We live in a climate of violence. Every day we witness evidence of our brutality, and it seems impossible not to deem as misguided the attempt to counteract a primal instinct that most people have glorified since the beginning of time.
In painting, sculpture, and poetry, art has depicted violence - its motivations, actions and consequences - as an aesthetic of horror and triumph at all costs. A century ago, film began offering its view of violence, sometimes overtly, other times with nuance.
Since then, the discussion about the possible danger of violence in television and movies on children has continued, with little or no effect. Yet there is no concern about the effect the movie industry's excessive productions - with its sex and weapons, explosions and car wrecks - has on adults.
The potential menace for society posed by its children growing under the influence of the irresponsible artifice enjoyed by grown-ups has no weight in front of the arrogance of the timeless tradition of force and the fanaticisms that justify it.
This old culture of violence promotes brute force as used for intimidation and control, a quality well-appreciated by certain antidemocratic conceptions of authority, power and justice. This culture of violence encourages in each of us the insolence and boldness that have been mistakenly confused with individual freedoms that could be defended only with blows.
Violence has the approval of the public and continues to be, the subject of pride and profits. Violence continues to be victorious, so well received and attended, so well accepted and revered by most that is difficult to imagine - much less hope for - a different social reality in which the arrogance of the violent ones would not be the norm nor the ideal.
Television programs and movies, with their cunningly repeated images, promotes a society blindly inflamed by its own capacity for violence. The most brutal action, idealized by the magic of the camera lens and the soundtrack, preaches the blunt, merciless conviction that there is no better expression of reason than force. •
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