Thursday, February 23, 2012

We want to watch somebody die

We all have a desire to watch somebody die. We want to see a real live human being get stabbed, shot, maimed, strangled, stoned, crushed, suffocated, or beaten to death. Every last one of us.

The art world likes to toy with this idea quite often. In the movie "Gamer", death row inmates are granted an opportunity to be set free: by volunteering to be part of torturous gun battle game show that virtually nobody makes it out of. In Steven King's....excuse me Richard Bachman's- The Long Walk, kids volunteer to go on a long walk. They literally walk until they die of exhaustion. Or, more often, they tire to the point that they can no longer walk above the designated minimum speed and are shot dead by a government official wielding a shotgun.

Art world aside though, you can see it in every day life. In my Brooklyn apartment, I rushed to the window to see what I thought was a car accident. Sure enough, I wasn't the only one. About 25-30 people began to crowd around to watch what eventually became a full-on fist fight. Why were they so interested in a watching a confrontation? Because if they really got lucky- they might have watched someone get beat up, or better yet- killed.

I fully acknowledge the fact that people also just want to see some human drama. No doubt about it. But at the end of the day, I'm relatively sure they want to see somebody die.

No comments: