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Red for Danger

BY HAMMOUDI ABDELWAHAB

TV screens have become monochrome. Just one color: Red. The color of blood. Too much violence is plunging the world into mourning. Violence is shrouding the world in gloom.

Free violence is becoming a way of life for many, and on the screen, a new form of entertainment. The audience’s rate increases as the rate of hemoglobin increases on the screen. The phenomenon of violence has reached an epidemic scale. But how does it evolve?

Violence, before expressing itself, is internal. It is inside the individual. In order to provoke it, we motivate it. To motivate it, we inject in the individual this dose of hatred of the other, his enemy. This is the work of ideology. It is the first process of mind destructiveness of someone. When he kills, the individual kills something in himself. He is then, no longer the same man. That is why a lot of criminals become lunatics or mentally disturbed in the end.

The act of killing consists in disrupting the biological unity of the human being. This rupture of the biological unity of the other is often the image of our own self psychic rupture. All violence is disruption of the psycho-biological unity of the individual. The recovery goes through restructuring this psycho-biological unity.

The psycho-biological health is harmony and love. The psycho-biological sickness is disharmony and hatred. The violence, at its bare state, is unbearable for the human conscience. In order to make it acceptable, we dilute the sentiment of culpability, pain and remorse that generally accompany the violent act.

Man needs to create a justification to the violent act to avoid remorse and culpability. That is why, behind any violence, there is always a justification, a pretext, which often rests on loose ground. And if this justification can not be provided, there still remains, as a last resort, madness to justify it!

Violence and neurosis are first cousins. Can we love others if we hate ourselves? The opposite is also true. When we sympathize with someone, we tend to make ours his arguments. When we want to harm him, we do not care about the pretext, or we just invent it. 

The 21st century has begun with mass killings all over the world. People kill people they have never met before. Often, they know nothing about the people they kill. They kill anonymous people. But if they begin to know a bit about their victims, for example that this man has a family, or that this one is the only supporting son of his very old parents, that he is this or that, they may start liking him.

Only in order to know someone, we must communicate with him. And in order to communicate with him, we must learn his language or he must learn ours. In this perspective, present mass-murdering might have a powerful antidote: A language learning CD or cassette or a language learning training session. English is a language. Russian is a language. A stretched helping hand is a language. A smile, love are languages too. Learn as many languages as you can. They will open to you thousand fold of friendly hearts.

Changing a gun with a language learning CD or cassette or a language learning training session can be done through communication. Communication is a prerequisite to restoring peace, love and understanding among people. And language is the basis of any kind of communication.

This will work only if we dare stop fighting the wrong enemy, our fellow man, as long as the right ones are, prejudice, illiteracy, poverty, hunger, the ghetto curse and people’s ignorance of each other.

TV and movies can and should play a part in this war on violence by promoting language learning programs. As long as adult violence is often the outcome of lack of adequate civic education during the youth, in a civilized world, violence should be the exception, not the rule. But this is another story.

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