The Reality of Senseless Violence
I didn’t plan on writing yet another post, but real life has struck. If you haven’t heard, The University of Texas at Austin campus is on lockdown, as one of two gunman is still loose in on the university grounds. I work five blocks away from the PCL, UT’s main library, where the first suspect shot and killed himself. It’s mayhem around here – the sound of helicopters and police sirens are a constant outside my office. Meanwhile, I pray here silently for my friends on campus, including about 20 young people who are students of mine in a prayer class I teach. This is happening just a few months after another national news story involving Austin, when a man purposely crashed his plane into a building not far from my house.
Christians are often condemned for their seemingly hypocritical views of nudity v. violence, where the first is degraded and the latter often accepted. Personally, I’m a hater of senseless violence in media, or violence for the sake of art. Most of all, I hate when violence is used to titilate. Case in point:
I was a huge fan of Code Geass at the beginning. Sure, it pandered to audiences, but the animation, vast cast of characters, juxtaposition between school life and war and interesting storyline got me hooked. Then, Euphemia killed a bunch of people.
I’ve never been so angry at an anime series in my life. Euphemia was built up through the course of the series, becoming a character that we loved. She would be the peacemaker. Peace, of course, wouldn’t happen. Euphemia was put under the Geass ability and became a mass murderer. Quite a twist…but one done to shock and awe, not to advance the storyline. In fact, Lelouch was made a bit out of character to lead up to this peaceful-turned-horrible moment.
And what were the consequences? Lalouch grieved some, but not much, not after the consequences of his actions. In the end, of course, he becomes the sacrificing hero. BLEH.
I turned the computer off and proceeded to be angry for days, thinking of little but this episode. I never did finish the series, and never will.
Right now, in real life, gunmen are on the University of Texas campus. The student population is among the top 2 or 3 in the nation; when I attended, we regularly swapped the top spot with Ohio State University. I feel a pit in my stomach, knowing that someone might be killed. This is the type of scene that may be depicted in anime (though the body count would surely be higher), but it’s real life. Violence is real. Death is real. We know this, but we dont’ feel it, often, until it hits home. I know I certainly don’t.
I hope that you’ll think about the UT students today. I hope that you’ll think about those who have lost family members and friends to high school shootings and other senseless violence. And if you believe in God, please pray for the safety of the students on campus.
Edit: Thankfully, there was indeed only one gunman. That solitary person was the only fatality. There were no injuries related to gunshots.