Thursday, April 19, 2007

Oldboy

Oldboy is one of my favorite films, a South Korean thriller, and -- some are claiming -- a piece of the inspiration behind the Virginia Tech mass murder.

I'm certain this will reignite debate over whether violence in entertainment leads to real-life violence. Those of you familiar with my books probably can guess my position on that. The notion that a film or book would be the impetus to a mass murder (rather than merely providing sick-minded stylistic flourishes) seems to me inane. Back to the old saw about book censorship -- you never hear anybody say, "I believe this book should be banned because it might be harmful to ME." Does anyone out there believe they shouldn't see Oldboy in case they suddenly feel compelled to murder 33 innocents?

One of my favorite lines on this topic was given by A.M. Homes (one of my favorite authors). She wrote a brilliant novel called The End of Alice, which depicts a girl being stabbed to death. When asked by a reviewer how she would feel if her book was found in the house of someone who murdered a child, A.M. replied, "That’s like asking somebody who makes steak knives how they would feel if their knife was found in the home of someone who murdered someone."

Are we to believe, if we regard the constellation of illnesses and influences that turned Cho Seung-Hui into a mass murderer, that Oldboy was a major one? Or even the straw that broke the camel's back?

However, I do take issue with NBC's decision to air the self-aggrandizing footage Seung-Hui took time out to film between rounds of gunfire. Televised sports long ago made a decision not to air footage of streakers or people who storm the field or court. Because, hell, if it gets you international air time, it'll encourage more people to do it. NBC's complying with Seung-Hui's wishes that he be made a star hold him up, oddly, as a figure for other twisted minds on such a path to emulate.

6 comments:

The Starmaker said...

The only way to eradicate the Hollywood virus is for the members of the family of the
32 people who were killed *and* Cho Seung-Hui family members, in the worst shooting rampage in modern U.S. history,
is for those family members to file a class action suit against all the major studios that put out this stuff.

This time they'll win.


