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Let’s just say no. July 23, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, as across the nation, we’ve been in shock over the senseless murders of 12 and injuries of 58 moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado. Like everyone else, we’re waiting for the murderer, Mr. Holmes, to explain his reasoning, since, Unabomber-like, he obviously did this to get attention so the world would hear his message: Otherwise he’d surely have killed himself along with his innocent victims. That he instead chose to be taken alive says volumes about his motivation.

What your faithful bloggers, our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders, hope the nation takes away from this tragedy is very simple: Stop using violence as a form of entertainment. It was surely no coincidence that Mr. Holmes chose a showing of the horrifically violent “Dark Knight Rises” to unleash his arsenal.

It appalls and astounds us that, while sex and nudity are considered sufficiently taboo to raise movie restrictions to R, violence is not. Consider the graphic torture of James Bond in “Casino Royale,” the cannibalism of Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” the endless murder and terror that fuel horror films, the gore that splatters all over action and suspense films. Why is this considered acceptable?¬†And far more disturbing, why is it considered entertainment?

Here at PRA, we hope and pray that studios will pause the next time they’re considering filming a gore-fest. We hope that mystery writers will consider using an actual mystery, rather than murder, to fuel their plots, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so often did with Sherlock Holmes. We hope that the writers of horror stories will think through the implications of their plots and put their talents to better use.

But most of all, we hope that audiences will finally just say no to violence. If nobody went, the studios would stop. If nobody bought the books, the authors would find something else to write about. If people focused their time and money on something constructive, rather than destructive, it would change the world. We’re not saying that it could keep someone like Mr. Holmes from launching an attack. But at least it would make sure the rest of us weren’t deadened to the horror.