Orion Pictures 1991. Hannibal-Hopkins. Fair use

“Keep violence in the mind where it belongs.” (Brian Aldiss, English Science fiction writer). And it is good that this and other things be left in the mind only. There is nothing wrong about having non ordinary fantasies, psychologists keep on telling us. But where does the line between imagination and action reside?

I look with some suspicion at violent TV serials like CSI (Crime Scene Investigation), especially because so many teenagers are crazy about them, not to mention films like Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal (2001). Adapted from Thomas Harris’ novels and played by the great British actor Anthony Hopkins (as Hannibal Lecter: picture above taken from here), these two movies are excellent, which makes it all even worse, I believe.

ψ

Years ago a serial killer was captured. When asked how he had been capable of committing such horrendous atrocities on such a large number of people, he replied:

“It all started with violent movies and violent cassettes…”

Italian version

6 thoughts on “Keep Violence in the Mind

  1. “where does the line between imagination and action reside?”

    In my point of view, we never know where the line btw imagination and action resides in our mind. Maybe 50% per each or might be at high percentage like 99.9% of imagination.

    Mostly, people use their imagination more than act. When people take actions? There might have some reasons:

    1) Emotion was stimulated by something to make people get mad or crazy suddenly, and when it reached the CRITICAL POINT, people took action of what they imagined in their mind and do something unbelievable..or

    2)As that serial killer mentioned. The violence movies, it has proved that when people keep watching it, it gave deep impressed in their mind, and accumulated continuously till the break point. Especially teenagers, they tend to use violence to solve the problems, or they like to mimic….since their self control ability are weaker compared with adults. It’s so common cases of teenagers using violence in China…

    CRITICAL POINT: As i said in the above, we never know where is the borderline/ critical point. I believe that everyone is unique and have their own borderline and critical point.

    HUMAN is complicated…..mind is deep as sea, wide as sky…Keep violence in our mind? mm..yes, I do too!!! sometimes, i do want to hit my bad colleague when she did something that really made me angry, but it was just a thought and i never took action. Otherwise, i were already in prison lol. It’s not worth to be in jail because of bad guy. 😉

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  2. @AutumnSnow

    Well, first of all welcome back sweet China! Cindia ruling next lol, why on earth – I was asking myself – can I attract only sweet unpredictable Indians and not even-more-unpredictable (to me, of course) Chinese as well lol?

    Ridiculous thing to say, your points being more important than my readers’ variety.

    If I understood well what you said:
    1) why some people see CSI, Hannibal & C., sexy violent movies and *do not* cross the line? Then you provide an answer yourself: “we never know where is the borderline btw imagination and action”.
    Well, even human-mind pros giving often wrong answers, this can give an idea of non pro chances of figuring these things out.

    2) You then add something: “Mostly, people use their imagination more than action” meaning, I presume, the majority of people are in your view healthy and far from turning into serial-killers. True, in my view (and kind of consoling).

    3) But someone – you say – *does* cross the line: why then? If I understood well, you discuss this point saying:

    a. “Emotion was stimulated by something to make people ….crazy ..and when it reached the CRITICAL POINT, people took action …”

    b. You seem to say that watching all the time violent movies can be dangerous.
    I totally I agree, being this the whole meaning of my post on *media & violence* after all:
    let’s face it, we are a species of predators that must *kill* to eat, thence I’m sure we have a somewhat dark side (like tigers, who sometimes kill just for the hell of it).

    Given all this, granted this dark thing is there, *what the hell* are these big Tv and Movie companies doing? Why are they nourishing *the dark size of the force* MOST OF THE TIME in all of us, flooding broadcasts with killings, tortures etc. over and over and over?
    Are they getting crazy? No, they aren’t. They just MAKE MONEY out if it, these seeming though to me pretty self-destructive, on the whole I mean, these people probably not grasping it wholly (or just not basically caring a fuck about it), just petty watching money grow so much in their pockets…

    c. you seem worried about teenagers especially (“who… tend to use violence to solve the problems… their self control ability weaker .. so common cases of teenagers using violence in China”). I am worried too, since the younger you are, the easier you can get imprinted.

    d. Finally, after a few beautiful words (“mind is deep as sea, wide as sky”) you add you wanted to *kill* your colleague, which made me laugh, ah ah ah.

