How did we get to the point where we are ambivalent about seeing multiple deaths of humans everyday on the television ?

It’s not a rhetorical question, I really would like to know.

I can’t stand violence, I’m a pacifist if you will. I’ve always been this way. In school I argued for disarmament, I never got into a fight, preferring to use verbal skills to evade a smack in the gob. Up until now I’ve got away with it. But I can’t stand watching the hundreds and hundreds of TV series that show, in ever more detail, the demise of another human being.

I do know they’re actors, and no one really got hurt — safe for a couple of on set accidents. But the graphic nature of it is just too much.

I’m not against, murder stories, murder documentaries, what I’m viscerally uncomfortable with, is the nature in which it becomes the central part of the story telling. Like finding a dead body, or seeing a run up to the act, is not enough anymore.

I’m ignorant about how we got here, apart from the fact that I know we’ve creeped slowly since the advent of television to show in more and more detail, what is essentially, murder for entertainment. When do we ‘actually’ kill someone for TV kicks ?

I’d like to say that under certain circumstances, in a tasteful manner that is important to the story tell, I’m not completely against it. I, for example, really enjoyed Pulp Fiction (very violent if I remember) and think that Man Bites Dog or its original French title, C’est arrivé pres de chez vous, are wonderful examples of an art form. But the trash put out every night with murder, gratuitous violence, murder, killing, violence, more murder and a splash of more gratuitous violence, is just too much for this poor soul.

I’m currently researching how and why we got here, and if there is any link to violence in real life. I’m not making any assumptions or judgements. I’d just like the facts to make my own mind up. But until then, sorry TV Producers, I’ll continue my abstention.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash