Skip to main content

Faces of Violence

Note:  To some the following might be disturbing, so proceed at your own risk.

I don't understand violence, nor do I think that I could ever understand it, and I know that I have no desire to understand it.  In fact, no one who never experiences violence could possibly understand it.  We can certainly try to imagine it, but we cannot know it; we cannot feel it; and many of us would choose to remain ignorant of it.  So how is it that a seemingly normal person can be driven to hurt, maim or even murder another?  And further, how is it that so few men (or even one man) can influence so many to commit violence in the name of something; some cause, some ideal, some promise of religious bliss?  Take  Hitler as an example.  He was able to capture the minds and control the will of an entire nation, turning so many people against an entire race that he intended to exterminate.  Those who followed this man turned a blind eye to, or purported ignorance of, the concentration camps where human beings were used as slaves and worked to death, extermination camps that were the final destination of a people condemed, and of the ovens intended to incinerate the remains.  Whether from fear of their leader or complete hatred of the jews, german citizens, to the end, plead ignorant despite the evidence and the wafting stench of dead and burning human flesh.

How is it that men and women who live peacefully within a strongly religious society of old world traditions and values, are convinced by a few violent, powerful and influential religious radicals to strap explosives to themselves, walk into a crowd and explode?  It is said in some religions that when a man dies (and this is paraphrased) he will go to "heaven" to reap his rewards as a thousand young virgins lay waiting at his feet.  Perhaps this extremely desirable belief together with harsh conditioning and brainwashing are enough to mold a human bomb from the from the flesh of a naive and impressionable young man.  I once saw on television a man, in the throws of religious rapture, climb to the top of a rock several stories high, stretched his arms toward the bright blue sky, chant a prayer to his god, and, cheered on by his brethren below, jump willingly to his death.  When he hit the ground his body didn't bounce as I had naively believed it would.  Instead his body, stopped suddenly by the sun-hardened earth, remained still, never again able to experience the blue sky, the smile of his similarly delusional friends or religious bliss.  And what of the women who endure fear and hardship under the servitude of such tyrants? What promises are made to them that they should go and sacrifice themselves and a crowd of the innocent?  Do they follow their husbands and sons to nirvana?  Do they get to enjoy the spoils of death? Perhaps for them it is simply a matter of sacrificing themselves to ensure that the lives of their children remain safe.

In 1095 the first crusade was launched and Christian men were called to arms against the Turks with the promise, upon their glorious deaths, of absolution from their earthly sins.  After laying waste to Turkish forces they laid siege to Antioch, and when they finally pushed through the water-gate, these otherwise god-fearing, peaceful men were driven to into a frenzy of violence as they pillaged the city, massacred civilians and, as a sign of triumph over these lesser people and their lesser god, toppled and burned to ashes all of their mosques.

And what is it about the single man who on his own and through his greed decides to kill in order to garner another's possessions?  What is it about the serial killer who does it simply for the pleasure, or the rush, or to sate the appetites of his insane fantasies?  I've read that when a serial killer kills his first victim he feels a rush of power and thrill, and the next time he kills, if he does kill, it becomes easier, and with each more seductive.  But I also recall that when Jeffery Dahmer was caught and later interviewed, he said that although he did all of the things he had (rape, torture, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism), the very acts themselves always repulsed him and made him physically ill.  How does one explain the mind of such a man?  How can someone convince themselves to do this in the first place?  Perhaps it is a genetic trait, or maybe in childhood a lack of nurture, love and positive reinforcement lets resentment and hatred fester and grow as it snuffs out empathy and compasion. 

Although I believe that any man or woman can be driven to become violent, I just can't explain or truly understand it, and I don't think that I ever want to understand it.  And as it is with so many others who live peacefully in the freedom of an enlightened society, I choose, willingly, to envelope myself in the comfort of ignorance and the delusion of bliss, and when I do read about, hear of or am witness to violence I can, once I've suffered the cold, stabbing flash of reality, recoil back to a disney world illusion lollipops and sweet gum drops.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Blogger said…
Searching for the Best Dating Site? Join to find your perfect match.

Popular posts from this blog

Brainstorming, Mind Mapping, Curio

I use this really cool Mac OS X  (I mean, is there really anything better than a Mac?) software by Zengobi called Curio.  While it lacks many of the things I would like to see in such an application--you really can't go by what I write here because what I want hasn't yet been imagined, except by me of course and I am too lazy to do anything about it--it has great potential and I think that if Zengobi has the vision it can become even more powerful which is really cool.

Part of what it gives you is mind mapping, but unlike mind mapping tools that are all about just mind mapping, Curio gives you a blank canvas onto which you can drop any kind of resource such as images, documents, web pages, etc.  And you can organize all of these sorts of things as mind maps or structured lists.  Or you don't need to do that at all.  You can just be free to layout everything randomly.

It is also a project management application, but it looks nothing like any project management software.  Th…

Quilling and Chilling

Perhaps it's because I own a scrapbooking and papercraft store.  Perhaps it is the artist within.  Perhaps it's sheer boredom as I suffer this long period of employment drought.  But whatever it is, I've decided to learn more about papercrafts and especially something called quilling or paper filigree.

I'm not quite sure why I find fascination in such things.  I am a computer geek, programmer, software developer, etc.  It must go back to my childhood and my fascination with creating arts and crafts.  As a budding artist my bud was snipped from the tree of art, and I never did pursue it. But I love color.  I love how to mix it to create new colors, how to place complimentary colors together, how to match and blend and create things with color.

The tools and the techniques of quilling are deceptively simple.  I say deceptively because although it appears at first that you are simply rolling paper around a slotted rod, forming the rolled paper into one of a few basic shapes…

OS X Yosemite: Breathing new Life into my Old, Faithful Companion

So the other day I wrote that my MacBook seemed to run a little slower and use more memory.  What's strange is now that I've been using it, it's actually running noticeably faster.  It still takes up more memory, but not that much more.  It's like Yosemite has breathed new life into my aging companion.  There is probably something I can do about the memory, too.  What my Mac really needs is more space on the hard drive.  I have some serious cleaning to do.