I like to think of myself as a peaceful person. I try to avoid conflict. I act in mellow non-confrontational ways. I dare say that I am a pacifist. I have been opposing war as a concept since I was a child. I do not eat animals in order to reduce the amount of violence and the death on the planet. I understand and respect non-violent philosophies from Zen to Ghandi to MLK, so why is that last night as I watching the season premiere of The Walking Dead, I found myself salivating with some primal level need for death and destruction? Where does this masochist need for blood in fiction come from?
I don’t have too many answers in this post, so I was hope to lay out some ideas and here what you all have to say in the comment section.
I have felt this appreciate and thirst for violence before. Namely anytime Ramsey Bolton is on the screen in Game of Thrones. I watch characters like Bolton and Neegan with my jaw to the floor, entrance by their depravity. Not only do I wish to do them harm, thus awakening my need for violence, but I cannot look way from their brutal actions. What will they do next? How much more unacceptable can it be?
The writers for The Walking Dead found a nerve last night and messed with it for nearly an hour. Creating one of the most blood curling, antagonistic, tension filled hours of television of all time. Mairin and I couldn’t look away. Well, Mairin looked away while screaming oh my god. Oh my god, but I was all in. How do you explain a pacifist drooling over The Walking Dead?
I know I am not alone. Many of you out there watch the show as well. Looking at you Brighde, Carol, Mary and other seemingly sane, calm, peaceful people who love them some F'd-up shows. What are your thoughts? How do you make sense of the violence you so thoroughly enjoy in shows like these?
Of course I know that this is fiction and any intelligent person can and should be able to differentiate between reality and fantasy, but can any true self-aware Bodhisattva be entertained, and even thrilled by, the anarchy of violence during the zombie apocalypse? I am curious to hear your thoughts.