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Thursday, April 19, 2007

When Is Writing Considered To Be Warped?

I have been so upset about the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. I can't stand the senseless loss of so many promising young lives. I grieve for their beautiful lives...the unbearable grief, anger and incredible agony of their families...and the unfortunate lessons we need to learn from this. I am horrified by the vicious, destructive imaginings, biting anger, and intense loneliness of the individual responsible for this. I wonder what has happened in his life to bring him to this brutal act. And I grieve for his family, who is undoubtedly suffering alone in their painful shame, loss and incomprehension. I pray for everyone who has been touched by this unbelievable madness.

This is such a sad time for our nation and our youth. We teach our young to be vigiliant and trust their gut warnings about lurking danger. We entrust others to ensure our protection from the unknown. Yet, no matter how vigilant, good, kind, intelligent or brave we are, it still doesn't prevent sickness from creeping in and invading.

I am struck with how the killer's Creative Writing and English professors recognized his disturbed writing and had him banned from their classes. In 2005.

And I wonder. At what point is gruesome writing considered to be warped? Personally, I can't read or watch anything with an element of horror. It gives me the heebie jeebies, and I would never be able to sleep. But in all seriousness, there are so many books, movies, and games geared towards the younger generation, that I consider to be horrific and warped, but are clearly considered by others to be creative and profitable.

Is there a difference between a disturbed college student's writing and the sick, gruesome books, movies and games out there? If so, I'd like to know what. Because writing is so subjective, and one person's view of disturbed sickness and reality will be another person's view of interesting entertainment. At what point, do we say Stop! This is not acceptable!? So people will hear it? Please, someone, help me understand.


Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I have no answers. I do wish the guy could've gotten help before he was banned from the English classes. Real help, not "You need some serious help" kind of help.

I feel so wretched about the Virginia Tech shootings. I have been praying in silence.

Callipygia said...

This is a big question and probably no clear answers. I agree art/writing is subjective, for me it depends upon the intent. While I wouldn't want to watch movies/read books with a lot of gruesome details I can see if it is used to convey a bigger message of our humanity, it might be necessary. There is so much gratuitous use of violence/titillation merely to entertain in the media, I think it does desensitize all of us.

HipWriterMama said...

Yes, we are probably desensitized to quite a bit, but I'm talking about the sordid horror and violence that goes a bit beyond the cult horror flick. At what point is this considered art versus just plain disturbed thinking?

Alkelda the Gleeful,
There is just so much sadness about this. I am just so sad.