Why Is America Sick?
This blog post was featured in the Huffington Post on October 25, 2017.
First, let me defend the title of this blog.
I believe America is sick.
It is not the only country in the world where people have guns. Go to Israel. Eighteen-year-old soldiers on leave from their bases carry machine guns. Almost every security officer has some kind of arm with ammunition. Never, ever, has Israel experienced anything even close to Columbine or the Las Vegas massacre.
Montenegro is another country where every family has a gun. That has been a tradition for generations of fighting oppressors. No mass murders there. From time to time, a jealous husband might get crazy, but that is it.
So why does America have this phenomenon of mentally problematic people going on shooting sprees? It is sick, I mean, not normal. No?
When I was in high school, there was a movie theater next to the school, and we used to go there for matinees after school to watch American movies. We would bet on how many people would get killed in each movie. We would spend the whole movie counting. Whoever won the bet got a free ticket to the next show.
And we counted. In Westerns, up to a hundred. In war movies, thousands.
That was not the case with French movies. There, we had to count kisses. And in Italian movies, tears…but in American movies, killings.
Watch the Westerns. The sheriff is glorified when he kills the bandits. Look how the camera makes him look bigger than normal because it films him from below.
Remember the movie High Noon? And John Wayne. Was he not glorified because of how he would walk up to the saloon, push the doors open, walk in with his hands on his hips where the guns were. And then the shooting would start, and we could start counting the dead…
There are two groups of nations that show killings to the public: America and some Islamic countries. There is a common denominator. Lack of respect for life. They for religious reasons. We for cultural reasons reinforced, nurtured, by the media.
Watch TV. Surf the channels and start counting the dead.
You will not see the same in Latin American soap operas. Not even Turkish soap operas. Only in American movies. Death galore. Glorified. Or if not glorified, the quantity of those dead is apparently supposed to be high enough to justify the movie’s budget.
Is American culture as it relates to guns and killing normal? I suggest no.
And who is the guilty party? The media that reinforce this culture because it sells. Money drives the world. Especially in America.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes