July 24, 2012

Balls Deep #1

This the first installment of "Balls Deep"; my attempt at deep thoughts on life and the world around me.

Note: The picture is only mildly related to this post, so please don't roll your eyes in a "here she goes with a political agenda" way. It's just funny and I thought maybe you could use a laugh. You're welcome.

In the wake of a shooting tragedy, like the one in Aurora recently, people feel the need to blame something. They need someone to blame or some explanation for "why" bad things happen. I think the blame and finger pointing come more from the need to make sense of the darkness in the world, than the desire to vilify. However, it seems that are always two main "villains" taking the blame when something like this happens: guns, and the entertainment industry.

Guns were made to kill. Guns are used to hunt; guns are used in war, but they are also used for recreation. Skeet shooting anyone? I do acknowledge that there are many types of guns and we could sit here for days arguing about whether stronger legislation would actually keep all these guns out of the hands of people who use them for evil. But we won't. Besides, making something illegal keeps it away from those who would use it for evil, right? The fact is tat before there were guns, there were knives, swords, sharpened mammoth bones and, well, you can look up all the various gun predecessors. Humans are animals, animals fight and kill and our species just happens to have the intelligence and creativity to come up with some pretty amazing tools for this type of destruction. Oh, and opposable thumbs; those have come in handy.

Not only is violence innate in most every species, it can also be used for entertainment and has been throughout history. From Gladiators to Marilyn Manson, World of Warcraft, and that scene where Bambi's mother gets shot; we have created many different forms of entertainment which can be used to explore our violent tendencies. As our methods of entertainment expand, so do our viewing lenses for violence and, some argue, our desensitization to said violence. People love a scapegoat and the entertainment industry is a great one. There are many more expressions of violence now (and also sex, love, etc.)  but is it more "in our faces" than before?

I wish I knew the world that so many people seem to remember, before TV, video games, and gangsta rap (did I spell that right? I'm a little too white to even mention it). I wish I lived in this utopia of whistling while we worked and exchanging flowers along with opposing opinions. These pointing fingers vilifying the entertainment industry seem to be attached to people who grew up in awe-inspiringly peaceful times. But alas, video games were invented and senseless violence in the world began. (Pacman, you bastard!) People have been exposed to some truly horrific things in history and I don't think that we are more violent or prone to violence since the invention of mass media (although enlighten me if you have studies that prove me wrong). And if we are, is it the weapon choice and media making us more violent or are these merely reflections of what society has already become?
My point in all this rambling is that sometimes there is no villain other than the one behind the trigger. Sometimes life doesn't make sense, and sometimes there is no easy answer. In every one of us exists good and evil. It is our individual responsibility to focus inward and find the good in ourselves, and pass that on (sometimes that's scarier than violence, but I digress). Teach goodness and personal responsibility, by example, to your friends, children, and anyone you may come in contact with. Evil can't be contained and pushed out of the world; it can't be regulated or blamed away. Live love and pass it on every day. Start with yourself and the good will grow in those around you.

My heart goes out to my fellow human beings who have been touched by this, and all senseless violence. May your hearts not harden and you find strength and support in the love around you.


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