Tuesday, October 25, 2016


This morning, and it is early, I read some despicable things concerning the manner in which this terror group sadistically murdered some men and children. We grow immune to what is actually being done thinking it is just another sort of reality show.

I wrote that I confessed my guilt about liking "The Walking Dead" an AMC television series that is one of the most popular shows on cable TV. I liked the fact it is filmed in Georgia. Its writing is very good and the acting is excellent.

I see it as a metaphor for the "zombies" that the terrorists are, mindless people who act in mindless ways with no sense of empathy, guilt or feelings. They are like crocodiles who devour their booty without thinking for they can't think.

Thus the gratuitous violence of this TV show when directed to the mindless zombies can be overlooked as just one aspect of what horror shows do to instill fear in the audience.

But the Walking Dead has taken gratuitous violence to a new level on television far beyond what the hacker and slashers shows of  another generation accomplished in full view. Nothing is left to the imagination, all is in full view.

Violence and sex become pornography when what is watched titilates, fasicnates and pulls one toward the perversion depicted rather then repels.

I fear The Walking Dead did this precisely in its first show of its new but short season. It was pornography and hard core at that but with sex but with violence. Of course the violence that is depicted isn't actually happening to the actor experiencing it. It is make-believe unlike what Isis does or when a murderer films his acts of real violence and murder.

The Walking Dead has shown how one might survive in a world that is nuts. And while the living act in a concerted and thought out way to perpetrate their violence towards other living, it was often justified in terms of the warfare taking place to survive. The vivid images of zombies being stabbed in the head, decaptiated and the like or the zombies eating the instestines of their victims in full view is what zombies do but they don't do it consciously but like crocodiles.

Sunday night's episode showed a non zombie doing zombie like things and it was graphic and pornographic. But isn't there a moral here and a warning?

But will some  in real life now think that they can imitate what they see in art or porn (you decide what the new episode of The Walking Dead is).

We live in violent times where reality and fantasy are imitating one another. It is scary!


Anonymous said...

Why are you watching this garbage....?

Mark Thomas said...

His Holiness Pope Francis has not watched television since 1990 A.D. Just prior to my having read that about him last year, I had not watched TV for about a month. I felt liberated in many ways the second that I turned off the old orthicon tube.

Since that time, my TV viewing has been limited. I gave up on prime-time television years ago. Kevin James' new sitcom is the only prime-time TV show that I have considered watching.

At first, I had thought that Pope Francis' decision to shun TV was extreme. I wondered, for example, how well versed he was on current events via news shows. But considering that TV news shows and networks off little more than propaganda, I am not certain that he has missed out on anything.

I fail often to watch TV. When the set is on, I watch over-the-air stations such as Antenna TV. I view just an old show or two that I watched during my youth.
I wonder sometimes why I do that as I've seen my favorite old shows hundreds of times over the decades.

Perhaps Pope Francis has the right idea...shun TV completely. Except to watch EWTN, and in case of a public emergency, such as weather event, I question whether there are compelling reasons to even own a television.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

I just watched via youtube a clip from The Walking Dead. If this is the AMC show in question, then count me out of watching the show. Within the first 15 seconds of the clip, two dirty words were uttered and one head was clubbed.

In regard to the show's violence, I realize that the show is fake. However, is it good for us to view even staged violence?

His Holiness Pope Francis last year inspired me to shun violent "entertainment." It began when I had read #237 of his Encyclical Laudato si. In #237, Pope Francis exhorted us to restore Sunday to it's proper place within our lives as Catholics.

At that time, I also had taken to heart #2187 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church...the section on The Lord's Day.

"Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities."

At that time I did something that I would have found impossible prior to that.

I stopped watching NFL games on Sundays (or any day). Actually, I only watched one NFL game per Sunday. However, I realize now that that was one game too many.

I also stopped watching the National Hockey League. I stopped watching violent sports.

Holy Mother Church teaches us to avoid on Sundays "the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities." Does that not apply to each day of the week? Are we not called by Holy Mother Church to shun violent (real or staged) entertainment?

I hope that I have not misunderstood Church teaching in that regard.


Mark Thomas

Jusadbellum said...

Apart from the inner cities' gang and drug wars, there's less use of guns and weapons for murder and mayhem in the suburbs and rural areas of the US "despite" or perhaps BECAUSE of the largest civilian arms build up in world history that's taken place over the past 15 years since 9/11.

