Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thoughts on Concerts and Violence. . .

crowd connection

I've been contributing over at Saint Audio for a little while and this week we wanted to put something up about the mass shooting in Vegas this past Sunday. I've been thinking of something to contribute but anything I come up with is going to ramble and likely be all over the place, so I thought it would be better to put it here. I don't know if anyone else will be writing something over there, but check it out anyway. I'm pretty happy with my Tom Petty piece today.

The thing is, as I started to think about the shooting from the point of view of the concert experience, I started to see how as much as I may enjoy being in a certain type of crowd, connecting through the music, the very idea of concerts and crowds has always been filled with tension. Fights can happen, riots, sexual assaults, deaths, you name it. It's all happened. So it would be somewhat naive to say that going to a concert is supposed to be this communal thing about the brotherhood of man and all that. I mean, that's the goal, I think. That's what we all get when it goes the right way, but the danger has always been there. We have to acknowledge that.

Having said that, there's something different here, because the monster wasn't even at the show. But even that seems like an inadequate distinction. Just a few months back a bomb was set off at an Ariana Grande concert and before that it was shooting during an Eagles of Death Metal show inside the Bataclan in Paris, both by monsters that were in the crowd. I don't know. I guess even in those situations, the perpetrators weren't really "at the show." Those aren't fights spiraling out of control. It's a different danger than what I think we would be somewhat prepared for. I honestly don't know.

concert experience

I could get political here and go into a whole thing about gun control, but I'm not entirely sure what the point would be. I'm not seeing anyone change their minds about a damn thing. The quote going around about how if Newtown, where someone killed 26 babies, didn't change anything, nothing will, is depressingly true. If anything, I think Newtown was the ultimate desensitization and we're doomed to a hell of more shootings and more guns after each one. "Criminals don't obey laws, so more gun laws won't help," is a popular argument that I think at this point is more the result of giving up than being necessarily attached to guns. Never mind that 80% of mass shootings in this country have been committed with legal guns, but by that logic we shouldn't have any laws at all about anything. Fuck it.

Then there's the "mental health" red herring. Because you know, people with mental health need more stigma. Newsflash, not everyone with mental health issues is homicidal and as a matter of fact, most aren't. Mental health is an issue that needs to be addressed, but the only relation it has to guns is in not allowing people with serious mental health issues to buy them. And the interesting thing about that is that in the vast majority of cases it's so they won't harm themselves. But even then, they would first need a diagnosis which most people can't get for a multitude of reasons.

Anyway, music. As everyone knows, music is my only religion. Take comfort in it as I do, because it's the one thing that allows us to approach a near supernatural connection to each other. I know it's cheesy and overdone, but there's really only one song I can think to leave you with in order to somehow tie this rambling post together. This has been the most bloggiest of blog posts I've ever blogged.

1 comment:

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