    Sorry and pls pardon me AutumnSnow. You seem such a sweet and honest person I do really hope you won’t kill her (or him), which of course you imply, talking about self-control in such things, which is fundamental.

    All the best from Roma

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  3. Thanks for your reply, manofroma. It seemed my english is quite bad lol… SOmetimes, I wrote something or said something that cannot get into THE MAIN POINT! Sigh..I discovered it when i had interviews since these years. It’s pity that I did not get any improvement on it yet.

    Manofroma, you have to understand that there are many people in CHINA but not all of them know english. Most of the teens and people like to surf their home country websites, like “sina.cn” or “yahoo.cn” etc, since it used their mother language. I can tell there are a tiny part of Chinese like to surf western’s websites and they can speak fluent english! The main problem is WOrdpress is not popular in CHINA yet, maybe you have to wait for a while lol~~ 🙂

    “MOST OF THE TIME in all of us, flooding broadcasts with killings, tortures etc. over and over and over?
    Are they getting crazy? No, they aren’t. They just MAKE MONEY out if it,”

    Yes, you’re right. Those people just wanted to make tons of money out of it!!! without thinking about the side-effect on teens. Therefore, i can foresee how the next generation behaves in the future lol..

    “you seem worried about teenagers especially”

    Yes, i do. As i can see the younger generation’s mind and behaviours became worser and worser….lol…

    “Finally, after a few beautiful words (“mind is deep as sea, wide as sky”) you add you wanted to *kill* your colleague, which made me laugh, ah ah ah. ”

    Haha…yes, just kidding about hit that colleague. I have to ignore that person not to affect my mood. Though i have to admit the emotion of anger is not easy to control for me, i think my EQ is so low lol. It is true that ” MIND of human is so deep, there is a phrase in CHina says like this ” WOMEN’s mind deep like sea” Maybe you can understand well what does it mean: You never know WHAT women thought in their mind…..lol lol

    “Sorry and pls pardon me AutumnSnow. You seem such a sweet and honest person I do really hope you won’t kill her (or him), which of course you imply, talking about self-control in such things, which is fundamental.”

    Don’t worry, i am just kidding…when someone caught fire, mind was lost…lol..

    Best wishes from CHINA

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  4. As far as I am concerned, the movies and the video games are just tools. It’s the person watching them that matters regarding how he takes it or uses it. We could say the same thing about learning karate or even a trip to the gym. If you happen to visit a gym and then beat a guy, you can’t blame the gym for helping the guy get a physique. Same goes here. They do play a part, but its how you process and use the information.

    As a wrestling fan, it’s a regular thing hearing such things like watching wrestling tends to make people violent. I’ve been watching since quite a while and never felt an urge to do anything. It’s just entertainment. Sort of like watching Gladiators battle lions in the Colosseum. Yes, there will be people who will be nuts, but its a bad call blaming the “inspiration”. You’ll find that most violent films, serials and games have a rating which a parent/guardian/seller must check if their ward/buyer is of age to play them. Even if flimsy, there is something. Personal barriers go a great way in helping mould a character. For example, I’ve been tutored that gaming more than two hours a day is bad especially violent ones and I still abide by that rule.

    A bit of recreation helps too. Too much of a good thing is bad. Same applies here sadly. I may be playing devils advocate, but this is a subject that touches sorely as my “generation” is thought to be the biggest culprit of it. lol. I can’t take responsibility for everyone, and I think that every individual is different in his own way of thinking.

    As i can see the younger generation’s mind and behaviours became worser and worser
    ROFL. Sorry, just had a joke that came into my mind with that subject, but I don’t think you two would like that. lol.

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  5. I second Ashish…
    Have you ever noticed that it is generally the males that are inclined towars wrestling or other gore stuff.

    I believe we are living in a so called civilsed society where our most primal instincts have been curbed, but harmones that produce them hasn’t been stopped…

    teenagers, watch such stuff as an outlet to these instincts….Being young… with several biological changes … they are confused to a certain extent… or may be harmonically unstable…and must need an outlet to these most primal instincts…

    The problem begins… when they are unable to distinguish between fantasy and the real world… One must himself learn to keep tab on the “critical point”…

    Also the peer presure believes them that being voilent is cool and hero like jus as shown in the movies….

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