upon, graphic violence. But this should not be a surprise to anyone who has even a passing interest in American entertainment tastes.

American movies, television, music and music videos, advertising, print media, and video games heavily feature violence.

Regrettably, American fascination with and attraction to violence is not limited to the artistic or theoretical. Alone among first affluent and respected societies, the United States is the last to employ the use of capital punishment for crimes. The United States shares that dubious honor with countries like Iran and North Korea. The United States resorts to virtually all international problems with the use of or threat of the use of violence.

Knowing that children learn more from what their role models do than from what their role models say, it is not surprising that so many children choose to respond to conflicts with violence. It is at least disingenuous, and at worst a cruel lie, to tell children not to resort to violence to solve their problems and conflicts when that is what this country does as a matter of course.

None of this is profound insight or surprising. What is so surprising is that Americans, alone among the world, are apparently unable to make any connection between our fascination with and exploitation of violence within our borders and beyond and our captivity and victimization by violence.