America is hooked on violence

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Rick
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America is hooked on violence

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:11 pm

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

florin
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by florin » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:22 pm

Rick wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:11 pm
Worth a read:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... ent-peace/
Not everyone has a subscription.

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Rick
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:34 pm

The forum won't let me add a note to the OP, so here goes:

NON WASHINGTON POST SUBSCRIBERS ALERT!

Washington Post gives you a few free articles before the paywall kicks in. Apologies if you've hit your limit already and can't read this one. I’d quote some passages here, but I’m pretty sure that would violate copyright law.

I like how the author, Marianne Williamson, looks to a larger view of what it means to be a violent society: environmental policies, criminal justice system, economic system, entertainment, video games, military, media, hearts, government. One short quote:

"The darker truth that Americans must face now is this: Our society is not just steeped in violence; we are hooked on violence."

If that sounds like an exaggeration, spend an hour flipping from channel to channel on yer tv ... and count how many acts of violence (in the broad sense that Williamson uses) happen.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Queequeg
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Queequeg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:55 pm

I don't think copyright will prevent you from quoting key passages for discussion under the fair use doctrine. Cite properly and that is arguably fine. Worst case, if we receive a complaint, we will remove the content. This is a not for profit discussion forum - we have a pretty strong "educational or informational" use argument. Don't quote the whole column or substantially the whole column.

To the content -

America is steeped in violence and has been since the idea of "America" was conceived (we're not talking about Pre-Columbian history which has its own history of violence like every human community). It started with the Spanish and Portuguese in the 16th c. (for an amusing history lesson, check out Jon Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons) and continued with the Dutch, English and French. Genocide of First Peoples, slavery, etc.

And our economy operates on extraction - extraction from the land (natural resources) and from the people (labor and rents). We have a society that tries to put a dollar value on e v e r y t h i n g. Of course violence is an integral part of it because humanity has been removed from all of the equations.

I'll venture a cure: immersion in mandalas based on higher teachings. The $ mandala is really bad for people.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:55 pm

The article makes a lot of good points.

America has always been hooked on violence and has been at perpetual war for years now. We've gone through periods of comparative "okay-ness" where it wasn't much in the public consciousness, but the rest the world for the most part had no illusions about our countries relationship to violence. There is a connection between what we do in the world and what we become at home, as individuals, groups, nations, whatever.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Queequeg
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Queequeg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:12 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:55 pm
The article makes a lot of good points.

America has always been hooked on violence and has been at perpetual war for years now. We've gone through periods of comparative "okay-ness" where it wasn't much in the public consciousness, but the rest the world for the most part had no illusions about our countries relationship to violence. There is a connection between what we do in the world and what we become at home, as individuals, groups, nations, whatever.
Haven't read it, but there was a commentary in National Review on Jim Mattis' autobiography I saw this morning touching on the periods of okay-ness.

The author, commenting on a novel he's currently writing:
One of the themes that’s emerging is how few Americans recognize that peace, prosperity, freedom, and relative social harmony are really glaring outliers in human history* — and how many Americans think that peace, prosperity, freedom, and relative social harmony are “normal” — and that no matter what goes wrong, no matter how many bad decisions we make, our lives will always bounce back to what we think is normal. We don’t realize how good we have it, even in the bad times, and we don’t realize that we can lose it all if we don’t tackle our challenges responsibly.
https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morn ... struggles/

If what we have is peace...

Years ago, I remember reading Harpers while standing on a NYC subway platform during the middle of the day. The article I was reading was about the "ethnic" genocide in Rwanda - how people basically started hacking each other to death one day with machetes. A rush of panic passed over me as I looked around at all the people and thought about how easily we could slip into a murderous frenzy...

This was long before mass shootings were a weekly spectacle.

I used to think Americans are evolved beyond the possibility of devolving into a French Revolution sort of orgy of violence, but I'm not at all convinced of that anymore and suspect we might be closer to one of the episodes than most of us think...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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justsit
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by justsit » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:08 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:55 pm
America has always been hooked on violence and has been at perpetual war for years now....

I used to think Americans are evolved beyond the possibility of devolving into a French Revolution sort of orgy of violence, but I'm not at all convinced of that anymore and suspect we might be closer to one of the episodes than most of us think...
Agree, we've waged War on Poverty, War on Drugs, War on Crime, War on Terror...we as a nation apparently really, really like war. It fulfills so many "needs."

Re: the coming violence. My brother is what used to be called a moderate conservative, and he is also a gun collector (he likes guns and at last count had 70+, including AK's and AR's). He and I have generally tried to avoid too much political discussion, a)because it's usually pointless and b) because we don't want to destroy our relationship (my views are quite different than his...). Open lines of communication are important.

