Desensitization of Awareness

I grew up during the 80’s and became a teenager during the mid 90’s. I have seen (and watched willfully) my fair share of gore in various forms of “media” ranging from mainstream movies and video games, to magazines and “underground-movies” that were only available through the parcel service. As a child I was amused by graphic violence, the proverbial “blood n’ guts” shown in any form, was entertaining to me. In fact, my favorite Animated films were ‘Fist of The North Star’ and ‘Vampire Hunter D’.

Back in the eighties, whenever possible I would sneak into the den and quietly watch “R-rated” movies, now keep in-mind: this was when low budget “B-movies” focused their finances into Prosthetics, and corn syrup to achieve maximum “Camp-icity” and pointless dismemberment. I remember I hated Freddy (loved his hat), loved Jason (hated his outfit) and eagerly awaited their abrasive maiming methods. I didn’t understand at that age, why I wanted to watch such vulgarity, such pervasive disregard for human life, it never crossed my mind. As I became older and our culture shifted into the nineties, I began to draw gruesome imagery and disturbingly violent pictures.

See, I had the biggest budget in the universe: to fund the manifestation of my ideas…I had my imagination and in my imagination there are no limits to depravity, no limits to perversion, and no sense of constriction. And just when I thought I’d seen it all and the year changed to nineteen ninety two, and it came. It was beautiful. It was stylish. It was fun and alluring. But most of all, it was pure carnage…with a capital “K”

At first, T2 , Super Thunder blade & Spider-Man were my primary reasons for begging to be taken to the arcade, but this new and vibrant, fluent and violent Coin-Op machine was intoxicating. Not because of it’s gore, that: I had no idea of at first, no I fell in love with the cool costumes, the amazingly awesome music and the characters, one of which being so “electrifying” that he reminded me of a favorite film character.

Most parents during that time, were under the impression that this game would influence someone my age in a negative manner. Unbeknownst to them, someone like me had already been well desensitized to violence. For me, the gore was merely a side-special effect so to speak…no big deal. September ninth (if my member has returned properly) was known as “Mortal Monday” the day the game would be released to Home Consoles. I owned a copy and played it religiously.

And then the greatest Coin-Operated game to ever be produced, was introduced to the Arcade…part 2 of my beloved new favorite. I can not tell you exactly how much money I spent in Tokens, on that game. It may have been in the hundreds, as i frequented the arcade every weekend, with allowance, saved Christmas and birthday money. The arcade was my sanctuary and this sequel was nothing short of a gamer’s revival. My affinity for fictionally-portrayed violence, was nurtured.

As I grew into a teenager and movies became more visually stimulative, video games became increasingly violent (along with the degradation of rap, but that’s another blog, all together) and another very popular but very negatively speculated game was introduced to the mainstream. This particular game didn’t feature ninja or sorcerers, wasn’t broken up into rounds with gruesome finishers. It was crime, guns, thievery. As an avid gamer, this was euphoric for me on a whole new level. The thrill of doing “the possible” in a fantastical setting, was more appealing than doing “the impossible” in a fantasy setting. My fellow gamers will figure that one out ; )

As I ventured into adulthood, I started to notice an ongoing trend in mainstream television. An increase in pervasive violence, and abrupt “humor-intended” sexuality. Although I do not consider myself to be a theorist of the conspiratorial sort…I do consider myself to be an avid learner, and a student of human nature. The best students can teach (and visa-versa) so it is with great acknowledgment that I consciously refuse skepticism, when receiving new information.

One thing I started to do, was question the bloodied hand that’d entertained & amused me all these years. As the movies got worse & worse, with centipedes and Ichi’s, serbian’s and copeland’s: movies that have no entertainment value, their only purpose is to push the proverbial envelope further. Some watch these films and find them humorous, which is odd because most people consider themselves to be “non-sadistic” but if you find a film where a woman’s anus is surgically attached to a man’s face, to be laughter-inducing… then perhaps you need to reassess that personal evaluation.

A lot of viewers will simply use the fact that these films are fictitious portrayals, and therefore: “it says nothing about me to love watching them!” Although, if a man (any man) were to be found with simulated child-pornography, and people would shun him while they called him “sick” and outcasted him. In my nearly thirty-one years, I have seen much hypocrisy in this society…but again, that’s another blog.

Today I find myself watching less television, doing just as much gaming just on a tighter schedule, and finding gore, gratuitous sex, and excessive violence: to be frivolous to a degree. I now find myself asking the question “why would I want to watch that?” most people just watch things. I like to be more careful to what I’m allowing myself to indulge in.

Constantly viewing dismemberment and destruction, may have no affect on an individual…but therein lies the issue! What does it mean if you can watch a film were an infant is sexually assaulted, and you feel nothing? That means you are desensitized. And that’s bad, regardless of it being fictional. The idea to write this particular entry, came from a lot of buzz surrounding the recent episode of a very popular medieval-themed cable program.

I have several friends and pin pals who love this show and have recommended it to me. Not big on fictional television these days, mainly because of the almost brainwashing that is implied with the gratuitous sex and gore. It’s like they’re trying to shove it down our throats…pun INTENDED! And although it’s against the popular “it’s just a tv show” mantra: I have learned to question what I’m viewing and why I’m viewing it.

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