Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturated With Violence, Immune to Disaster

Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The United States of America was attacked without warning by Japanese bombers. 2,403 people were killed.

Shocked and angered, Americans rallied together and mobilized for war.

Working round the clock, American workers produced more than 100,000 aircraft, more than all of the Axis powers combined.

New York City, September 11, 2001.
The United States of America was attacked without warning by Islamist bombers. 2,974 people were killed.

Shocked and angered, thousands of Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for peace.

Since September 11th, Muslims have built hundreds of new mosques in America.

Islam is one of the fastest-spreading faiths in America, with a 25 percent increase in the number of mosques over the past seven years.

To accommodate our Muslims we have installed prayer rugs at our airports...

and footbaths at our universities.

What happened?

For millions of Americans

it's as though nothing happened.

How could we have changed so much?

It's been seven years now, and many of us whose lives have been drastically changed by the events of that awful day in September are still asking ourselves this same relentless question. Our nation has been ripped apart by this fateful event. Not so much by the event itself as by our attempts to qualify its proper significance to America. For some of us, 9/11 was perceived as an unquestionable act of war, an act of war no less violent or dastardly than the attack on Pearl Harbor. And an act of war must be responded to in kind.

Others aren't so sure. We are, they admonish us, at least partially responsible for this attack, which many believe was a direct retaliation for our selfish imperialistic actions in the Middle East. In short, we brought it upon ourselves.

Then there are the others, a much greater number, but a number impossible to compute. These people have simply set it aside. To them, September 11, 2001 was a senseless anomaly. Like a tornado or an earthquake. One of those freak disasters that happens every so often. Something that grabs our attention for a few weeks but is then lost in the swiftly-moving current of our everyday lives.

For these people, 9/11 most certainly happened, it was a polarizing event, shocking and scary -- but it was something removed, something experienced vicariously in the comfort and safety of their living rooms on their widescreen TVs. Soon it would be put away with the other DVDs, just another frightening movie, like The Exorcist or Jaws. They saw it and it scared the hell out of them and they remember it, but life is calling and we must move on. To obsess over it would be as foolish and unhealthy as obsessing over the threat of demonic possessions or possibility of shark attacks. Besides, there are enough real problems in life without going out of your way looking for more.

In our attempts to understand this apparent nationalistic apathy, this seeming indifference to catastrophe, we have come up with several possible answers. Richard Nixon and Watergate was the cause of our manifest distrust in government. Vietnam was the cause of our manifest distrust in war. And the pervasive and insidious cynicism and rampant anti-Americanism of our leftist academia, infested as it is by ideological radicals from the 60s, most likely became the cause of our manifest distrust in America.

Although all of these answers are, I believe, equally valid, there is another possible answer to the vexing problem of this deadly complacency, an answer which has nothing whatsoever to do with Richard Nixon or Vietnam or the radical environment of our Ivy League universities.

We have become saturated with violence, and immune to disaster.

Virtually speaking, we've seen it all. In our movie theaters and on our television screens we've experienced every conceivable form of murder and mayhem. We are, at once, appalled and obsessed with violence. We always have been, and we probably always will be.

Are we any more civilized than our Roman ancestors because the blood that we so avidly watch being spilled is virtual blood in a virtual arena? Isn't this precisely the same emotion only ever so slightly sublimated? Have we really developed that much morally? I wonder.

We are I believe essentially the same human animals with those same human weaknesses. But never before in the history of mankind has the banquet of violence been more plentiful or more available.

Our cups runneth over with artificial blood. Our children have been subsumed into a world of virtual brutality and violence.

Our tolerance for violence and our threshold for shock has risen exponentially.

On Oct. 30, 1938, thousands of otherwise normal Americans ran out into the streets in panic in response to Orson Welles' now-famous realistic radio production of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Terrified people fled the cities and armed themselves with shotguns.

What, I wonder, would it take to shock our contemporary American? What, I wonder, would make them run out into the streets?

Consider this:
Nearly 100 percent of households have television
, and the total number of sets is increasing; 87 percent of households have two or more television sets. Over 60 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds have a television set in their bedroom. Cable TV is found in about 77 percent of American homes, greatly increasing the number of channels and programs available. Children readily learn the TV-viewing lifestyle from the adults around them. Within households viewing time may total up to 59 hours a week. Recent studies indicate extensive violence in television programs.

