Thursday, 19 July 2007

Violence

On the BBC news earlier there were two particularly shocking stories. The first was a news item about the violence in our communities. Viewers were shown CCTV footage of 3 young men, who randomly attacked 2 other young men, who were sitting minding their own business. One of the victims recovered from his knife wounds. The other died from his injuries. Unfortunately, this shocking attack is just one of many violent incidents that scar our society. I can't understand why people behave in this way. I'm aware of all the explanations that are presented for it - drugs, alcohol, despair, peer pressure, violent films and computer games... But what is going through the minds of the people who engage in such horrendous violence?

I know there are no simple answers. But I am sure about one thing. Anything that legitimises or glorifies violence certainly doesn't help the situation. That's why I found the story about this new cage war phenomenon - especially in the same news bulletin as the above story - so disturbing. I'm not suggesting that the people who go along to watch the fighting in these cage war shows will themselves go out and attack people. However, the audience does stand there and cheer while one human being hurts another human being. That isn't a healthy state of affairs. Frankly, I think it's disgusting that people enjoy watching violence. I know that's a blunt statement to make but that's my opinion.

I am squeamish (I'm vegetarian after all) and that's partly why I find the concept of the cage war so distasteful. But am I far from alone in worrying about the implications of integrating violence into forms of entertainment. If, as a society, we say that violence for entertainment is acceptable, then how can we begin to tackle the violence on our streets? These cage wars should be banned or, in my opinion, the authorities are guilty of severe hypocrisy.

5 comments:

One of the 'Policy 3'. said...

Yes those cage wars are a disgrace - they should be locked up behind bars.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

These people put themselves in the cage though and aren't they trained in martial arts? Would you ban those also?

I agree with you to an extent in that I also cannot understand how it can be in the slighest bit entertaining to watch but surely it is better that it is out in the open rather than taking place behind closed doors.

Julie Hepburn said...

Firstly, these cage wars are rather different to martial arts, even though they incorporate them. Martial arts (although not my cup of tea either) are about discipline and skill. These cage wars are more 'anything goes' to hurt your opponent.

Yes, these people do put themselves in these cages and that's their choice. I am more concerned about the message this sends out than I am about those who choose to put themselves in that situation. Strangely some people seem to enjoy being punched in the face, and generally kicked around...

Plus, I think we have to draw a line on issues like this. Drugs are generally bad for people, but should we legalise them to bring it out into the open?

Are things any 'less bad' because society tolerates them?

My instinct is to ban these cage wars.

Anonymous said...

Things may not be any 'less bad' because society tolerates them but they are surely easier to control because they are in the public eye. Where would you draw the line-martial arts are ok, cage wars aren't- what about violent computer games and films? Or boxing? Boxers appear to have 'discipline and skill' but don't they hurt each other too?

Julie Hepburn said...

I agree that things are easier to control if they are in the public eye, but that's quite a trade off in my opinion.

Please don't get me started on violent computer games and films! Personally, I can't stand any computer games and I do think that they are less than helpful when it comes to glorifying violence. I can't watch any violent films, so it's hard to comment on them from that perspective. Violence is naturally part of some films, because films depict real life and horrors such as war. But I think films like Fight Club, for example, cross the line on that one.

Finally - boxing. I don't like it - for many of the same reasons I gave for cage wars, but I do accept that it is nowhere near as violent as cage wars.