The Starmaker



The Starmaker wrote:
>
> Evil is a disease of the mind.
> And it spreads from one mind to another.
> And Hollywood facilitates the spreading of this diseases.
>
> I don't think I want to live in a world where people who use Evil
> as an ingredient in their products to sicken the minds of our children with the Evil diseases.
>
> There's nothing I can do about you adults.
>
> But you got to save the babies.
>
> ..
>
> Certainly people like this wouldn't be allowed in Heaven!
>
> There is probably a place for them in Hell. But not Heaven!!
>
> And I certainly don't want to be in a Heaven where people like these are let in!!!
>
> What kind of God would allow that?
>
> And certainly, they shouldn't be on this Earth either.
>
> We are all just David's in a world of Goliaths.
>
> The Starmaker
>
> This 23 year old, Cho Seung-Hui caught the disease from Hollywood.
> http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1261563,00.html
>
> on a personal note....would you believe...that I plan to show
> on my movie theater, you know, when I start selling movie tickets...
> the first movie is going to be a Horror movie?
>
> In the meantime...here is what kids like to watch:
> http://pw1.netcom.com/~starmaker/YT/Table-Theater-2-measure-abcdefg.html
>
> The Starmaker wrote:
> >
> > You know what's wrong with these people who write and sell these horror stories...
> > inside their minds..
> > contains..
> > Evil.
> >
> > The Evil exist *only* in their minds.
> >
> > Then they put it on paper
> > They put it on screen
> >
> > and spread the Evil into the minds of your children.
> >
> > Evil exist only in one place in this world...in the mind.
> >
> > You know how it gets there. What are you going to do about it?
> >
> > The Starmaker
> >
> > The Starmaker wrote:
> > >
> > > You scriptwriters should be stopped from writing this stuff, and the people who pay you for it are equally guilty!
> > > It should be a crime to write and sell this stuff!!
> > >
> > > You horror writers should be handcuffed, chained, Stabbed In The Chest, Tortured, Slit Wrists, Teeth Extraction, Knife In Back, Shot In The Head, Stabbed In The Ear,
> > > Knee In Groin, your Tongue Severed, your Hand Severed, Blood Splatter, splatter, splatter, splatter, ....
> > >
> > > The Starmaker
> > >
> > > I forgot to add "female nudity" and Murder Of Wife!
> > >
> > > The Starmaker wrote:
> > > >
> > > > If a toy manufacture makes a toy that chokes a baby to death, they get rid of the toy...
> > > >
> > > > Shouldn't these people who write and make these movies be stopped? They are killing our children!
> > > >
> > > > I don't even want children reading the keywords!!!
> > > >
> > > > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364569/keywords
> > > >
> > > > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337636/keywords
> > > >
> > > > Plot keywords for
> > > > Hellraiser: Deader (2005) (V)
> > > > Lesbian Scene
> > > > Female Nudity
> > > > Hallucination
> > > > Bad Smell
> > > > Blood Splatter
> > > > Chosen One
> > > > Destiny
> > > > Handcuffs
> > > > Stabbed In The Chest
> > > > Back From The Dead
> > > > Chain
> > > > Hook
> > > > Subway
> > > > Slit Wrists
> > > > Romania
> > > > Shot In The Head
> > > > Male Nudity
> > > > Journalist
> > > > Severed Hand
> > > > Good Versus Evil
> > > > Gore
> > > > Knee In Groin
> > > > Suicide
> > > > Independent Film
> > > > Pinhead
> > > > Sequel
> > > > Torture
> > > >
> > > > Neo Noir
> > > > Disturbing
> > > > Gas Mask
> > > > Masturbation
> > > > Black Comedy
> > > > Violent Movie
> > > > Tooth Pulling
> > > > Severed Tongue
> > > > Based On Comic
> > > > Breasts
> > > > Vaginal Sex
> > > > Octopus
> > > > Hypnotism
> > > > Revenge
> > > > Suicide
> > > > Incest
> > > > Wallpaper
> > > > Flashback Sequence
> > > > Imprisonment
> > > > Jealousy
> > > > Torture
> > > > Manga
> > > > Anti Hero
> > > > Mysterious Villain
> > > > Bible Quote
> > > > Diary
> > > > Drunk Scene
> > > > Fall From Height
> > > > Framed For Murder
> > > > Game
> > > > Hammer
> > > > Handkerchief
> > > > Knife In Back
> > > > Long Take
> > > > Monster
> > > > Obscure Meaning
> > > > Pacemaker
> > > > Post Hypnotic Suggestion
> > > > Scissor Stabbing
> > > > Severed Hand
> > > > Shot In The Head
> > > > Sin
> > > > Stabbed In The Back
> > > > Stabbed In The Ear
> > > > Stockholm Sweden
> > > > Sushi
> > > > Tattoo
> > > > Teeth Extraction
> > > > Violence
> > > > False Imprisonment
> > > > Cell
> > > > Dark Comedy
> > > > Death Of Wife
> > > > Kidnapping
> > > > Murder Of Wife
> > > > Prison Cell
> > > > Television
> > > > Twist In The End
> > > > Surprise Ending
> > > >
> > > > The Starmaker wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > I was looking at this page
> > > > > because I was thinking
> > > > > "How come this guy doesn't write a novel?"
> > > > > I mean, he's might be the Stephen King of screenplays...
> > > > > (i never read a novel before)
> > > > > and he hangs out on screenplay writing newsgroups
> > > > > and he seems to specialize in Monster movies, or Horror movies...
> > > > > http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1521005/
> > > > >
> > > > > Surely he can take one of his screenplays he has
> > > > > hidden somewhere and make a novel out of it...
> > > > > or does it take too much work to write a novel?
> > > > >
> > > > > He's got some selling points!
> > > > >
> > > > > As a last resort, he can tell the publisher
> > > > >
> > > > > "If you re-arrange the letters of my name Neal Marshall Stevens, you come up with..
> > > > > Mr. Satan Enslaves Hell!"
> > > > >
> > > > > That alone can be a title for his next novel!!!!
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > But what are these keywords I see?
> > > > >
> > > > > http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337636/keywords
> > > > >
> > > > > Plot keywords for
> > > > > Hellraiser: Deader (2005) (V)
> > > > > Lesbian Scene
> > > > > Female Nudity
> > > > > Hallucination
> > > > > Bad Smell
> > > > > Blood Splatter
> > > > > Chosen One (Chosen One? What does that mean? How does that fit in? I smell cinnamon http://www.wishingfish.com/asskisser.html)
> > > > > Destiny
> > > > > Handcuffs
> > > > > Stabbed In The Chest
> > > > > Back From The Dead
> > > > > Chain
> > > > > Hook
> > > > > Subway
> > > > > Slit Wrists
> > > > > Romania
> > > > > Shot In The Head
> > > > > Male Nudity
> > > > > Journalist
> > > > > Severed Hand
> > > > > Good Versus Evil
> > > > > Gore
> > > > > Knee In Groin
> > > > > Suicide
> > > > > Independent Film
> > > > > Pinhead
> > > > > Sequel
> > > > > Torture
> > > > >
> > > > > The Starmaker wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The Starmaker wrote:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > The Starmaker wrote:
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > There might be a few, similarities....
> > > > > > > > http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0621061stone18.html
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0621061stone1.html
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > ...might be a few similarties, but you have to prove access and
> > > > > > > it contains “substantial similarities”.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > 12 minutes is not substantial.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > The Starmaker
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > and contains also, unprotectable elements.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > *keywords:
> > > > > > > Paramount Pictures is suing a New York artist Chris Moukarbel for copyright infringement, claiming that the man used a "bootleg script" to create a knockoff version of director Oliver Stone's film.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I look at both sides
> > > > > > http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0621061stone18.html
> > > > > > and I cannot tell who stole from who!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > You know that famous line from that movie A Street Car Name Desire?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > "Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The writer *stole* that line from some other writer!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Sorry to change your past...
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The Starmaker
> > > > > >
> > > > > > it's not what you don't know thats bad, ...it's what you know that ain't so.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > and there are a lot of "it ain't so" that I see posted in newsgroups.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > *(i wrote 'keywords' because i notice that things posted in
> > > > > > newsgroups are being fed into bloggers sites)

