Sunday, November 27, 2005

video games or alarm clocks?

milan in the morning

    "...people don't respect the morning. An alarm clock violently wakes them up, shatters their sleep like the blow of an ax, and they immediately surrender themselves to deadly haste. Can you tell me what kind of day can follow a beginning of such violence? What happens to people whose alarm clock daily gives them a small electric shock? Each day they become more used to violence and less used to pleasure."

    Milan Kundera, Farewell Waltz
And this written in 1973, just slightly after Atari appeared on the market but well before video games became a part of the cultural consciousness. And well before video games began to replace other outdoor kid activities like playing that oh-so-wholesome (if-you've-been-living-in-a- cultural-blackhole) game of "Cowboys and Indians." Before our society's violence became intrinsically linked to increasingly graphic TV shows and video games.

As I drifted awake this morning (for the third time, saintsbepraised), I wondered about alarm clocks and their contribution to world violence. Oh, certainly there was violence before snooze buttons and Pong, but how much have these devices really contributed? Or do they just feed the destructive need inherent in human beings?

I don't know. It's early and I haven't had my second cup of coffee. All I know is that my state of mind sans alarm clock is much more attuned to pleasure than violence. So I'm going to have my coffee and read the Sunday comics rather than rant about the roots of violence in our culture. Ahh.

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