The National Television Violence Study, for example, found that 57 percent of programs contained violence, usually numerous acts of violence in a single program. In approximately 75 percent of these programs, the violence seemed to be sanctioned, with no punishment of the perpetrators. Violence was depicted as humorous in more than a third of the programs.Only 4 percent of the violent programs offered a strong anti-violence message. Premium cable programs, often showing movies, had the highest percentage of violence. A study of children's programs showed that they were 10 percent more violent than adult programs.

In addition to extensive viewing of programs and movies on television, children at home have access to other on-screen entertainment, including video games and the Internet. 67 percent of homes with children have video game equipment. Slightly over 68 percent of homes with children have computers and 41 percent have access to the Internet.

65 percent of American households play computer and video games
38 percent of American homes have a video game console
The average game player is 35 years old
One out of four gamers is over age 50
Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent)
41 percent of Americans expect to purchase one or more games this year.

The effects of violence in television or in video games
on our children has been studied extensively. But what about the effects on our entire society? We have become accustomed to interacting with this world or ours through plastic screens. We have become one step removed from reality. Nothing touches us deeply anymore, or lasts for very long. We've seen it all.

This present generation isn't in love with peace, nor does it loathe war. It is enamored of war, so long as it is virtual war.

This, then, is perhaps the greatest tragedy of 9/11. The effects have worn off. Our sense of imminent peril has receded. It's safe to go outside once again. It was just something that happened, that's all. To obsess over it would be as foolish and unhealthy as obsessing over the threat of demonic possessions or possibility of shark attacks. Besides, there are enough real problems in life without going out of your way looking for more. -rg



  1. It is the teaching of the left in schools and universities that caused this. Ownself first. If it doesn't immediate effect me, it isn't important. Americans have become some of the most selfish people in the world. If it isn't shown on the TV and talked about by the TV talking heads, it isn't important. If some Hollywood Whore isn't screaming about it, then it isn't important. Americans are more concerned about American Idol, Paris Hilton or whatever new medical hysteria some Hollywood Whore is screaming about.

    When they are finally faced with the reality that Islam will bring to them, they will shrink from any action due to the teachings they got from school. That violence is always wrong.

  2. I have to take issue with this article. I believe America has moved on from 9/11 because the people our government defined as the perpetrators have been defeated. Had Bush gone out and hammered home the fact that the plague of Islam was the motivation behind it, we'd be in a different position right now. However, it was the Taliban who perpetrated the attacks against us, and the Taliban is now gone. Why should any American be worried anymore? Of course the Taliban was hardly the only or even the greatest threat against us, but no credible voice has been able to put the real foes into the spotlight.

    As an aside, I may be an anomaly, but I'm a product of the violent video game/tv revolution and I can tell you unequivocally that when I see the brutality of Islam, I do not brush it off. My blood boils, and it keeps boiling for a long time. Did you see that FOX News expose on honor killings in America last weekend? I a few of my fellow products of the violence revolution wanted to go find and string up the people who did that. No trial, no jury, and no back door execution. Drag those beasts into the two square and let 'em twirl.

    As you can see, the violence revolution hasn't necessarily produced ultra-PC children, but more medieval era kids. We don't shy away from conflict just because of the prospect of blood. I don't know which of the two is better, but I'm certainly glad I turned out the way I did.

    PS: They say the death penalty isn't the deterrent it's meant to be, but if we held public executions with any regularity, would-be murderers would almost assuredly think twice.

  3. Great article Roger. The images are important also. You are correct about the movies, TV, video games, etc. Some people are tired, weary, of what happened on September 11. They think they can put it behind them and move on, but it doesn't work that way.

    By acting as they are, we sit back and allow the enemy within our borders continue with their war. No they are not presently attacking us as they did on September 11, they don't have to.

    They are using our courts, our laws, our fear of being called racist or fear of offending their religion. And so it goes, step by step, we give in to them allowing them to win battle after battle.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth

  4. Roger, you have published a great article, but I think you are doing your country a dis-service. The whole of the Western world suffers the same sickness.
    You likened our society to that of Rome, and that is how I see it. We have become desensitised to the realities of the world and its day to day issues. Here in NZ we have a legal system that no longer is interested in justice. Instead vast sums of money are spent coming up with ways to circumvent the law. We have a society where me is the most important word and responsibility is always someone elses problem. We watch our gladiators at home on our private colloseums and we can even play Emperors and give the thumbs up or down. We can gorge till we vomit, we can drink until we pass out, we can all play Roman Emperors.
    this has all happened because we have had unlimited quantities of cheap energy (oil for us , slaves for the Romans) which has freed us from the domestic food production and chores that we did prior to the onset of WW2.
    In short we have got very lazy and self indulgent. We focus on the trivia of life and ignore the lessons of history, after all we can change that history by using our super powers on the latest video game, can't we.
    So does this sound a lot like the USA. My wife is from Indiana and we don't see any major difference at all between the two countries.
    If we were younger we would move to the States, but employment for mid fifties is not easy anywhere.
    Enjoy reading your thoughts and appreciate your courage.

