[Image: San Francisco police stand behind a barrier reading “S.F.P.D. Police Line – Do Not Cross.”]
Note/reminder: I am affiliated with no political party and endorse no presidential candidate at this time.
For the last several years I’ve rarely watched movies in theaters, but I’ve seen every Star Trek movie since Generations (1994) during the first few weeks of release. So this Monday Ziggy and I saw Star Trek Beyond in 3D. You can read my lukewarm review (contains spoilers) on the IMDb site.
The reason I’m writing about going to the movies on this social justice oriented blog is because of the incredible amount of violence I saw in the pre-movie trailers. Out of the six I remember*, four consisted mostly of people shooting at people, beating the shit out of people, or blowing shit up. Here are three of them:
The Magnificent Seven:
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back:
Keeping Up With the Joneses (doesn’t look violent at first, but keep watching):
I’m thinking about this glorification of violence in relation to the remarks Donald Trump made yesterday, which were widely interpreted to be a suggestion that supporters of Second Amendment rights shoot and kill Hillary Clinton or one of her appointed judges, should she win the election. Just as I was appalled at Trump’s desire to beat up “little guys”, it should hopefully go without saying that I join the bipartisan chorus of condemnation of his latest expression of macho bullying.
But despite some saying that this is the final nail in the coffin of Trump’s candidacy, I still won’t be surprised if he wins. We are, fundamentally, living in a culture of killing. We claim to live by a creed of “Thou Shalt Not Kill“, but come pathetically short of living up to it. We trust police to use guns responsibly, while they kill black and brown folks with impunity. We talk about “controlling” lethal weapons, but never seriously consider getting rid of them altogether. Even the national security analyst who wrote a scathing op-ed against Trump insisted that we must have nuclear weapons as a deterrent, even though we never want to actually use them.
As I’ve posted before, I’m not suggesting that we ban violent movies or video games, and I know that we cannot exist without causing some harm and death, even if unintentional. I just want to stop living with the assumption that violence is a necessary and inevitable part of civilization.
* Two less violent movies that looked possibly worth watching were Sully, about the Miracle on the Hudson (and starring the talented Tom Hanks), and The Space Between Us, about a kid who was born on Mars (though I wasn’t really interested in the romantic theme of the latter).