All About Zonno
In the aftermath of the recent Denver shooting, during a Batman movie in which the 24 year-old student James Holmes shot 12 people dead, the debate about this sort of violence resumed. I have little knowledge of Batman. Although I do vaguely remember some old movies, from forty years ago or so, in which the bat-like hero passed through his victorious adventures. But Batman has grown up and I have been told that, in his newest version, he practices ruthless violence without much hesitation. At least he is keeping up with the times for that matter. The actual question concerned here is about the assumption that looking at violence proportionally increases the practise of violent acts, or at least facilitates violence.
There is a school in psychology and psychiatry of which the representatives passionately argue that there's absolutely no relation at all. If they are right, all advertising can easily be abolished for instance. Then we, immediately, won't be bothered by those spastic ladies and gentlemen anymore, who try, while dancing and jigging, to convince us to pay a visit to a certain supermarket. Then we won't have those pictures of beautiful watches, which indicate it's always ten past ten, in the newspaper anymore. Concentrated watching causes a reaction. Aversion, longing, desire to purchase or to imitate. In my opinion this is best illustrated by a quote of an unknown German cinema director: 'Im Kino wird Appetit gemacht, zu Hause wird gesgessen' (In the cinema the appetite is made, at home there will be dinner.)
In the current discussion about this, I wish to moot my grandfather's favourite comic 'Dick Bos'. It's about a private detective who evolved as a hero for the youth in the postwar period. Where I live, that is. Bos is a unlikely square-built man, who, most of the time, accidentally ends up in a criminal conspiracy, rallies with the virtuous side and brings the entanglement to a good end with some jiu-jitsu moves or, when there's no other option, with a handgun. 'After an uppercut, they usually don't say that much' Dick says. Or: 'You have met with the flying scissors.', when he has incapacitated an opponent with spread legs. Less than often he shoots a pistol out of the bad guy's hand, who replies with the words: 'Ouch, my hand' or 'Bos, I underestimated you.' About 70 comics have been published. Bos traveled the world, ended up in Chicago, shot gangsters with a machinegun, had adventures in the middle-east and Soho. You know how it is.
In the forties many adults found it to be disgusting. Such comics would spoil the youth, corrupt their morals. If you were reading this in class, your booklet would be shredded in front of your eyes, my grandfather told me. At that time however, my grandfather was certain that Dick Bos hadn't really as much influence on his education as five years of war in which the Germans conquered another part of Europe each month and famine ruled the land.
Since about twenty years we are facing a small part of the youth which is so confused that it's feeling inclined to commit mass murders. One of the very first was Timothy McVeigh, who blowed up an Oklahoma Federal Building on 19 April 1995. 168 people died there. It was a revenge act on the FBI. Then there was the mass murder on the Columbine high school. Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17) felt misunderstood, were bullied and had shown sympathies for Nazism before the shooting. The result was thirteen deaths. And now there's the 24 year old James Holmes, once a promising student, now a killer of twelve people. On the latest pictures in the news paper he looks confused, desperate and pathetic with the orange bush on his head.
Again we ask the question: What has driven these people to open fire on an innocent crowd with premeditation? And again the discussion ends with riddles. But one thing is certain: How rare they may be, they are the product of the state of our civilization. This distinguishes itself from previous states through accelerated 'chatotisation' of society, increasing desire for fun and pleasure, impatience during the fullfillment of all wishes (short temper), the decrease of the violence-threshold. If the level of the anti-social, the unwanted increases, the chance of excess increases proportionally. That's all I can say of it now.
Be more careful.
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