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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 08:39

TV Violence: America's Dark Night of the Knoll

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2013.11.13.TV.BFJANE STILLWATER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

I was watching "The Mentalist" on TV recently, where some guy was being tortured, had a finger cut off with pruning shears and his face caressed with an acetylene torch.  Yikes!  And even during that nice little detective show "Castle," you can always count on seeing a whole bunch of blood and guts - not to mention the torture scenes and disemboweling now available on "Elementary" and "Body of Proof" and "Revolution" and "Person of Interest" and "Scandal".  And these are just the milder prime-time television shows.  I'm not even going to get into the nightmare-producing horrors of "Criminal Minds" and "Law & Order SVU" - because I can't even bear to watch those.

And then there are all those currently-popular "undead" shows too.  How many times can you torture a werewolf or drive a stake through a vampire's heart before he or she is truly dead?  Apparently a lot.  

I can think of at least eight TV series off the top of my head right now that face this very problem nightly in our very own living rooms:  "Dracula," "The Originals," "Vampire Diaries," "Grimm," "Once Upon a Time," "Sleepy Hollow," "Beauty and the Beast," "Supernaturals."  And, again, that's not even counting cable and "True Blood".  What are America's television viewers THINKING!  Are they that hungry for blood?  Apparently. 

But thank goodness I can't afford cable TV because that would mean there would be 500 more channels with 500 more new and different ways to kill people off violently and with lots of blood and torture and gore.  Good grief, no wonder hardly anyone blinked when the horrendous secret tortures of Abu Ghraib, Zero Dark 30 and Palestine were exposed to America by social media.  "No big deal.  We see that kind of stuff on TV every night!" Americans replied.

If one were to judge the American way of life solely by what its most popular television programs are, one would think that Americans were all murderous blood-thirsty psychopathic nut cases who dream only of blood.

To quote George H.W. Bush, "The American way of life is non-negotiable." Makes you wonder about that.

(Photo: Truthout / Flickr)