Saturday, May 18, 2013

Where can I turn for peace?

On a rare child-free date night my wife and I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness via some tickets Amber won in some contest. And it was typical of J.J. Abrams, in that the dialogue was snappy, tensions were high, there had to be some scantily clad female, and oh, the fightiness. I cannot pretend I am not a part of the mass populace beleaguered by repeated exposure to violent content. I grew up watching movies like Terminator and Die Hard, etc. Perhaps the continued milieu of fatherhood has made me more aware, or my resolve to no longer watch R-rated fare has by contrast increased my antagonism to its gratuitous inclusion in the Hollywood blockbuster. Whatever the cause, I felt that not only on a moral level, but an artistic one, that there were at least a few moments where the throttling, the bone-crunching, and the repeated pounding could have been cut much shorter, and allowed us contemplation, a denouement before yet another surge of seething testosterone.

My experience (indeed, my lifetime of media saturation) demonstrates how a thoroughly layered exposure to violence, sex (even implicit or mere innuendo), and other forms of moral decay can wreak havoc on internal peace and self-esteem. As I watched punch after punch I wondered if I'd ever feel comfortable exposing my son or daughter to the irresponsible wreck of media immorality that is now so ubiquitous as to be malevolent. Where, indeed, can I turn for peace? Certainly not to Hollywood (or most any media market, for that matter).

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