Why is American culture so obsessed with violence?

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Jacoby
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13 Aug 2014, 8:47 pm

The US isn't particularly more violent than anywhere else, we have an insane media that obsesses about it. The violence the US does have mostly stems from poverty and drug prohibition. The US has a very diverse population with a large underclass compare to homogeneous countries it gets compared to in the Western world. Believe it not, certain European countries have higher much violent crime and rape incidence than the US. Don't believe the hype.



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13 Aug 2014, 8:58 pm

Quote:
Why is American culture so obsessed with violence?

My 2¢ worth:
Obsessed? Violent movies and FPS games do sell well but I don't know if I'd call it an American national obsession. A lot of Americans are totally disgusted by violence. The rest of the world isn't without histories of violence but we Americans have just capitalized on it by marketing it in the form of movies and FPS games. The earliest American movies were about train robberies and fighting with Indians and that genre has developed into what it is become because it is so marketable.


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mr_bigmouth_502
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13 Aug 2014, 9:15 pm

Coolguy wrote:
The United States was built economically through slavery, and geopolitically through war. No other surviving Nation has become so successful through sheer brutality. Our preoccupation with all things violent is likely an inheritance of our bloody past.

I must disagree with you're negative view of gun ownership though. Private gun ownership is a necessary check on the power of government.


Dude, you're putting words in my mouth. I never said anything about gun ownership. I support the responsible use and ownership of firearms, though I don't see why people need to carry them out in public. I mean, unless you're living in a warzone or a ghetto where you're at risk of getting shot anyhow, but that's a much bigger problem anyway. And of course, out in the bush where a person can get jumped by bears and cougars.

Jacoby wrote:
The US isn't particularly more violent than anywhere else, we have an insane media that obsesses about it. The violence the US does have mostly stems from poverty and drug prohibition. The US has a very diverse population with a large underclass compare to homogeneous countries it gets compared to in the Western world. Believe it not, certain European countries have higher much violent crime and rape incidence than the US. Don't believe the hype.


You make a good point actually. The media does tend to blow things out of proportion, and since that's the main avenue in which I'm exposed to American culture, it would make sense that that's why I see things the way I do. Poverty is definitely a problem, as well as the "war on drugs", and with its large, diverse population, I can see why the US has trouble managing it.

And like I said before, Canada can be a violent place too, though you just don't hear as much about it. We have our own bloody history of school shootings, gang warfare, discrimination against minorities, territorial disputes, etc.

Another thing I'll add, I don't have a problem with violent games, movies, or music. In fact I'm a fan of all three. Humans are violent by nature, and they provide a good outlet for our violent tendencies that doesn't actually hurt anyone. I also don't have a problem with things like paintball or full-contact sports, as they can be reasonably safe when done correctly.



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13 Aug 2014, 9:49 pm

Gee, I missed this on the first pass.

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I mean, why else do they still have the death penalty,

It's seen as the most fit punishment for the most heinous crimes.
I have mixed emotions on it but I'm still over 50% in favor of it.
If I could re-vamp our justice system, issuing the death would probably still be in practice.

Quote:
or laws that allow people to carry concealed weapons in public?

People carry a piece in public for a reason and it's kind of thoughtless of you to assume this practice contributes to violence. The practice is invisible to the law abiding citizen. The only ones that need to be worried about John Q. Citizen packing a pistol in public are the ones who gave him a reason to be packing heat in the first place. How far do you really want to go into this?

Quote:
Thinking about it now, I think this is the same burning question Micheal Moore had when he made "Bowling for Columbine". I've seen that documentary a few times, though I honestly can't remember the conclusion he came to, if any.

You know what? I'm going to watch that movie since it appears to be on Youtube. I've never seen it before so I won't comment until after I've seen it.


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Last edited by Raptor on 14 Aug 2014, 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kraichgauer
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13 Aug 2014, 11:16 pm

As far as American movies and TV glorifying violence - anyone ever see Japanese movies? They're as bloody as all hell! And anyone remember that old Japanese cartoon called Starblazzers that used to air on American TV? Well, that cartoon had to be severely sanitized to make it fit for American consumption - particularly for the consumption of American children. And Italy has had a long history of cinematic gore, which made Dario Argento famous with movies like Susperia, Night Of The Demons, Bugs, etc. Then there are all those Spaghetti Westerns...


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13 Aug 2014, 11:33 pm

The US has a mixed record on the subject of violence. In our defense, we passed the Neutrality Act at the start of WWII, which even prevented us from selling arms to the British. We also passed the Washington Naval Treaty despite the fact that it undercut our industrial advantage and left us patrolling two oceans with the same number of ships that Japan and Germany could mass in just one. We had never raised an army in peacetime until the Selective Service Act was passed in the run-up to our entry into WWI. We also had a strong domestic anti-war movement at the peak of our global power.

