Monday, January 07, 2008

Yahoos on the sidelines

Every time I make her watch any sporting event Mary goes off about how sports are ridiculous, in particular the face painted drunk screaming yahoos. I have often argued that sports give those people, and those of us who sometimes act like them, a place to vent and keeps them off the streets so that the rest of us can do business safely.

And then this morning the NY Times we see economists have done research indicating that violence in movies can be correlated, in the short term at least, with a decrease in violent crime. I.e. violent movies give those inclined to violence (teen and 20s guys) something to do rather than go out and bash heads. Critics are already railing that this analysis doesn't account for long-term adverse effects of, say, depictions of decapitations and gang-bangs and whatnot, and that's a valid thought.

But fundamentally, I buy it, and I think the same principal is at work in sport. As back in the Roman day with the Colisseum, keep em off the streets, give em some catharsis -- be it sports or film -- and let em work it out by proxy.

Look at the violence in Kenya now in the run up to the presidential elections, to say nothing of the Hutu-Tutsi days in the Great Lakes area. This violence seems to bespeak an absence of sufficient representational proxy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another great brutally violent movie is Braveheart. My friends Neil Goldstein and Danny Cohen were extras...