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Old January 7 2013, 11:49 PM   #57
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Re: 2001 on the Big Screen

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
They die peacefully in their sleep, not violently. Again, that's not the sort of thing that would satisfy the audience's violence quota.
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
They were in hibernation. They just died in their sleep. That's not the sort of thing that would provide any satisfaction to a violence-hungry audience.
First off, that's an incorrectly narrow definition of violence. Legally, any act of murder or any infliction of grievous bodily harm constitutes a violent crime under the laws of most countries, regardless of the method by which death or harm is inflicted. The World Health Organization's definition of violence includes any intentional use of power against another person that results or has a high likelihood of resulting in their death, harm, or deprivation. So if they'd died in their sleep of natural causes, that wouldn't be violent, but since HAL deliberately killed them, intentionally using his power to shut off their life support with the knowledge that it would result in their deaths, that makes it a violent act both legally and morally.

And second, that's a straw-man characterization of modern audiences, and is just as false as your definition of violence. You're falling prey to the nostalgia illusion, the common psychological fallacy that the present is worse than the past. In fact, audiences in the past were no less fond of violence than they are today. The blood and gore today are more graphic, but gunplay, swordfights, and bloodshed of all sorts have been a staple of movies and TV going back to the beginning (and before that on radio), and in earlier generations there was plenty of real violence used as entertainment, such as cockfighting or bear-baiting or just plain blood sports. On the whole, societies today are less violent than they were in the past; the probability of the average individual becoming involved in an act of violence is lower now than it was generations or centuries back (though of course that is an average, and there are certainly regions and times that are exceptions). As for fictional violence, if anything, it seems to me that modern TV shows are more likely to acknowledge the consequences and cost of violence, while shows from the '60s or '70s tended to treat it far more casually.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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