Re: Media and Violence

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Fri Apr 26 2002 - 20:52:31 BST

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    Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 20:52:31 +0100
    Subject: Re: Media and Violence
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    Hi Wade

    > Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 09:15:06 -0400
    > From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    > Subject: Re: Media and Violence
    > On 04/23/02 18:48, Steve Drew said this-
    >> Rome did the same if I recall.
    > Rome, like other civilizations, was not desensitized to their spectacles
    > of violence and death, they _wanted_ to see just that. The audience was a
    > living and enjoying entity in these pageants of blood.

    They did but in some sense they were led to it. The gladiatorial contests
    were ones of skill, and to the death at private funerals to honour the
    memory of the departed. Julius Ceasar hit upon the idea of making them
    public affairs, initially as ones of skill, though not necessarily to the
    death, as well the chance to execute criminals in public spectacles.

    The problem with looking at Rome is when we think of the Romans as blood
    thirsty. The reality is somewhat different.

    Skill at arms, bravery and a certain elan could gain the loser his life, or
    die with dignity and have a decent funeral. The main point was how a man
    faced up to danger and fear. Don't forget they had an afterlife at stake.
    Religion causes people to do funny things :-)

    Yes it degenerated in to a bloody shamlbes over time as people sought to out
    do each other in staging ever more lavish productions. The people had been
    desensitised to the extreme violence in the games. They had been told by
    their leaders that the games were good, and made attendance virtually

    If people are repeatedly told that something is good, and that cruel and
    unusual punishments meted out to criminals act as a deterrent to the might
    of Rome, then there would be a tendency for people to follow this view point
    (And the hangers and floggers are still around!)
    > The bull fight is a pale imitation.

    And a disgrace that it still exists.
    > The appetites of the human species are strong, and should never be
    > discounted.

    Indeed they should not!
    > - - Wade



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