We have, though, recently had some very cautious conversations about the spate of gun violence, question of gun control, etc., and I asked him how he thought this would play out. His opinion is that since the radical right is already forming actual militias, drilling mainly in rural areas such as Idaho, the first skirmishes are not far in the future, and the recent march in Portland perhaps a portent. Unrequited hatred has simmered below the surface in the US since Reconstruction, and the race issue isn't going to go away. Civil War II to follow? Wouldn't surprise me. The veneer of civilization is quite thin.

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Miroku
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Miroku » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:18 pm

What is it with far right and militias? Even here in Europe they create these small groups of "protectors fo the nation" and such nonsense. It is the scariest thing ever to see how these groups of violent individuals want to take the law or at least what they perceive to be a law into their own hands. Really troublesome.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by steveb1 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:34 pm

Rick wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:11 pm
Worth a read:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... ent-peace/
I don't believe that America, alone among the nations, is "hooked" on violence. As a wealthy Western country, it's hooked on different forms of instant gratification and status-display, but the people are not hooked on violence. On the contrary, they are usually the victims of violence. The UK is increasingly violent, but again the gap between the mass of non-violent people and violent parties pertains. A nation "hooked" on violence is a nation of thugs, and America has a long way to go before it earns that dire classification.

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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:41 pm

steveb1 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:34 pm
Rick wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:11 pm
Worth a read:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... ent-peace/
I don't believe that America, alone among the nations, is "hooked" on violence. As a wealthy Western country, it's hooked on different forms of instant gratification and status-display, but the people are not hooked on violence. On the contrary, they are usually the victims of violence. The UK is increasingly violent, but again the gap between the mass of non-violent people and violent parties pertains. A nation "hooked" on violence is a nation of thugs, and America has a long way to go before it earns that dire classification.
Our lifestyle is literally dependent on years of violent subjugation of other countries and cultures. Of course this -is- true for any other country with any real power, it just happens to be -very- true of America in this time and place, and there is a reflection of that in the culture.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Queequeg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:33 pm

Heavy Metal is worldwide now, but it came out of the crucible of American culture and I don't see where else it could have come from. Metallica with Cliff Burton was one of the greatest bands of all time. Those first three albums still give me chills when I hear them...



And gangsta rap... as American as Apple Pie, homie.



And before that, cowboy music...



All violent. That stuff doesn't just come out of the ether.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Ayu » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:44 pm

Just take a look at hollywood films. They only know violent problem-solving. Somebody shouts at or kills the bad guy.

(I mean, compare Hollywood to Bollywood, or to Chinese movies, Italian or French films... Even German movies are not all about war. ;) )

But american literature is more intelligent, IMHO.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Queequeg
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Queequeg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:50 pm

Ayu wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:44 pm
Just take a look at hollywood films. They only know violent problem-solving. Somebody shouts at or kills the bad guy.

But american literature is more intelligent, IMHO.
There are non-violent hollywood films and books... there's also a lot of American literature that is violent as heck...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Ayu
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Ayu » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:12 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:50 pm
Ayu wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:44 pm
Just take a look at hollywood films. They only know violent problem-solving. Somebody shouts at or kills the bad guy.

But american literature is more intelligent, IMHO.
There are non-violent hollywood films and books... there's also a lot of American literature that is violent as heck...
:heart: Okay, I'm sorry. Maybe we only get the crap films over here or I'm bad in choosing a good film.It's a long time ago I saw a good American film. Green Tomatoes was good, The Color Purple extraordinarily good.

The worst film ever I saw was Pitch Perfect 3 last year - I thought it was about a cappella music, but the plot was completely idiotic.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by tkp67 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:31 pm

The violent culture is a reflection of governing that uses conflict to control, a position that has been cemented through changing laws via lobbying and is a simple extension of how this country was founded.

This is the wake of the American war machine.

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Queequeg
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:02 pm

Discussion of current reading lists split from here.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Rick
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:24 pm

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

joy&peace
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by joy&peace » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:32 pm

To put it bluntly, this article is NOT worth reading.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Rick
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:38 pm

Why? (And which article, the OP one or the Ike one?)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Queequeg
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Re: America is hooked on violence

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:45 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:24 pm
Ike nailed it:

https://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/13294224 ... ears-later
Ike was a great president. Even though he didn't do much. That's why he's on the dime.

Related reading to Ike and the subject of the thread:

https://harpers.org/archive/2019/06/the ... -syndrome/
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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