Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yes, I Hate Boyd's Bears and Precious Moments This Much, So Much That They Feature in Almost All Of My Violent Daydreams

Perhaps it's repressed anger, or Napoleon syndrome, or vestigial Viking blood, but I find that violent fantasies calm me down and make me feel peaceful. For instance, if I'm really having a bad day at work, I imagine the following scenario:

I'm all alone in a room filled with glass tables. On top of the tables are little ceramic Boyd's Bears and Precious Moments figurines. It's horrifying and sickening in a deep, visceral way. But I have some things.

I grab the baseball bat first. I smash and smash, until everything in that room is dust. I stomp on the dust and grind it into the ground as it makes lovely scrunching sounds. Then I grab one of those big red plastic containers of gasoline. I pour it out all over everything. The room is a big glass/gasoline soup. Then I step out of the room (obviously) and launch in a bunch of homemade hand grenades, relishing the smashing sound of the bottles, and I watch it burn. I sit outside and watch as the building burns to the ground. When it's over I go stomp on the ashes, squishing them under my boot and stamping and screaming until I'm all tired out.

By the time I'm done with this fantasy I feel calm and centered; like everything is ok again.

I should state that I am no way violent by nature in real life. I have never so much as been in a fight, and I don't vandalize things on purpose, ever. But there is something in me that likes to think of destroying things.

So here's my question. Why do people say they "dislike violence" in movies and songs etc? I totally understand why people don't like real-life violence. I don't either. Especially violence against children and animals. But I think it's human nature to have deeply buried, visceral violent impulses. It comes from the primitive part of the human brain, the part that kept us alive through some pretty horrifying history. In civilized society, of course, we have to repress those urges, in order to get along and maintain order. But those urges are still there, lurking below the surface. The way we deal with those impulses is by watching violent movies, listening to violent song lyrics and watching violent sports like boxing. Or in my case, fantasizing about smashing things. It's the most harmless, healthy way for us to deal with our violence issues.

So who are these people who say they don't like violent movies, or violent sports, or anything of that nature? Are they simply more evolved than the rest of us? Have they completely purged themselves of all anger, unkind feelings and "fight" responses? Or are they LESS evolved, to the the point where violent images inspire a crazy blood-lust in them that they fear they cannot control? Are they the ones we should REALLY be watching? I'm honestly curious. If you don't like violence, tell me why. I promise not to judge you or make snotty comments. I just want to understand your point of view. In return, please do not make snotty comments about my love of violent movies, or call a psychiatrist to have me committed for my smashing-burning-daydreams.


  1. If I ever win millions of dollars I promise to totally make your fantasy come true!

  2. How about 'differently evolved?' For me, overdeveloped empathy makes watching violence in movies physically painful and too frightening to be fun.
    It's okay with me if other people want to watch, but I worry about psychic numbing in adolescents and the inspiration and ignition of psychotics.
    That said, would you mind very much if I chucked a few Kinkade paintings onto the pyre before you toss the grenades?

  3. Ooooh! Kincaide paintings! I can't believe I didn't think of that myself! Of course you may contribute.