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Violence in Literature
“I’m taking you to the bank, Senator Trent. To the blood bank.”
This line is spoken by a character played by Steven Segal in the movie Hard to Kill, a movie remarkably similar to every other motion picture Segal has ever touched, and depressingly reflective of a larger cultural trend. In Segal’s movies, characters with names like “Orin Boyd” and “Nico Toscani” boast body counts and a shared insatiable thirst for vengeance. Death becomes a prop employed to dispatch central characters, and a cycle of one-upmanship ensues – we saw Segal rip someone’s throat out in Under Siege, so the next movie has to be more ridiculous in its sheer level of violence to be marketable. In 1999, it came as no real shock to viewers when Segal’s character stabbed a Nazi sympathizer in the neck with a broken wine glass. The reality is that technology gives us the means to transmit images and messages of unparalleled intensity, and as we do that, reality is recursively recreated. As artists and media moguls say less, they attempt to compensate through force, resulting in a const…
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