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.