Warren Ellis believes that, on a whole, our society needs to become desensitized to violence in order to get a better understanding of it. I personally agree with him. With a deeper understanding of the human mind, we can bring some light to the reason why people commit violent acts. Fictional pieces grants us the ability to peak into the inner minds of violent people by revealing their intentions. These stories tend to reveal the perpetrator as a “damaged or alienated human” and humanizes them. People tend to forget that those who commit these heinous acts are human.
According to Ellis, the reason why Hannibal Lecter was a successful character was due to his reliability. Ellis argues, “For every three scary, strange things we discover about him, there is one thing that we can relate to.” This reliability can produce feelings of empathy for the character. With empathy, people will be more likely to understand the perspective of the violent person.
As inexcusable as most violent acts are, the double standard we have in this country is discouraging. Ellis speaks of being able to “watch footage of Sammy Yatim being shot, but” his “government doesn’t think I should watch violent films…” I absolutely agree. Being able to watch footage of a 18 year old being shot nine times by a police officer is acceptable, fictional violence should also be accepted. I believe that showing footage of an actual murder is more shocking than showing one in a fictional setting.
Overall, I believe that freedom of speech should be upheld in the fictional realm and it is up to the reader / viewer of these books / programs to decide if they’d like to partake in watching them. There is much to learn from violence and avoiding the issue will not make it disappear.
Ellis, Warren. “Blood in Your Eye: Why We Need Violent Stories.” Vulture. New York Media, 14 August 2013. Web. 3 October 2013