Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Marching Bland.

It was bound to happen.

The Cumbria murder spree is now blamed on movie violence. It seems the killer watched a bad, bad film the night before going mad with a shotgun, therefore the film caused it.

Therefore all such films must be banned.

Professor Kevin Browne, an expert in forensic and child psychology from Nottingham University warned MPs last year that violent action films were fuelling crime.

Really? It's nothing to do with the culture of 'me first and last' fostered under Labour? No connection with the 'no-touch' approach to discipline in schools? Crime isn't rising because criminals know they'll just get an ASBO or a ticking off no matter what they do?

Haven't we been told for years that violent crime declined dramatically under Labour?

So how come violent films, of which there are many more than there were twelve years ago and which are now very cheap on DVD, are causing a rise in violent crime based on this single incident?

Derrick Bird cracked and went insane. That was more likely due to the well-documented pressures in his life than due to watching one film. Would he have done it if he hadn't watched the film? There's no way to know. There's no way to predict when someone will crack under pressure. There are no lessons to be learned from this tragedy because there was no way to predict it and there is no way to predict the next one.

Sometimes, people just flip. Sometimes, terrible things just happen. Sometimes there are no reasons. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to predict or prevent it. You can spend every waking minute worrying about what might happen and taking every precaution to avoid any risk at all. When you get to the end of that life you'll think 'Was that life? It was pretty dull. I can't see what all the fuss was about.' Actually, you'd more likely die of a stress-related heart attack before you hit fifty. If you're a worrier, worry about whether you worry too much.

There's no need to worry. You are compelled, by law, to look after yourself.

Wearing a seat belt or a motorcycle helmet is law. The only one it protects is you. Fail to comply and you will be prosecuted for failing to look after yourself properly.

Smoking is banned on a spurious 'harm to others' argument while the medical profession insists that we give up smoking for our own good. We can't have a smoker's club because that would mean we'd be harming ourselves and that's illegal. In such a club, the only ones harmed would be smokers. If we tried to set one up, we would be prosecuted for not looking after ourselves properly.

Soon, drinkers are to be punished for not looking after themselves properly. Fat people too. You cannot take risks even where that risk is only to yourself. You might need to use that NHS you've been paying for all these years and that would never do.

Now we have a forensic and child psychologist claiming that merely observing violence makes you violent. I've watched a lot of particularly evil films and read a lot of particularly evil books, and even written some particularly evil stories myself. None of it has made me violent. None of it has made me desire a shotgun and a killing spree. Some real world events have, but no fictional ones.

I know many who enjoy the same kind of stories. None of them are violent either. In fact, the most unreasonably violent people I know don't read books. They don't watch many films of any kind either. They are more likely to have the football on, or car-racing.

We can expect a pressure group to try to get all film violence banned. They have already succeeded in banning smoking in films because as everyone knows, the entire population operates on the principle of 'monkey see, monkey do' and there is nobody out there capable of making their own decisions. If they see a pack of cigarettes they will instantly become smokers. If they see a bottle of whisky they will instantly become alcoholics. If they see a pie they will balloon into Jabba the Hut overnight.

If they watch 'Resident Evil' they will turn into zombies. Okay, some already are but that's beside the point.

None of the people making these tenuous links, the bubble-wrap proposals and the viciously enforced bans are at all interested in protecting us from real criminals. Beaten up by bad guys? That's normal. You have to expect that sort of thing. Don't worry, we'll help that criminal see the light and give him some freebies and we're sure he'll be a good boy in future.

They are only interested in protecting you from you.

You must be controlled for your own good because you can't decide for yourself what is good for you. You must follow these made-up rules which change every few months when we think up better ones. You must not see, hear or smell anything that might offend you. You must not see Bad Things because then you will do Bad Things because you are a dolt.

It is the greatest insult any government can produce. They treat the entire country as if every one of us is a dolt and they are not afraid to say it to our faces and what happens?

People just go 'Oh, all right then' and comply. Dolts.

