by David Greene

David Greene

David Greene
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
September 08
David Greene is the author of Unmentionables. David spent many years as a photographer. His photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. David is the spouse of painter James Stephens.


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DECEMBER 17, 2012 1:27PM

Movies, TV, and Novels must change to end glory of violence

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Buddha in the Garden of Well-Being in the author's yard.
Gun control and increased mental health services are not enough to counteract a culture that glorifies violence and weapons.   Try to find a film or novel or TV show in which evil doers are brought down by some means other than violence.  Most heroes, from James Bond to Jack Reacher, use violence and weapons as a matter of course. In their hands, lethal weapons are not only seen as good, but esteemed in proportion to their effectiveness.  People can hardly even imagine a world in which civil society might be maintained without the backing of firearms.  Why? Because we have no models for it. We don’t see how it might work. We’re shown over and over in books, movies and television shows how the person with the gun is strong and the person without one is weak.

There are, however, human approaches to defense and law enforcement that do not depend on violence.  Aikido, for example, is a martial art based upon a prime directive to be non-violent, to cause no harm to one’s attacker. This distinction makes a profound difference in the message it sends about strength and courage. Because if you think about it for even a little while, you’ll realize that it takes far more courage to respond to violence with non-violence than to respond in kind.

I for one am eager to see novelists and writers for television and film begin to create stories of triumph over evil that spring from peaceful and non-violent intentions. Toward that end I’ve written the first novel in a series of novels based on a non-violent hero. My protagonist, Tyrone King, is half-white, half-black, half-gay and half-straight, but most importantly he pursues the bad guys without the use of weapons or violence.  In his first adventure, Detonate, he pursues terrorists who are intent on mass violence at Niagara Falls and later at the Statue of Liberty.

I call on other writers and filmmakers to join me.  A culture of non-violence will not come to pass until we begin to first imagine it and show people how it looks!

 --David Greene is the author of Unmentionables: A Novel, a gay "Gone With the Wind" for everyone. 

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