According to government sources, there are over 14 million concealed weapon licenses issued nation wide. Over 15 million individuals got hunting licenses last year. Well over 5 million individuals have semi-auto rifles like the AR15 and there are 500,000 legally owned and registered machine guns in civilian hands. Assuming there is some overlap, we can safely guestimate 20 million adults are armed with legal firearms. That's 20,000,000. We know that 20,000 individuals are killed each year by means of firearms and the vast majority are killed in inner cities by fellow gang or drug or criminal elements. This means 99.9% of gun owners are not involved in homicide (justified or not).

Now, given that Hollywood and the pop culture has been promoting a culture of death and the sexual revolution and socialism and Gnosticism, Satanism, Wicca, etc. all at the intentional expense of Western Judeo-Christian culture, one would expect there to be a lot more bloodshed. But there's not.

Not a single registered machine gun has been used in a crime. More criminals use rocks to kill than rifles.

By and large, the rural and suburban folk are afraid of crime, terrorism, drug and gang violence and so arm themselves because they do not trust their safety to the police.

By and large, the vast number of gun deaths come from the inner city criminals or involve gang or drug turf wars or vendettas and do not come from police shooting minorities or from white people going on racist/xenophobic pogroms.

So what impact do all these video games, movies, TV dramas etc. have on the general population? I think it impacts the generalized anxiety people feel for the loss of the rule of law, for sudden catastrophes, sudden upheavals of society....and so while some might consider imitation of the violence, the vast majority consider steps needed to avoid or survive encounters with criminals, gangs, and terrorists - hence the civilian arms build up and prepper fads.

Most people are not frothing at the mouth maniacs. It's true that more people are LEAVING Christianity than ever before. It's true that abortion continues to desensitize us from violence. But we need to consider that the country and culture is bigger and wider and deeper than the superficial pop culture would have us believe.

Many fear that a nation-wide power outage would spark INSTANT anarchy. I don't. Most people in most places will spontaneously come to the aid of complete strangers. At least for the first 2-3 nights. If the entire nation experienced a 'grid down'/no electricity/no internet catastrophe for a week...then and only then would people become unglued. Only of Americans were threatened with actual starvation would we see true Mad Max or Walking Dead level atrocities.

If this is your fear then buying rice and beans (and encouraging your neighbors to as well) in bulk is the quick and obvious solution....

rcg said...

Why eat milk chocolate? in small or controlled amounts it doesn't hurt. Naughty jingles and tunes, maybe even some 'bad' ones can entertain and educate. For crying out loud, go to the opera! Read a book about saints to the kiddos. Learn some 'wholesome' Old Time or Celtic tunes, and read Grimm's Fairy Tales. And don't forget the fate of Gloucester graphically blinded while tortured and interrogated, betrayed by his son. Yikes.

It is what you do with it. I do think the entertainment industry overplays sex and violence uneccesarily, like the time, as a twelve year old, I saw Diana Rigg totally naked in 'Abelard and Heloise'. Still troubles me.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Several years ago I was a tiny bit scandalized when the retired pastor at our parish announced he liked to watch "Sex and the City." I had seen an episode or two of it, and found it offensive on many levels, and although I guess a really holy and morally secure person like our retired pastor could watch it without harm, I found I could not.

So I think I will pass on "The Walking Dead" too. I just don't think I'm impervious to the influence of such horror and "pornography" piped right into my own living rooms.


Gene said...

It is garbage (I watched the first season) and an outer reflection of our culture's inner condition. Freud would be thrilled.

Jusadbellum said...

I agree with Gene. Hollywood rarely accurately depicts weaponry and the "look" and functionality of outdoor living. It's probably because the medium just is so dependent on overt, over the top visuals that they have to fake/exaggerate some things and downplay/eliminate others.

Take guns. Guns are LOUD. They have recoil. One-handed pistol shots at targets beyond 10 yards away (that's snow ball throw range) are difficult. Few people can "just shoot the knees" from that range. One shot, one kill is rare with pistols.

Impacts are not usually instantly bloody (unless rifles/shotguns).

Without ear protection, most firefights would leave the heroes' ears ringing for awhile.

If you are in a dangerous situation that warrants having a pistol or rifle out and 'ready' you will have already 'racked' a round. Movies and shows have people doing this for dramatic "I mean business" effect all the time.

Human psychology being what it is, few are going to be able to kill someone up close and personal and not have it devastate them for a long time - even if they were justified unless it's a bona fide war situation.

In real life, guns are heavy, loud, have recoil and obey the laws of physics - meaning a shotgun slug is not going to launch a victim through the air but not similarly knock down the shooter. In real life people are not going to have a fire fight and then immediately engage in banter or romance unless they're sociopaths.