So. No driving unless you are securely lashed into place and/or armoured. No smoking. No drinking. No eating beyond approved eating substances in approved amounts. No saying naughty words to other people. Do not approach children even if they are crying and bleeding in case you harbour evil thoughts towards them. Do not make jokes with co-workers with different coloured skin even if you have been friends for decades because it might offend someone else. Do not cover your face in public because it scares people. Do not carry a bottle of water in an airport because it scares people. Do not own any weapons of any kind because a burglar might get hurt, and do not carry any form of bladed implement in case you spontaneously turn into Freddy Kruger.

Next, no watching of films in which people get hurt. If you watch them you will become the Terminator or the Joker and hurt people. Incidentally, do you remember the scene in the Dark Knight where the Joker gatecrashes a meeting of mobsters? The most vicious, law-ignoring people in Gotham all gathered in one place. People who would kill you if you took too long at a post office counter. Life means nothing to them. They ignore all laws except one. Nobody lit up. Did you notice?

Try this. Even if you are a vehement antismoker, try it. Get one cigarette and take it to the next meeting you have to attend. Place it on the table and ignore it. Watch the reaction of those around you. They will be terrified. You couldn't instil more terror in them if you placed a thermonuclear device on the table and started the timer. The cigarette is not lit. It doesn't even have to be real. A lifelike plastic one will work.

Someone is going to ask you to put it away. They will ask you in that voice they'd use if you had placed a long curved dagger on the table and toyed with it while baring your teeth at them.

Pick it up and put it in your mouth. Don't light it. At the point of lighting it you are breaking the law and then everyone is comfortable again. They know what to do now. As long as the cigarette remains unlit they have no idea what to do. They will sweat and fidget and they won't know why.

If you want real entertainment, forget the movies. Take one cigarette - no lighter - to a meeting somewhere. Or a restaurant. Or a pub. I'm betting you'll be asked to leave as soon as you produce it in those places. I know someone who was asked to leave a pub because he had rolled a cigarette (with every intention of taking it outside) and was holding it while he spoke to someone else. Unlit. The reason? "You might light it."

That is the attitude today. If you see someone smoking, you might start. If you see someone drinking, you might end up a drunk. If you see someone eating a pie, you might binge until you can't get through doorways. If you watch a film where someone harms someone else, you might go on a killing rampage.

Might. We might get hit by an asteroid one day. So we have to prepare for that. How? Even our most powerful telescopes probably won't see it coming until it's too late. Asteroids are small and dark. Space is huge and dark. It's like hunting for a flea in an unlit coal cellar while looking through a toilet roll tube. If, by chance, the telescope happens to be pointing the right way at the right time, we might spot that asteroid. It's much more likely that we won't. So there really is no point going through life scared of asteroids. The chances are, we'll all be dead and buried before one hits and even if it does hit in our lifetimes, there really is diddly squat we can do about it.

There will be support for a ban on 'violent' films. Of course there will. The supporters won't realise how far it will go. They won't imagine that Peter Pan could be banned because of sword-fighting, or that the Wizard of Oz might be banned because it begins with a flat witch, from whose still-warm corpse Dorothy takes the ruby slippers. Children will see that and go out and drop a house on someone wearing red shoes. You just know it's going to happen, don't you?

We will be left with the mundane, the banal, the safe. Bland people leading bland lives. 'The Sound of Music' on every channel, every day. Laurel and Hardy? Far too violent and they both smoke. The Marx Brothers? With those cigars and with all the hitting? No chance. Watch this documentary on earthworms. It's much safer. Then wrap yourself in bubblewrap and exist. Don't dare live. That's dangerous. Just exist.

The rise in violence has nothing to do with films. It is not a cause. It is an excuse. Van Damme did not make you do it. You did it. You are responsible. No excuses.

The rise in violence has everything to do with 'experts' excusing such behaviour. You can now go out and batter pensioners and say you only did it because you were drunk/drugged or because you watched Death Race 2000 the night before and that excuse will be accepted! They are not valid excuses. Years of Righteous madmen have made them into excuses by claiming that this or that causes such behaviour so it's not really the perpetrator's fault. They make a tidy living at it, too.

