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Generation Numb Bouncing Violence off the Brains of Americas Youth Imagine a generation of young people who are shocked by nothing Imagine a group of young people who have seen and can bear the grotesque and unnecessarily violent to the point where they consider it the norm This is my generation born between 1981 and 1985 which I like to call generation numb Through movies music and other media my peers have been bombarded by carefully marketed gratuitous violence and with each viewing of such violence it becomes more and more difficult to shock us However the corporate media is more than happy to meet our new shock levels if a profit can be made My generation is becoming increasingly indifferent to violent acts which should disturb us and our sense of reality is breaking down creating peril for my peers in the present and the future We tolerate violence and in the process become more violent ourselves The root of this desensitization lies not so much in the violence of war which my generation did not truly begin to experience until recently but gratuitous violence Gratuitous violence is fighting or gore which is uncalled-for unjustified of without need or cause violence This violence often appearing in movies music or on television differs from the violence of war in that sectarian violence has an apparent purpose The real violence of war or in the impoverished areas of the inner city is naturally less fantastic and less glorified than the violence of for instance a summer action blockbuster with huge explosions and shootouts where the good guys never seem to be shot Violence in the real world has consequences Violence on film and television often goes unpunished This fantasy violence had appeared in films for decades But in the late seventies and early eighties the sharp increase in technology allowed for more elaborate special effects allowing for more and more fantastic violence in
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