GreggHurwitz.net said...

The other arguments, uh, aside, Oldboy is not a Hollywood movie. It was made in South Korea.

Kathleen 'Whiskey said...

Blaming the media always seems like a bit of a cop-out when it comes to tragedies, a person needs to be able to take some responsibilty for their actions.

Plus, I happen to enjoy suspense/ extreme action movies.

Duane Swierczynski said...

Great post, Gregg. I'm still fond of what Stephen King said years ago about killers who get their inspiration from novels: the authors should sue for plagiarism.

Aquaryan said...

Unfortunately, we cannot change the tragedy that had fallen upon Virginia Tech.

His decision for revenge was his and his alone. From what I have read, the students and teachers did the best that they could to help him. His former roommates invited him to dinners. He chose not to go. He chose not to talk. He was placed into a hospital to help him. He chose not to help himself.

His actions on that fateful day were not the actions of crazy man because he knew exactly what he was doing.

The media can look at the movies, the books, the music and video games as the causes for his actions. Yet, those are not reasons for his actions. It was his actions and his alone.

Yes, I was victimized by bullies as a child. I was made fun of by the way that I talked, too. Yes, I had the anger and self-hatred within me. I knew violence would never be the answer because it would not solve the issue of bullying.

With zero tolerance against bullying in the schools across Canada, the United States and the rest of the world, it does not stop bullying from occurring.

I realized that the teachers had a responsibility to stop the teasing and name calling, but opted not to and some actually participated in it. Children must be told that bullying is wrong, so they cannot be blamed for bullying if the adults do not correct them.

A long comment response, but hopefully you get the general idea.

Rest in peace to the victims.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

Gregg,

Looks like you got your first crazy person commenting. Congrats.

Blaming Hollywood is not only wrong and silly, it's lazy. It seems easier to always blame a large group rather than individuals.

Nobody points to Hollywood when someone is inspired by a movie to do good things or heroic things.
And why is it only violent things that get the blame? Do people blame Hollywood for Brokeback Mountain causing more camping trips with gay men? Do people blame the show Numbers when more people want to study math? How about blaming the people who make reality shows for making the people who live in this country a little bit more stupid?

I do blame authors like Gregg and Duanne for one thing:\
They cause me to miss sleep becasue I stay up and read.

Starmaker needs a hobby, maybe helping people on a local level instead of posting on the internet.