Even our street violence has been a little astereotypical. For example, (General/President) Andrew Jackson and (Senator) Thomas Hard Benton got into a brawl in which Jackson was shot, soaked three mattresses with blood, and barely survived, but they later developed a close personal and political friendship and worked together on economic policy.



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14 Aug 2014, 2:42 am

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Coolguy wrote:
The United States was built economically through slavery, and geopolitically through war. No other surviving Nation has become so successful through sheer brutality. Our preoccupation with all things violent is likely an inheritance of our bloody past.

I must disagree with you're negative view of gun ownership though. Private gun ownership is a necessary check on the power of government.


Dude, you're putting words in my mouth. I never said anything about gun ownership. I support the responsible use and ownership of firearms, though I don't see why people need to carry them out in public. I mean, unless you're living in a warzone or a ghetto where you're at risk of getting shot anyhow, but that's a much bigger problem anyway. And of course, out in the bush where a person can get jumped by bears and cougars.

Jacoby wrote:
The US isn't particularly more violent than anywhere else, we have an insane media that obsesses about it. The violence the US does have mostly stems from poverty and drug prohibition. The US has a very diverse population with a large underclass compare to homogeneous countries it gets compared to in the Western world. Believe it not, certain European countries have higher much violent crime and rape incidence than the US. Don't believe the hype.


You make a good point actually. The media does tend to blow things out of proportion, and since that's the main avenue in which I'm exposed to American culture, it would make sense that that's why I see things the way I do. Poverty is definitely a problem, as well as the "war on drugs", and with its large, diverse population, I can see why the US has trouble managing it.

And like I said before, Canada can be a violent place too, though you just don't hear as much about it. We have our own bloody history of school shootings, gang warfare, discrimination against minorities, territorial disputes, etc.

Another thing I'll add, I don't have a problem with violent games, movies, or music. In fact I'm a fan of all three. Humans are violent by nature, and they provide a good outlet for our violent tendencies that doesn't actually hurt anyone. I also don't have a problem with things like paintball or full-contact sports, as they can be reasonably safe when done correctly.


doesn't have to be a warzone. a mugging,murder,robbery,etc can happen anywhere anytime. you won't have time to run home and get your gun. carrying one harms no one but if the time arises can save lives. same reason cops and security carry guns.

the media has changed a lot from what it once was. It use to tell news to tell news. now it shows news to get ratings and make money. it has to compete with movies and shows. violence and bad news sells more then postive news. so if they show depressing stuff and get good ratings then they will seek out as much voilent, sad, depressing s**t they can to show.

this is why I try to avoid national/international news. I watch local news sometimes and its a whole lot more happier and laid back. sports, puppies, local weather, and once every few months something about some murder or robbery. they have a pet corner to adopt pets, theres talk about fund raisers or stuff that happen at local school. even have daily birthday wishes. that kind of stuff wouldnt' likely get high ratings on a national network. not like talking about a shooting, or death of a celeberty or some war in another country. all these have limits so even if the war continues for years, as soon as ratings drop on it they move on to the next sad thing. unless it supports their agenda.(think back to the Russia Georgia war, on news for a month but continued for a while after)



Jacoby
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14 Aug 2014, 3:14 am

If you want an example of how ridiculous our news media is just look at how they covered MAL370 disappearance around the clock for what seemed months or the Casey Anthony trial or an infinite amount of other stories. They've literally have spent hours on our news talking about if it was possible a blackhole ate up MAL370 or Casey Anthony's sweater boobs. That's the actual news, the rest we get is in the form of daily ideological shilling.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxoiOJ280LI[/youtube]



sonofghandi
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14 Aug 2014, 10:32 am

Raptor wrote:
You know what? I'm going to watch that movie since it appears to be on Youtube. I've never seen it before so I won't comment until after I've seen it.


Not really worth the time. It is mostly just Michael Moore talking to hear himself talk.

If you want the gist of the entire movie, just YouTube and watch the cartoon from it "A Brief History of the USA." Then imagine Michael Moore summing up parts of it over and over again in as many ways as possible.


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14 Aug 2014, 4:25 pm

I'm not a big fan of Bowling for Columbine. The first 6 minutes of Fahrenheit 911 are must watch, though.



The_Face_of_Boo
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14 Aug 2014, 4:34 pm

You didn't meet ISIS yet.



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14 Aug 2014, 4:39 pm

Raptor wrote:
Gee, I missed this on the first pass.
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
I mean, why else do they still have the death penalty,

It's seen as the most fit punishment for the most heinous crimes.
I have mixed emotions on it but I'm still over 50% in favor of it.
If I could re-vamp our justice system, issuing the death would probably still be in practice.


