big bad violent television
Frank is watching another war doco, this time about Australian soldiers at Kokoda. It seems to be a very sensitive documentary and certainly beats the tired Nazi documentaries on SBS.
I'm listening with one ear, but not watching. I've realised violence on television, or even the hint of it, does my head in. Even if I can't see what is happening, my imagination more than fills in any gaps and I feel ill at the thought of what was and is done, or what is imagined. It was after watching Sophie Scholl (and consequently sleeping poorly as I relived the guillotine moment that was really only a blank screen with all extra details created in my own mind), that I realised I should stop pretending I like gruesomeness and embrace my sensitivity.
So I was pretty disgusted when my brothers went and saw Inglorious Basterds and enjoyed it. I couldn't believe that they would firstly watch, and secondly enjoy a movie that, from all I read, glorified violence. My concerns don't stem just from my own sensitivities, but from what I observe at school where primary aged children watch more violent and scary movies than I ever will. If we who can discern reality from fiction watch violent movies and think they are OK, what about those who have blurred lines between reality and the big screen? Are violent movies feeding violence (in school and society as a whole), or are movies taking their scripts from real life events? I imagine it is a little of both, but I am deeply concerned for the children I know and care for, who watch extreme violence often. I am also concerned for what this will do for our society as a whole.
I should at this point confess my proclivity for murder mysteries. This is an anomaly, and I have noticed a shift when I watch too many - I feel kind of scungy inside. So I've cut back on them and taken this as my motto for the year:
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.I'm not sure I can beat the violence in the world - it is all pervasive, and even lurks in my heart at times. But perhaps if I fill my mind with the beautiful, not the ugly, I can push the violence and vileness out until it has no space left to hide.Philippians 4:8, MSG