Spiral Notebook: How do we hide violence?

By Giles Broadbent on January 19, 2013 9:43 PM |


So it was a no-score draw then in the bloodless slug-fest between Quentin Tarantino and Channel Four's Krishnan Guru-Murthy over the director's views on movie violence.

Tarantino was within his rights to refuse to answer a question about a possible link. Guru-Murthy was within bounds to press the topic.

They both appeared unruffled by the exchange and both of them got footage that went viral so that's a tick in the promo box for their respective screen vehicles. Home in time for tea.

But to occupy Tarantino silence for the sake of argument. If there is a concensus that concedes to a link between movies and violence, what then?

What's the response? Insulate? Ban all movies then all songs and then books, and guns, knives and blunt instruments (there go the tubas) then all sharp edges on coffee tables, and all crows that peck at road kill, and the deserts that kill ickle baby elephants and stairwells that nobble vicars, and grazed knees from bike falls and sticks that become swords and rhinoplasty and gravity and evolution and entropy and death.

If you're ready to tip into violence, you'll tip regardless of a prompt.
If you're never going to tip, a session with Tarantino is never going to turn you. (I spent much of Christmas watching the relentless genocide in Lord Of The Rings - made me sick of death, not hungry for Orc blood.)

And for those susceptible either way, well, here's the truth of it. Life is dumb luck and adventure. You can't condition a society to just to coral the mindless few, you can only build reasonable safeguards and shepherd in lost souls whenever they reveal themselves.

We are made of violence. We come from stars that were ripped apart, we evolved from destruction and hardwired supremacy.

Our DNA is a knotty streak of plundered nucleotides. Life is violence and conflict - restraining it, escaping it, embracing it, eschewing it, exploiting it, policing it.

Eradicating it is not really an option - so sit back and enjoy the show. Or stay home.