(Note: I just finally made this entry public after several months of letting it bubble as a private post. Do with it what you will.)
I’m incredibly sickened by modern horror. The film industry pushes boundaries, I realise, and this has lead to many great things. Wizard of Oz pushed boundaries with its break into colour. Sleeping Beauty pushed boundaries with its transformation from live action to cartoon in the hands of artists. Lord of the Rings pushed boundaries with its computer generation. But the technological boundary is different from the human mind. Psychologically, we have boundaries, and if they are broken, what is left of us?
My house is watching a horror film right now called “Funny Games” or something to that effect, and I am sickened. It deals with two guys who are going to kill a family for the fun of it, and they kidnap the son to make the mum take off her clothes and other such atrocities.
Yes, I realise that these kinds of things happen in real life. And I realise that it can be put into film. In fact, it being put into a film does not bother me. What does bother me is that our society has had our boundaries so torn away that people find this entertaining. Entertaining?
What the fuck is wrong with people? Have we really had murder and violence and sex and gore thrown at us enough to completely desensitise us? Well, yes; we have. But at what point have our boundaries been broken that we’ve learned to enjoy watching this? What the fuck is wrong when Saw can make six movies because people just love watching other people die so much? How did we get to this point? How can we hold so little regard for human life and laugh at someone literally being ripped limb from limb?
Do we not have sympathy any more? We must not. And empathy is out of the question; we lost that long ago.
I just don’t understand. I watched all of five minutes of My Bloody Valentine before I made my friends shut it off so that we could watch something else. Even though the gore was unrealistic, it didn’t matter. The movie was purely a bunch of people dying. Just, dying. Being murdered. And here, my friends sat around, laughing at the thought of people dying.
Maybe I was never desensitised to it all. Maybe I kept myself in some kind of bubble. Or maybe I just never wanted to be desensitised from it all, so I made sure to still feel the fear and pain. Fear and pain from death, well, that’s human. That’s why we have religion–to remove the fear from the pain. But when there’s no fear because it’s humorous, then what happened to the soul?
That’s just it. What is so damned funny about people dying? Every day, I read the news. Another 2000 dead from an earthquake here. Another sixteen dead from a bombing there. Another three killed by a train that fell off the tracks. Another six murdered. What the fuck makes that so funny? You can tell me, “Oh, but Missi! In the movies, it’s just a murder, and they usually deserve it. It’s not like it’s real.” So what that it’s not real? What makes it any different from all of the people who do die every day? If you laugh so damned much at the idea of death, why are you not laughing at those people who really are dying? Is it because society tells you not to? Or are you laughing inside? Or do you just not care about them at all since you’ve given up your own conscience in order to be entertained? What the fuck makes the idea so damned different between a movie and real life?
Not much. That’s what. People really do get murdered. Tornadoes really do suck people up. Bullets really do get in the spines of eight year-olds. You laugh when it’s on a screen; you might as well be laughing at the real thing.
People aren’t living any more. They’re just shells. They sell all that they have in order to be entertained. We’re laughing ourselves to death. Neil Postman had it right when he said that we were “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. He didn’t mean it quite in this way–his ideas were more Orwellian in nature–but it all leads to being empty and hollow.
And for how much do we sell our souls?
One dollar at Red Box.