Våld i etablissemangets finkultur kontra våld i folkets masskultur

[…] There has always been violence in art. There is violence in the Bible, violence in Homer, violence in Shakespeare, and many psychiatrists believe that it serves as a catharsis rather than a model. I think the question of whether there has been an increase in screen violence and, if so, what effect this has had, is to a very great extent a media-defined issue. I know there are well-intentioned people who sincerely believe that films and TV contribute to violence, but almost all of the official studies of this question have concluded that there is no evidence to support this view. At the same time, I think the media tend to exploit the issue because it allows them to display and discuss the so-called harmful things from a lofty position of moral superiority.

But the people who commit violent crime are not ordinary people who are transformed into vicious thugs by the wrong diet of films or TV. Rather, it is a fact that violent crime is invariably committed by people with a long record of anti-social behaviour, or by the unexpected blossoming of a psychopath who is described afterward as having been ‘…such a nice, quiet boy,’ but whose entire life, it is later realized, has been leading him inexorably to the terrible moment, and who would have found the final ostensible reason for his action if not in one thing then in another.

In both instances immensely complicated social, economic and psychological forces are involved in the individual’s criminal behaviour. The simplistic notion that films and TV can transform an otherwise innocent and good person into a criminal has strong overtones of the Salem witch trials. This notion is further encouraged by the criminals and their lawyers who hope for mitigation through this excuse. I am also surprised at the extremely illogical distinction that is so often drawn between harmful violence and the so-called harmless violence of, say, ”Tom and Jerry” cartoons or James Bond movies, where often sadistic violence is presented as unadulterated fun. I hasten to say, I don’t think that they contribute to violence either. Films and TV are also convenient whipping boys for politicians because they allow them to look away from the social and economic causes of crime, about which they are either unwilling or unable to do anything.

– Stanley Kubrick in interview with Michel Ciment about the movie A Clockwork Orange

Feminist eller miljömaniker? Inget, jag skrattar åt det

Roger Scruton skriver om skrattets plats i samhället utifrån en betraktelse på feminismens bittert, buttra, humorbefriade och maniska syn på män, kvinnor och det enda korrekta inrättandet av samhällets funktioner i stort.

Tecknen är tydliga på vad detta är för slags fenomen om man tittar på den humorbefriade och distanslösa religionen.

Bristen på skrattets välgörande distanserade verkan inför olika företeelser vi ställs inför kan även appliceras på den rådande klimat- och miljömanin i samhället.

Blåögda och glada i hågen, käckt skuttande och dansande över soldränkta klöverängar säljer vi aningslöst ut de genom århundraden tillskansade medborgerliga fri- och rättigheterna som vore dem inte mer värda än dammråttor vid vårstädningen, samtidigt som vi i vår naivitet tror att vi vinner Det Nya Sköna (Gröna) Samhället.

A society that does not laugh is one without an important safety valve, and a society in which people interpret crude humor not as the first step toward friendly relations, but as a mortal offense, is one in which ordinary life has become fraught with danger. Human beings who live in communities of strangers are greatly in need of laughter, if their differences are not to lead to civil war. This was one of the functions of the ethnic joke. When Poles, Irish, Jews, and Italians competed for territory in the New World to which they had escaped, they provisioned themselves with a store of ethnic jokes with which to laugh off their manifest differences. […]

What should be our response to this? It is easy to say that we should laugh at it. But losing your career is not a laughing matter; still less is it a laughing matter to be put on a list of targets by the Islamist offense-machine. What is needed, it seems to me, is a seriously rude, arrogant, and well-educated class of journalists, who would lend each other support in ridiculing the pretensions of the censors.

– Roger Scruton, The Decline Of Laughter

Så det är bäst ni ser upp alla censorer, småpåvar och prussiluskor. Ni vet vilka ni är. Men det är kanske där problemet utkristalliserar sig, genom eran brist på självkännedom, självkritik och inte minst självdistans.

Christopher Hitchens har skrivit en riktig temperatur- och pulshöjare i artikeln ”Why Women Aren’t Funny”. Men det vet vi ju alla att så inte är fallet.

Humor is part of the armor-plate with which to resist what is already farcical enough. […] But without tragedy there could be no comedy. […]

– Christopher Hitchens