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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Roman Holiday?


The other day I was cruising TV channels looking for something to watch during a time I had nothing to do.  I came across a show about vacations… but in my boredom didn’t notice it was “Vacations Gone Wrong” (or something like that).  I just focused in on the “vacation” part. 

Bad move.

In just a moment I was watching a video taken by someone who witnessed an inept zoo keeper enter a lion cage with 2 buckets of meat.  He was immediately attacked by two young lions, being savagely mauled.  In my total shock at seeing this on television, it took me a minute to gather my wits and get rid of it.  During that minute I heard bystanders reactions range from horrified to excited.  Yes, excited. 

But even worse was the voice-over provided by the producers of this show.  The narrator was almost gleeful about the attack, making comments about the lions “wanting a better taste of ol’ Bob” and such.

I couldn’t believe what I had seen and heard.  It sickened me. 

The ancient Roman empire used to be a bench mark for its evil and depravation.  Gladiators killed animals and murdered slaves and captives for the amusement of the watching crowd.  Said crowd could even have an “interactive” experience by deciding if a defeated opponent would live or die.

And I was witnessing an afternoon program showing a man being eaten alive by a pair of lions… FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF HOME VIEWERS!!!  

For a long time afterwards, that minute I saw made me feel ill and dirty. 

Then I wondered if this show was a fluke.  So I looked thru the program guide on a TV web site.

“The Dead Files”.  “America’s Most Wanted”.  “Snapped”.  “Sons of Anarchy”.  “CSI”.  “Forensic Files”.    All shows in the 10pm – 1am time slot on a Friday night.  All shows with graphic violence reenacted or made up for the entertainment of the program viewer. 

But I shouldn’t be surprised. 

A couple years ago I was at a video game resale store with a friend’s sons.  The elder son who was around 12 or 13 tried to con me into buying a game for him.  When I looked at it, I was surprised to see it was a shooting “game” where the gamer ‘hunted’ people and killed them with various weapons.  At my sharp “No”, he tried to convince me to buy it with “I play games like this with my Dad”.  I informed him that I would NEVER spend a penny of my money on such a disgusting item and what his dad did was on his own conscience. 

And now there is a hit movie that depicts teen-agers forced to hunt and kill each other until only one survives.  People are flocking to see it and giving it great praise.  I don’t understand. 

I don’t want to understand.

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