PHC was, quite frankly, weird yesterday. Alpha bound and chained to a burning pole, FD caged, Evil Catherine turning into a snake, Evil Alpha tossing out occassional evil comments, and the Princess’s and my own evil twins coming out whatever hidden hole they usually hide in. There was supposedly a radio program going on as well.
Mykyl was somewhat disturbed by it all, and, although it was all done in good fun, I have to admit that I can see the reasons behind her disturbance. Although what we did yesterday was practically G rated evil (well, maybe Evil Alpha was PG-13, but then regular Alpha is usually PG-13 anyway), there is a fascination with the evil side of human nature that exists in the world that I, frankly, find very disturbing. To me, it is best demonstrated by the popularity of the slasher film. If you want to learn how not to defend yourself against a supernatural psychotic killer, or if indeed this is a career you are interested in pursuing, then watch the great classics of Friday the 13th, Freddy’s Dead, etc…
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked out at ourselves only to once again be surprised by our self-destructive nature. How often do the great thinkers and artists and film makers of this world celebrate imperfection, avarice, and vice? They refuse to believe in the possibility of real virtue, not only refusing to acknowledge its demonstration, but also actually scoffing and ridiculing its attempt.
Why are the movies that are celebrated as being ‘True To Life’ the ones that universally show the darkest, ugliest side of humanity? Movies that depict someone as being brave and heroic are dismissed by the critic as being, at best, harmless fluff.
And what do we get as a result? We get generations of people who think weakness and moral corruption are not only normal, but also actually expected of them. Many people no longer attempt to be ethical because ethics are no longer celebrated in today’s culture.
If you want to be depressed, watch depressing movies that conclude that life is unfair and hopeless. Read books that talk about depressed people. It’s all a question of how we want to train the neurons in our brain to respond.
Personally, I can’t see what people enjoy about slasher films. They seem to be meaningless, to have no application to my life. I can get nothing out of them. I would watch one, spend most of the movie shaking my head at the idiocy displayed on the screen, and then, after its over after having gained . . . nothing. Yes, my heart may have pounded a little harder. Yes, my adrenaline began to flow faster. But I certainly did not enjoy myself. I did not learn anything. In fact, in the long run, I’d say that I am probably worse off after the film then before. Now I’m going out with more fear of the environment around me. I’m more likely to have nightmares or paranoid feelings. I don’t understand where people find pleasure in that.
Or maybe I can, if I draw the proper analogy. Maybe it’s similar to a drug addiction. The chemical rush. But, though it causes physiological changes to the body, its not likely that you’ve improved yourself in anyway. You won’t be any different than you were before, and any changes that may take place is to the negative.
In so many ways, we create the life for ourselves that we want to have. There is so little time in our lives to try to achieve our dreams and goals. Is it really useful to spend our precious time watching things that dis-empower us? Things that aren’t going to prepare us for real life but instead prepare us for some surrealistic, hellish, fantasy world were evil wins more often then not and those who try to think and plan lose anyway? Yes, entertainment is important sometimes, but there is also negative entertainment. Things that will give our bodies physiological rushes but leave us feeling empty, feeling worse about ourselves, and worse about life in general.
It’s not that I dislike all violence in movies. Take, for example, the Indian Jones films. There is a tremendous amount of violence in these films, and much of it is not of the comic book variety. But there is also a hero in these films. Someone who conquers insurmountable odds using skill, quick thinking, and a little bit of luck, and comes out victorious in the end. Maybe it’s not always realistic in the way they come out victorious, but that empowerment, that feeling that you can take control of your life is there, always there, as a kind of underlying message. It’s an uplifting experience, not just mindless entertainment.
By contrast, in slasher films it is often the strong, the intelligent, the leaders, who bite the big knife. This gives a message about the meaninglessness of struggle. It promotes the concept that you can strive and try hard, and gain nothing, absolutely nothing, for your efforts. Yes, sometimes life is unfair. Sometimes really rotten things do happen in life. But I still like the movie where the resourceful, the quick-witted, or the courageous comes through in the end. This gives hope. It demonstrates that perseverance and persistence can help you to win even if you do fail sometimes.