Without wanting to take away from what is definitely a form of development
in modern media, I'd like to point out that every age needs some sort of
horror with which to scare the pants off the populace.
I reckon the Book of Revelation was a pretty good example, and various scary
versions of hellfire ever since. Apocalyptic visions are not new; nor are
views of humanity that treat individuals more like ants. Revelation was, I
believe, just one example of a very popular kind of literature of its era -
apocalyptic literature. I wonder if there was a debate in those times about
Let's not forget the period of terror during the French Revolution when the
populace packed a picnic to go watch the multiple beheadings; or the Roman
games when the Christians provided the picnic for the lions in fromt of a
gleeful crowd of thousands; or the way citizens used to flock to a good
public burning. For all that our modern media may be representing things to
us with a starknes that is more than before, we may still be a more
civilized society than those that went before us.
For my money, Paths of Glory is still one the goriest representations of how
humanity can recklessly destroy itself. I found it impossible in that film
to console myself with any thoughts that it was a fiction.
Just a few thoughts.
Chimo from Canada
Chris M. Worsnop
Consultant, speaker, workshop leader
Assessment, writing, media education
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