Sorcerers versus Shamans

imagesHave we hit the saturation point with violence in the media yet? Not even close, I’m afraid, although a few signs do point in that direction. While many heralded the arrival of Quentin Tarantino, I find no joy in violence, so while I found his comedy refreshing, I could have lived without the gore. The Cohn Brothers surfed a camp/gore paradigm with more class and less graphic violence. But I’m at the point now where I can hardly watch TV as it has become so saturated in violence to be unbearable. The only cable channel I trust is TCM because the films mostly pre-date 1969, which is when the first big amp-up of violence took place post Sam Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch. But Tarantino is like Wild Bunch times two. Even if society hasn’t hit the saturation point, I have, which is why you won’t find me in line buying tickets to too many movies, although I did cave in and take my kids to This is the End (they loved it—”best movie ever”).

And forget about HBO and Showtime. They suck. Sure, The Sopranos was great but that’s over and even though Boardwalk Empire is okay, it plays the same game of chucking history out the window so they can manifest gore scenes to amp up the violence. This is a great disservice to the real Nucky Johnson, who deserves better. In real life, Nucky got into a huge confrontation with William Randolph Hearst over a showgirl and Hearst devoted his life to bringing Nucky down, the same thing Hearst did to marijuana when he invented reefer madness.

I’m so glad The Borigas is cancelled. The Showtime version sucks, and is blown away by the Euro version available on Netflix which is going on for another season and rightfully so. Reason being? Better sense of history. Can you see that you media moguls? People are getting sick of the gore and want real stories about real people, not the violence porn all the little Tarantino wannabe’s are spewing out. The reason people like historical drama so much is because they want to surf the actual energy of someone’s spirit, something that can only really be done if real facts are respected. So when facts are thrown out the window for the sake of gore, then you are disrespecting those spirits. And what goes around comes around.

We live in a society that prizes warrior spirit above all things and while I respect warrior culture and would never seek to banish anyone’s chosen vibrations (as long as they harm no one), I also hope people can learn to put a little more ceremony into manifesting peace instead of just worshiping violence like our society does almost all the time.

3095-e1345566450626To give an specific example, over a hundred thousand will soon be attending two 150th anniversary ceremonies for the battle of Gettysburg. The actual participants in this ceremony will number over ten thousand. They will fire canon, musket and rifle, ride horses and play dead at the appropriate moment while reenacting the bloodiest day in American history. So of course, this is a wonderful opportunity to dress up like noble warriors and celebrate that glorious march into the jaws of death? There will be two separate reenactments book-ending the actual battle date, and each one costs around $20 to attend. It’s great when you can get all your actors to show up in full costume on their own dime just because they want to experience some real human carnage up and close and personal. The events will be surrounded by vendors charging outrageous prices for food and drink and most people will surely be close to dead drunk by night’s end, just the way many a true warrior likes to end all their battles.

Meanwhile, at the same time, on the other side of the country, a few thousand will be gathering to honor peace, The National Rainbow Family Gathering. The price to attend this ceremony will be free and the many kitchens will be serving free food. There will be zero vendors. Just everything free. But this ceremony will also get zero national media, much less the sort of fawning the Civil War 150th reenactments are going to enjoy in the next few weeks. No, the peace worshipers will not get any positive press, and, in fact, the sparse coverage in the local Montana media over the next few weeks will likely be mostly negative as shop owners worry about theft and vandalism and barefoot hippies using their rest rooms for baths.

And that’s just one indication of how out of whack our country has grown. If only we could direct some of our ceremonial energy towards manifesting peace instead of violence it would be a huge step in the right direction, and maybe even slow down some of the shootings that have been going on around us. Because you know what? You get what you pray for. And if you got too many shootings going on, maybe your ceremonies shouldn’t involve shootings for a while.

Author: Steven Hager

I'm a writer, journalist, filmmaker and event producer.

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