In a convo with my brother I was confronted with the question of why I wouldn’t watch Sopranoes because it is violent, but I do watch Game of Thrones. The fact is, I don’t watch GoT anymore either(or at least I watch it far more critically.)
Here’s the thing, Game of Thrones is a very problematic show, it is sexist, racist, and extremely violent, anyone who has watched it can probably point to at least one violent scene that they felt went too far for whatever reason. For me it is the many ways it is violent, from turning consensual sex into rape with the male participant actively ignoring a woman saying “no”, to holding the camera on a man’s eye’s being gouged out for what feels like forever, to the burning of children and overly long fight sequences that add nothing to the dramatic narrative other than “looking cool.” These, and not only these are problems rampant on show, simply part of the way American culture glorifies violence at the expense of human relationship.
To put this in perspective, for most humans culture shapes who and what we are and how we interact with the world. Media plays a massively important part in our culture today by propagating films, tv, literature, and video games that present “violence against” as the way to solve our social problems. When we are constantly fed violence, and a gender identity that makes up around 40+% of the world population is raised to value aggressiveness and rage over compassion and humility there is no way for society to manifest itself other than as a violent war machine.
We saw it with the Vietnam War, we saw it with Iraq, and we’ve been seeing it in the constant race war that the US Government has been waging on its own citizens. Violence is the weapon that empires use to keep their subjects subjugated, there is nothing good that comes out of it. When violence is brought into the equation all that is left is broken homes, missing or dead family, and people who are so angry that they band together and lash at whatever their told is responsible for the problem. Trump’s supporters and ISIL are some relevant examples.
I do not wish to participate in this culture of violence, so I choose not to consume violent media. I do not believe that violence will ever produce social good and I am really tired of seeing show after show and movie after movie that paint violent action as the be all, end all.
In the words of Audre Lord, “The Master’s Tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
Create, Don’t Kill.