6 ago. 2010

Everyone, pretty much, accepts violence, when not celebrating it. Everyone has a preferred form of ritualized or aestheticized violence. Against the Vietnam War? Then I bet you have a Che t-shirt. Violence is sacralized in religion, aestheticized in entertainment, romanticized in all ideologies from right to left, enshrined by all nationalisms and patriotisms--and plenty of ways of opposing nationalisms and patriotism. It's there in military marches and Lorca poems, and just about every genre of film from Westerns and Horror movies to slapstick comedies. It's implicit in sports, except where it's explicit. There's a lot of violence in poetry, because why should poetry be any different from anything else? Blood flows from the Iliad to the Inferno and Hamlet, Miguel Hernández and a lot of poets in between.

War is the master trope for everything else: entertainment, politics, religion, art, ideology. Homo polemikos? It's pretty hard to find an outside to violence. People will tell you that pacifism is just letting some other violent people go unopposed. You don't fight back? You're probably just "passive aggressive."