  5. Thanks again everyone.
    To Webmaster -- always enjoy your comments even if you disagree with something.
    As for naming Islam as our true enemy, I have written a lot about this before. I thoroughly understand the strategic motives behind not naming all of Islam as being our enemy -- how can we fight worldwide Islam?
    But here's the crucial point: By avoiding the thorny issue of naming Islam as our enemy it has weakened our ability to confront it in any meaningful way. If our enemies were only the Taliban and such, and these have been defeated, then we can rest easy. Sorry, but that just won't do.

    Islam is intent of taking over the entire West, including the US -- read their own mission statements about this goal. If we do not recognize Islam as the enemy -- our enemy -- then there is nothing to stop their advance into our culture -- which has already begun. There is no incentive to create new legislation to protect ourselves from this poisnonous cult. They remain free to infiltrate our vulnerable society, build more and more mosques, develop more and more insular, un-assimalated Muslim communities like Dearborn, which has now almost become a state within a state. Little by little accomodations are being made, sharia law is becoming more and more acceptable in Muslim communities now.

    We CANNOT have two nations within our United States. We CANNOT have two sets of laws governing two sets of citizens.

    By NOT naming Islam as the enemy, by defining it as a "peaceful religion" Bush et al have validated it as a legitimate religion -- which it most definitely is NOT.

    As for your statements about you and your friends, that's wonderful that you feel this way. But nonetheless I would change nothing I wrote in that essay.

    Best wishes,

  6. To Pique Oil -- Hello and welcome to Radarsite. Thank you for your kind words and your thoughtful comments.
    I have written quite a bit about the sorry state of ALL western countries with regards to the menace of Islam. And you're right of course. We are certainly nor alone with our problems. I focused this particular article on the US because it was priamarily concerned with 9/11 and our response -- or lack of response to it as a nation. I'm sure you appreciate this.

    Your comments about NZ are always welcome here, as we are always eager to learn.
    Nice meeting you , and please come back often.

  7. Critical issues:
    1. decline of the educational system; failure to teach history
    2. television; reduces attention span; all problems must be solved in 45 minutes
    3. misunderstanding of the definition of war; perpetration by a state entity is not a requirement
    4. failure to identify the enemy; not terrorists,Taliban nor al-Qaeda but Islam
    5. failure to explain the scope, scale & duration of the threat
    6. deliberate deception, by our elected leaders, about the identity, nature,intentions, persistence & ability of our enemy.

    The Abomination is not a stand alone event. It is one in a series of attacks which began with seizure of American merchant vessels in the late 1700s and continued with the abduction and murder of American diplomats and expatriots in the 1970s. It continued with the hijacking of passenger aircraft and truck bombings of Embassies. It continued with the assination of Rabbi Kahane, WTC1 & OKC.

    Those are not isolated unrelated incidents. Neither are they domestic criminal matters. They are part of an unremitting war declared nearly 1400 years ago. That declaration of war is contained in the Koran and confirmed in the hadith. Everyone should read them.

  8. Rodger if you read 2 Timonthy 3:1-9, you will read how we have become.

    "...People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiing, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power......"

    I am sure all the above sounds far too familiar to us all. We are godless.

  9. Roger, I think of all the families with both parents working. They don't pay attention. Their children are told that Islam is the victim, that minorities are the victim, and you are right, the kids go home to an empty house and fire up the Wii and kill cops to pass the time until the family goes to KFC for dinner.

    I have come to believe that all who follow Islam are less than human. How could any human being believe that God would provide 72 virgins if you kill a non-muslim. They would have to have a heart of stone.

    America is in for the fight of its life and the people must take the fight to our institutions: our Congress, our City Hall, our Universities - NO PRAYER ROOMS, NO FOOT BATHS - We won't have it and they will NOT push it on us.

    Excellent post, as always.

    Maggie's Notebook

  10. "How could we have changed so much?"

    The quick answer - enough have fallen for godless liberal ideology. The long answer - what you said.

  11. Hello MK. thanks for the comments. And thank you Wayne for the cross posting.