Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cruelty threshold can only increase

As humans, our threshold for negativity keeps increasing every day. Be it cruelty against animals, women, children or the society as a whole; verbal, physical abuse or our capacity and threshold to react to what we see around us. What is meant here is that in any given society, there is a certain limit of what people as a whole or as individuals can endure. And that limit is constantly pushed forward.

For example, if 9/11 had happened in Pakistan, would there have been this much affect on people’s psyche? It is not like there would have been no affects, but that the affect would have been limited and far different, because within the Pakistani context, such things are almost a norm. Similarly, if someone throws acid on a woman’s face in the US, the shock would be tenfold compared to it happening in Pakistan, or let’s say Afghanistan and Iran. However, if the same thing keeps happening in the US too, the reaction to such news or information would start to wane. In other words, repetition of violence decreases our sensitivity towards violent acts.

On an individual level, it is the same for things like drugs, let us assume a person in the early stages smoked one joint of weed a day, but with time, it changed to two joints, then three and later the person moved on to cocaine, heroin or some other more potent drug. This happens because we are all the time pushing our limits to greater extremes. Now when this happens for positive things, like a free diver holding his or her breath under water; or achieving better grades; better photography results or even buying something more expensive, it is not negative.

This whole concept takes a totally new meaning when it happens towards a negative end or while pushing limits of enduring abuse, torture etc. Porn is also one such negative aspect of our society which keeps deteriorating and getting worse. Especially in the way it depicts women. A comparison between vintage porn and contemporary porn reveals that vintage porn was not this violent. For those times, it might have been, however in our current times, it is far more disgusting, graphic and demeaning for women then it was in the past.

If there is a way out of this quagmire of extremities is uncertain. It does exist though and hence we come across more and more brutal things and extremes when it comes to entertainment, media, crime, murders, drugs et al. 


  1. Couldn't agree more.

    1. I had been thinking about this for some time. We take anything. Video games, movies, even every day life. It just keeps deteriorating. Games are getting more and more violent and realistic too.