Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dead Musicians

I was just listening to a song.

"Thorns In Roses" by The Exploding Hearts.

Then I remembered how three out of four band members died in a car accident in 2003.

God dammit. Sometimes people just die. Terrible things happen and lives disappear. These people were younger than me. 23, 21, and 20. Thrown from cars. Bodies torn apart. Destroyed.

Someone fell asleep at the wheel. Three out of five people in the car died. How would it feel to be those other two? Horrifying. No doubt. But a relief. A horrible, guilt ridden relief.

I am simultaneously thankful and horrified to live in a country that keeps my exposure to real violence at a minimum. I am, however, simply horrified at my exposure to simulated violence.

Once I was in a huge arcade. Gameworks in downtown Seattle. I was drinking and playing games with friends. The entire night was strange to me. Then I said to my friend 'I'm standing in a room full of people who are all pretending to kill something'.

It scares the shit out of me.

I looked around the room and 3/4 of the games were about using a fake gun to shoot a fake person/monster/thing.

Football, video games, television. It is all loaded with simulated violence.

It's like when I went to a football game. UMD versus Berkeley. They fire fake cannons at half time. Pyrotechnics and simulated violence.

All this glorification of war, this simulation of violence and death.

I am so terrified of becoming desensitized to violence. I don't want to see war. I don't want to see death.

But at the same time, a part of me, an irresponsible and naive part of me, wants to see it. I want to understand that life is indeed nasty, brutish, and short. This world is loaded with violence. All these poor babies. All these poor bodies. All those destroyed lives.

God damn this American 'spectator sport militarism'.

Damn all this simulated violence.

I don't want people to die brutal deaths. But people do. And all I can do is think about it. I've never experienced it. I've never seen it. How terrible. These gapes in my empathic palette. I'll never really understand those others. But I'll try.

This is no attempt to give up on those dealing with violent worlds. Merely a lamentation at my own exposure to violence. Merely an expression of the frustration with American culture's careless representation of violence and death.

What a careless nation we are. What an attitude we have. I don't have any sense of war. No sense of violence. What a bubble I fear this country is.

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