Violence Doesn’t Do It


Based on the list of movies I posted the other day that I watch every October, someone asked me if anything disturbs me, because obviously I’m not shy when it comes to violence.

The answer is yes, I’m human, I have things that make me squeamish.  Violence just isn’t one of them.  Or not broken bones and gun shot type violence.  I spent several days stopping and restarting a scene in Under the Dome when I listened to it on audiobook recently, because King hit one of the things that makes me flinch.

In my head, broken bones heal, stitches eventually come out, and even gunshot wounds are survivable.  What I have trouble with is psychological violence, the stuff that leaves psychological wounds.  The scene in Under the Dome was the gang rape of Sammy.  Yes it was physically painful for her, it even talks about the blood loss that eventually causes her to pass out, but it was knowing the psychological trauma she endured that caused me to stop it, fast forward a bit, restart, realize I missed something important, go back, stop it for a few more days…

The times Harry D’Amour Clive Barker’s detective series hero has discussed the abuse he suffered at an all boy’s Catholic school, inflicted on him by the pet students of the pedophile priests has also bothered me.  I found myself flipping a couple of pages to get past it in The Scarlet Gospels, hoping he didn’t drag it out with more details than I could handle.

Which is weird, because the book started with sexual violence, but at the hands of the sadistic Hell Priest (Pinhead) on the witches he wanted their magical stuff from.  I mean brutal graphic stuff, but for some reason, that didn’t bother me the way the handful of lines where D’Amour talked about being abused at his school did.  Possibly because the sexual sadism at the beginning of the book was demon related.

But I also have trouble watching movies like PlatoonFull Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, and a few others of that ilk.  The psychological break down the soldiers go through is a touch much for me.  I don’t know if it’s my history degree or just my relation of those situations to the situations faced by my uncles during times of war.  However, war movies give me nightmares.  I can watch all the horror movies I want, but a war movie makes me toss and turn at night, which is a little weird, but I’ve already decided the brain is not a rational thing.

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