Nobody takes responsibility for the harm they inflict on others because nobody is required to any more. The logical extension of that is the point where nobody accepts responsibility for their own lives any more. The State will direct your life for you. Stay in line and follow the directions. No risks. No danger. No excitement. No fun. Work eight hours. Sleep eight hours. Play eight hours. Live long and fester.

These Righteous 'experts' are not interested in your safety. They want control and they want more and more of it until you have to wear a sign reminding you to breathe.

Your government does not care about you either. They think you are all dolts and have to be protected from yourselves.

Think for yourself. Do not follow the herd when they demand bans and controls. They are demanding to be put in chains. They think they are demanding those chains be put on someone else and they don't notice when the chains are around them too. Not until the zero-alcohol driving limit they demand comes into force, and they lose their licence over a spoonful of cough medicine, a splash of perfume, or alcohol-gel hand cleaner. The alcohol in booze is no different to the alcohol in other products. The test can't tell where it came from and if you think you'll be able to get off with an explanation, think again. The ban will be total, the punishment automatic and severe. Just as you demanded.

Commentators often wonder why people so readily accept stricter and stricter controls on every aspect of their lives. It's worse than that. They do not merely accept these controls. They demand them. An 'expert' says this apparently harmless thing is actually linked to that utterly deadly thing and the people rise up and shout 'Ban the harmless thing, then the deadly thing cannot happen'. It never works. Never. And yet the ban always stands, and is always extended. next time something bad happens, they rise up and cry 'Ban the other harmless thing' and that doesn't work either. The bans are never reversed, even when it is clear that it has had no effect, even when it is clear that it has made things worse.

People are not accepting these controls. They are demanding them. They do this because they think the controls will apply to others, not to them. They do it because it's what an 'expert' said. They do it because they cannot face the responsibility of living their own lives. They do it because they are terrified of shadows.

Perhaps the government is right. Perhaps the people of this country are all dolts, after all.

17 comments:

microdave said...

"If you're a worrier, worry about whether you worry too much."

That's rather concerning....

I've always worn a seat belt & crash helmet (not both at the same time!) - even before they became law. I probably wouldn't be here now otherwise.

But it was MY choice....

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Did Bird smoke LI...?

Leg-iron said...

Microdave - all those who insist that seatbelts and crash helmets must be law argue that if it wasn't law, nobody would use them.

Actually, most people would use them anyway. The argument is about the difference between choice and coercion but they don't see that.

It's the same with guns. I've never owned one, not even when they were legal. I wouldn't rush out and buy one if they were made legal again.

All I'd want is the choice to buy one or not buy one. It does not mean I'd get one, it means that if, at some point in the future, I felt I needed one, the option would be there.

What these bans do is remove choices. Every one of them is a little more control.

Leg-iron said...

Conan - I doubt it. I'm sure it would have been mentioned in the press if he had.

P.T. Barnum said...

Having seen just about every uber-violent film ever made, some twice, up to and including Cannibal Ferox and I Spit on Your Grave, I shall now lock myself in the basement and protect the public from my inevitable homicidal spree. It's the right thing to do. Or does the effect wear off after a couple of hours? I need to know. Just how long must I stay down in the cellar? The foster kids need feeding, you see.

Pavlov's Cat said...

As a self confessed Seagalogist. I've seen evey filim with Mr Seagal at least twice (even I couldn't do 'Mercenary For Justice' 3 times)

I've even see him play guitar at the Woodville Halls, Gravesend.

I now feel as a smoker and a drinker as well, I should turn myself over to the authorities to with as they see fit.

Anonymous said...

Years ago (about 40), when I was in the Air Force, I can remember when a Chief (a rank in the Air Force) was working in the empty engine bay of a Phantom. Inside the bay couldn't be seen from the ground, and the Chief was working with an unlit pipe in his mouth. A passing officer got curious (they're all 'curious') and climbed up to have a look at what was happening. Saw the Chief and said "Chief, I'm disappointed in you", looking at the pipe (smoking is strictly verboten around an aircraft and in a hangar on safety grounds - rightly so). The Chief just looked up at him and said "I've got a hole in my arse too"

Cue one embarrassed officer scuttling away with his tail between his legs.

You don't mess with Chiefs whoever you are - they're all 20-year vets and the air force would collapse without them ... and they know it.

So yes, you're right. Just the sight of a ciggie will make people nervous - even did so 40 years ago in certain circumstances.

Anonymous said...

And oh yes - Bird was a smoker. And it WAS mentioned in the press ... but only in passing in that a friend said he used to enjoy a chat and a smoke with his mates on the taxi rank

Anonymous said...

“None of it has made me violent. None of it has made me desire a shotgun and a killing spree. Some real world events have, but no fictional ones.”

Ah, but Leggy, the experts will tell you that if you hadn’t have seen those slasher films or read those satanic-death-murder-kill books none of those real-world events would have made you angry at all.

A box set of Mary Poppins DVD’s is on its way to you as I write. I expect you to have watched them all by the end of the week, and I’ll be asking questions, so make sure you pay attention or Nanny will be vewwy, vewwy cwoss!

PS: Cronan – yes, as Anon above says, he did. I’m sure there were lots of contributing factors, but one can’t help but think that being chucked out in the rain from his local every half-hour or so and generally being treated like a social pariah, as smokers are allowed to be these days, can’t have helped his state of mind very much. Interestingly, one of the first sentences I heard about him after his “spree” was that “he was a middle-aged cab driver who liked a drink.” (my emphasis). Cue for a subliminal “just look at how drinking (i.e. being a drinker) harms others” drip-feed somewhere down the line, maybe? One to look out for in the future, methinks!

Leg-iron said...

P T Barnum - easy. Feed the kids to each other. Then blame it on the films.

You'll only get an ASBO because you'll be furthering the agenda.

Leg-iron said...

Pavlov's cat - don't turn yourself over to the authorities. They'll re-educate you back into Pavlov's Dog.

Leg-iron said...

Anon 23:58 - the effect is multiplied many-fold now. A pipe would be even more effective, especially if it was secretly filled with bubble-fluid...

Leg-iron said...

Anon 1:15 - if you send me a boxed set of Rob Zombie films, all the neighbours will suffer is the occasional roar of laughter. His Captain Spaulding is the funniest clown I've seen (sorry Obo, but it's true).

If you make me watch Dick van Dyke prancing around with a chimney brush again, I'll put something nasty in the water supply.

Then I'll blame it on the films. It will be true anyway.

Anonymous said...

What a cracking idea LI - leave an unlit cigarette or your pack on the table in front of you in a pub etc. It was a common sight in a more tolerant era. It has a certain rebelliousness about it without being threatening and identifies you as a smoker and that there are still smokers around when the righteous want smokers to be isolated, invisible and demoralised.

I went for a drink the other day with a group I don't normally associate with, most were non smokers, in a pub I don't normally go to (Wetherspoons), On the table we stood around was an empty cigarette packet presumable left earlier by a smoker - it stayed there the whole time we were there, no one attempted to move it not knowing it was empty.(no ash trays to dispose of same) I noticed that on another table there was another pack. I got a perverse sort of pleasure at this and wondered if it was a sort of passive protest that I was not privy to.

I hate to see cig packets abandoned anywhere, it merely gives the righteous ammo to sling at smokers - but left on a pub table/bar - absolutely, leave them whenever you can and don't crumple them!

Chalcedon said...

I have watched The Terminator and its sequels, amongst other movies. It did not give me the urge to go out and murder people callede Sarah Connor or anyone else. It's not movies that kill people.

John R said...

Having heard CallMeDave telling us that we're even deeper down the toilet than we thought, I just keep hoping that DemTories will take all the quangos, health facists, fake chariddies, bansturbators and other parasites and just, simply, close them all down.

Foolish, I know.

But, if there really is no more money, then maybe, just maybe.....

banned said...

Clearly the Chinese must be watching different movies since their mass child murderers choose to use knives and machetes.

We need to look more closely at the type of community that produces our own 'spree-killers', Dunblane, Hungerford and now west Cumbria. All pleasant, semi-rural, old fashioned, closely knit communities where everyone knows each other. Clearly dangerous places and breaking them up was probably part of the Nu-Labour Project (though I still don't know what the rest was).

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