In Europe there is also quite a bit of support for the death penalty among the population, but not among politicians. It seems a bit of a taboo subject, because a requirement of joining the EU is abolition of the death penalty. Re-introducing the death penalty would mean leaving the EU. The only European country that still has it is Belarus, which is a Soviet-style dictatorship.

Personally I'm mostly against it, except in the case of batcrap crazy dictators.

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14 Aug 2014, 9:50 pm

As promised from earlier:

Raptor wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Thinking about it now, I think this is the same burning question Micheal Moore had when he made "Bowling for Columbine". I've seen that documentary a few times, though I honestly can't remember the conclusion he came to, if any.

You know what? I'm going to watch that movie since it appears to be on Youtube. I've never seen it before so I won't comment until after I've seen it.

I watched about 40 minutes of it and don't know why I even went that far. Basically the fat man blames our so called "gun culture" :roll: and uses the stupidest examples. He even goes as far as to blame America's foreign policy (mostly military and CIA related operations). He implies that we deserved 9/11. Lockheed Martin's presence in Littleton somehow contributed to the Columbine HS shooting since LMC is a defense contractor. Tell me that's not grasping at straws.
I was going to say that someone without any preordained beliefs should watch it and give an opinion but the documentary (documentary of bullshit :roll: ) is so slanted that anyone uninformed up to that point would be unable to render an unbiased opinion.
I don't see how you could watch Bowling for Columbine and and be left with any burning questions. He's a peacenik making a rather long winded gunz-r-bad movie and that is really the only conclusion.


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mr_bigmouth_502
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14 Aug 2014, 10:44 pm

Raptor wrote:
As promised from earlier:
Raptor wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Thinking about it now, I think this is the same burning question Micheal Moore had when he made "Bowling for Columbine". I've seen that documentary a few times, though I honestly can't remember the conclusion he came to, if any.

You know what? I'm going to watch that movie since it appears to be on Youtube. I've never seen it before so I won't comment until after I've seen it.

I watched about 40 minutes of it and don't know why I even went that far. Basically the fat man blames our so called "gun culture" :roll: and uses the stupidest examples. He even goes as far as to blame America's foreign policy (mostly military and CIA related operations). He implies that we deserved 9/11. Lockheed Martin's presence in Littleton somehow contributed to the Columbine HS shooting since LMC is a defense contractor. Tell me that's not grasping at straws.
I was going to say that someone without any preordained beliefs should watch it and give an opinion but the documentary (documentary of bullshit :roll: ) is so slanted that anyone uninformed up to that point would be unable to render an unbiased opinion.
I don't see how you could watch Bowling for Columbine and and be left with any burning questions. He's a peacenik making a rather long winded gunz-r-bad movie and that is really the only conclusion.


You didn't watch the whole thing. :roll: The anti-gun slant is a bit annoying, but IIRC it's not the final conclusion he came to. Then again, it's been years since I've watched it, and I've kind of grown past his documentaries in that span of time. I was kind of a bleeding-heart liberal when I was younger, but nowadays I think both sides of the political spectrum are bullshit. I consider myself a socialist libertarian; a living, breathing oxymoron if you will. :P



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15 Aug 2014, 10:04 am

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Raptor wrote:
As promised from earlier:
Raptor wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Thinking about it now, I think this is the same burning question Micheal Moore had when he made "Bowling for Columbine". I've seen that documentary a few times, though I honestly can't remember the conclusion he came to, if any.

You know what? I'm going to watch that movie since it appears to be on Youtube. I've never seen it before so I won't comment until after I've seen it.

I watched about 40 minutes of it and don't know why I even went that far. Basically the fat man blames our so called "gun culture" :roll: and uses the stupidest examples. He even goes as far as to blame America's foreign policy (mostly military and CIA related operations). He implies that we deserved 9/11. Lockheed Martin's presence in Littleton somehow contributed to the Columbine HS shooting since LMC is a defense contractor. Tell me that's not grasping at straws.
I was going to say that someone without any preordained beliefs should watch it and give an opinion but the documentary (documentary of bullshit :roll: ) is so slanted that anyone uninformed up to that point would be unable to render an unbiased opinion.
I don't see how you could watch Bowling for Columbine and and be left with any burning questions. He's a peacenik making a rather long winded gunz-r-bad movie and that is really the only conclusion.


You didn't watch the whole thing. :roll: The anti-gun slant is a bit annoying, but IIRC it's not the final conclusion he came to. Then again, it's been years since I've watched it, and I've kind of grown past his documentaries in that span of time. I was kind of a bleeding-heart liberal when I was younger, but nowadays I think both sides of the political spectrum are bullshit. I consider myself a socialist libertarian; a living, breathing oxymoron if you will. :P


The first 5 minutes (if that long) pretty much set the tone then it just got tedious and filled with the same hyperbole I can find here.


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