Re: The Passion of the Christopher

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Wed 28 Apr 2004 - 20:23:26 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: <> Jon you wrote,
    > One meme that I have not seen analyzed anywhere in the media criticism or
    > online discussion of this film is the cultural meme that causes us to feel
    > that it is bad, distasteful, or somehow wrong to depict
    > violence/blood/gore in amount that the meme dictates as "excessive". This
    > meme is so prevalent that in general, people seem to take it as a
    > universal human truth that something past a certain level of realistic
    > violence and gore is "offensive", "uncalled for", or that it implies the
    > filmmaker has some kind of "sick obsession".

    << Yet, I see it more as an [ universal] social meme ! Is there a cultural difference of how people see violence and in what amount it becomes wrong or excessive !? On the other hand, for many [ too excessive ] becomes ridiculous. Is the discussion about the movie, cultural inspired_ that fulblooded christians were to be upset, ok but the rest !? The majority would consider the violence as being bad, distateful and excessive, but others would consider it as " a necessity to tell the story " . But, ok, when is too many too much !? But is such a cultural/ social/ memetic dictate confined to violence !? I think not, when is too much sex on TV a political item, when are adds ( p.e. Benetton) distateful !? Whan is adding yet another 100 miles surplus to what is then already the fastest car, murder, if you sell those cars to youngsters !?

    IMHO, it is a meme individualistic bound, but linked to a more general moral/ ethical level. Damasio in his latest book, " What we call ethical behavior, has an ancient emotional history. "

    I agree with this as far for the very basic of the statement, not so much with the conclusions drawn from it. I see an individualistic element in what you or I think as too much, one other will take yet another stand. That all of this is social/ cultural inspired, no doubt, but it is not the bias for the assumption.

    > Yet it is our modern culture that hides us from death, putting it in neat
    > wooden boxes, ambulances, and the news editing room room floor. Most
    > humans that have ever lived, especially in ancient times, witnessed death
    > and violence as a regular event. Many people today, on the other hand,
    > have never even seen a corpse.

    << I don 't think any cultural/ social/ political/ ethical institution hides death from us, but I do believe that those show us death as indeed neat, not messy or bloody at all. We drom the bombs, but we never actually see/ count the casulties. And moreover, IMO, it a social dominant determinant that neglects, excludes, represses, simply fails to recognise that death means final, no more !

    We stand indifferent for the pain and suffering, we have no longer empathy, of the other(s), we act careless even if our own life is concerned. In ancient times, indeed death lived on their doorstep, yet in our modern society is does too, but it seems at the same time, so far away when those pictures come thru' the cable, isn 't it !?



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