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Victor or Victim:
Our New National Anthem?


A response to Victor or Victim:  Our New National Anthem?:

My good buddy Ron began this debate by quoting someone named David Vincent in response to a quote from Gandhi:

>> "Be a victor or be a victim."

- David Vincent <<

Let's see...Mohandas Gandhi or David Vincent? I'd say it's a tough choice, but I haven't a clue who David Vincent is. Rock star? Pro wrestler?

More tough choices: Martin Luther King Jr....or Sean "Puffy" Combs? Abraham Lincoln...or Eminem? Jesus Christ...or Rush Limbaugh?

I checked on the Internet and found David Vincent is part of a metal group named Morbid Angel. I also found the lyrics containing your quote. Wow, great taste you have in music there.

If another Hitler or Stalin arises, I nominate Morbid Angel to write his theme song. Really! This group has captured the mindset of criminals, despots, and Nazis everywhere.

Uh, that was the point you were trying to make, wasn't it? <g>

>> Pretty broad stereotype there. <<

What stereotype? That Morbid Angel is well-qualified to write the lyrics for Hitler or Stalin? That's a judgment based on reading Morbid Angel's lyrics and assessing the mind of a Hitler/Stalin type. The judgment may be flawed, but I don't see how a stereotype applies.

>> Rosemary's Baby, the Exorcist, and the Amityville Horror involve demonic possession, Satan worship, and the like. Yet, they were all critically acclaimed. Does that make those who enjoyed them devil worshippers? No. <<

Didn't say it did. But thanks for answering your own question so I didn't have to.

>> The Godfather Trilogy, Goodfellas, Scarface, and Carlito's Way all dealt with drug dealers, murderers, and organized crime. Also critically acclaimed and award winning. Does that make the people that enjoyed them criminals and mobsters? No. <<


But it does seem to me that many less-than-fully-compassionate types (e.g., pop icons) have spoken highly of Scarface. I also seem to recall critics slammed Scarface for its gratuitous violence—unlike The Godfather or Goodfellas, which won awards for their honest portrayal of violence. Perhaps that's just a coincidence.

>> Stephen King and Dean Koontz are both best-selling authors who write about everything under the sun including monsters, killers,and resurrecting the dead, but no one is condemning their fan bases. Interesting. <<

I'm glad you didn't ask a question this time so I didn't have to write "ditto" again.

>> So, Morbid Angel caters to criminals, despots, and Nazis, but the movies and books I listed above cater to "normal" people. Is that what you're saying? <<

Nope. What I'm saying is, "Morbid Angel has captured the mindset of criminals, despots, and Nazis everywhere." If you want the extended version, it's "Morbid Angel has captured the mindset of gun nuts, militia men, criminals, despots, and Nazis everywhere."

I don't believe I said anything like "People who listen to Morbid Angel are criminals, despots, and Nazis." Try to distinguish the nuances of the English language, please.

>> I hope not, because that'd make you as small-minded as the people you come down hardest on: <<

I'd be crushed by the implications of that, but you're the fella who thinks every single criminal in the world is an evil, twisted madman who deserves "no mercy" or compassion. So forgive me if your definition of "small-minded," whatever it may be, doesn't exactly concern me. Anyone who sees the world in stark black and white is in no position to discuss shades of gray.

Again, it's pretty funny to see you saying the link between Morbid Angel and criminals, whatever it is, is a stereotype. Because you've said (paraphrasing) that criminals are subhuman monsters who deserve "no mercy." I guess you know a stereotype when you see one, because you indulge in extreme stereotyping yourself.

Remind me to tell you the story about the pot calling the kettle black someday. I think you'll enjoy it. Meanwhile, let's move on.

>> those who stereotype cultures or groups of people that they don't understand. <<

I understand the mentality of the white-boy shooters—as much as it's possible for a remote party to do. I've read tens of thousands of words on what they were thinking before they went shooting, how the events unfolded, what risk factors were evident, etc. Oddly, almost all of them listened to heavy metal music, among other common points.

I've also read hundreds of thousands of words on the effects of media violence. I'm guessing you've read none of this material. So again, forgive me if your views on the subject are less than persuasive. Study the evidence and then maybe we can talk about what a stereotype is and what the reality is.

>> I was just testing a little theory that I had about you and I was right. <<

And what theory was that? That I have condemned and will condemn movies, music, comic books, and other media products when they contain inflammatory or gratuitous violence? Brilliant deduction, Sherlock—except I've already justified that "brilliant" conclusion with maybe a thousand messages. Try a theory for which you don't have mountains of evidence, hmm?

Here's a quote that's been on my site since Nov. 1999:

Classical depictions of violence often aimed to make moral, religious or political statements. Today's critics say Americans should think about the reasons for violence in their own media, distinguishing the graphic killing in the film "Schindler's List," for example, from that in "Pulp Fiction."

But I guess you already knew that, since I'm as predictable as the sunrise and all your theories are correct. <g>

Go ahead and apply it to Morbid Angel vs. the other examples you cited. (Or have you done that already, with your new-found prescient powers?) Then maybe you'll get my point and won't have to ask more superfluous questions.

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