Tuesday, April 12, 2005


A twin issue is how people react to different portrayals of violence in movies. Much as people seem to not to mind hypersexual imagery as long as it contains no actual nudity, people seem much more comfortable with comic book violence on the screen than they do with more realistic portrayals of violence. By comfortable I don't mean their own personal reaction -- it's understandable and good that people are disturbed be realistic violence -- I mean that such portrayals tend to provoke outrage about the fact that they exist.

This is precisely backwards. If we care we should cheer when movies show realistic portrayals of violence and their consequences, and condemn Gropenfuhrer-style comic book violence (what was the body count in Commando?) which make violence acceptable and consequence-free.