Warning: This blog comes at the risk of being (perhaps extremely) distasteful to some readers...
Cultural critics in America are quick to place the blame for the violence in our society on the ever-present violent video games, violent rap music, and violent movies. Fair enough. It is not too big a stretch of the imagination to concede that these may have had some influence on the brutal underbelly of our American civilization.
It follows to me, then, that given the recent obsession with hangings of dictators, associates of dictators, and relatives of dictators, that the word game hangman must be a major cultural force in Iraq. The endless hours youngsters in Baghdad have spent filling in the blanks, drawing a man sentenced to hang wrong letter by wrong letter and body part by body part have allowed death by strangulation to wedge its way into the collective Iraqi subconscious psyche.
As we support the formation of a new Iraqi government, one thing we should mandate before we cut and run is that the governing body set up an investigatory panel to determine the effects of hangman on Iraqi youths. When a connection is established between hangman gameplay as children and obsession with hangings as adults, this investigatory committee ought to demand that all hangman games have a parental warning and violent game rating. Exactly how this is to be enforced is not my call. After all, we want the government to begin to make and follow through on its own decisions.
Originally Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2007
(Then) Curent Mood: thoughtful