A Serious Question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Kissinger, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    Have we (people) become too insensitive to other people?

    Let me explain. For many years I've been noticing things that make me question people. Let me start with the first thing I noticed. I was in a packed theater, viewing Silence of the Lambs (Yes, ten years or so ago). I'm specifically addressing the scene where Buffalo Bill Kidnaps Katherine Martin, and the following scene where the camera shows the cat in the window. He beats the girl, and kidnaps her. Theater silent. Camera shows cat alone in the window, the whole theater collectively goes "ahhh." This struck me as so odd. It seemed as if they had no problem with the girl being beaten, but leave a cat alone to fend for itself, now that's a tragedy.

    Second case in point. Sometime last year, some heartless bastard threw a dog off a bridge into the iced water below. The dog became trapped in the ice. This is horrible, and I'm not saying it isn't nor making light of it. However, it was top story, front page news for four days. In the same paper, tales of lost or missing children and murders were relegated back. (the dog ended up being OK by the way)

    I guess what I'm asking, is do you feel we as a society have become immune or numb to one another? It certainly seems that way sometimes.

    And for the record, I am not an animal hater or anything along those lines. We have two cats and a dog, and they are a part of the family. In fact, my wife complains that the dog gets more attention than she does. And I am saddened by the amazing cruelty people can unleash on animals. However, I do not think it becomes a greater loss or tragedy than that of a fellow human being.
     
  2. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    It probably has something to do with the fact that dogs and cats are generally cute, furry, helpless and innocent, and human beings generally aren't.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Francis Ford Coppola gave a few words of wisdom on his The Godfather commentary track...about the racehorse scene in the film. It looks like more people were concerned about not harming a horse than showing the graphic violence in the film.
    The horse used in the scene...the meat probably went to feed the animal lover's poodles, as Coppola said. [​IMG]
     
  4. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    I understand where you're coming from there, Andrew. However, there is a missing child in the papers getting all kinds of headlines (Rightfully so), but last year the same thing was going on, but the dog got the headlines. And there is another issue I'd like to comment on, but I feel it would lead into a bad area in subjects forbidden here. Maybe I'm just taking it a little too personal.
     
  5. Steeve Bergeron

    Steeve Bergeron Cinematographer

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    I completely agree with you, Brian. You're absolutely right! It's amazing how some people will feel sorry for an animal when something bad happens to him, but when the same thing happens to a person, they couldn't care less. I will never understand that attitude. I guess for some people, animals are more important than humans.
     
  6. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    You nailed it. I'm a big fan of horror movies and have seen probably thousands of brutal murders in movies, not to mention all the real murder pictures and cases I've studied in college (I'm a Forensic Science major), and not a single one has disturbed me as much as if I were to here about a cat getting injured. I'm still sensitive to violence, but animal violence just elicits a much stronger emotional reaction from me.
     
  7. Steeve Bergeron

    Steeve Bergeron Cinematographer

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  8. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    Yep.
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    A couple thoughts. I have sometimes been bothered by folks generally being more sensitive to harm to animals, or really, just the animals we have for pets, than humans. It doesn't bother me much any more in most cases because in one way, I think it is something that is wired into us. Animals, especially pets, have a purity virtually no person has, so I think there is a natural reaction going on. I had a couple other points, but they fell right out of my head. Oh well.
    BTW, lets all join the John Rice sig pic hosting service! [​IMG]
     
  10. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  11. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    I can understand where you guys are coming from. However, in both my examples, it was someone else's pet. So by your rationalization, other people's pets now are more important than another human life?

    I know people become quite attached to their pets (myself included) or their neighbor's or family's pets. I know a couple people who treat their pet as a child. That's fine. I can see being more upset about something happening to them. But, when it's animal you don't even know, then I think we've started losing touch.
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Actually, Brian, what I meant, though I didn't really get it across, was the types of animals we have as pets. People react to things happening to dogs, cats, rabbits, etc, but not so much bears and elephants, etc. Understand, I'm not justifying it and I think it is a huge assumption to say they are valued more or more important than humans. I just think there is something in us that tolerates it less with the pet type animals.

    I'll repeat something I read here recently that might explain your queation a bit, or maybe not. Someone was responding to Black Hawk Down who seemed to be outraged by how the film was not "character" based. He said something like "am I actually supposed to feel for someone who I know nothing about?" He was quite emphatic. I think most of us have come to expect we should only be concerned with or feel pain for people we actually know. When something bad happens to someone we don't know or don't share something with, oh well.
     
  13. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    Reminds me of A Fish Called Wanda people were going nuts because Michael Palin's character accidentally killed some dogs in that movie. Nobody cared that this was all in an attempt to kill an innocent old lady.
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I for one, Steve, am not arguing your points. I was just making observations and trying to understand the so-called reasoning behind what I see. This is something I have thought about long before this thread. There have been plenty of times before when I made an observation and somebody thought that was my opinion.
     
  16. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Here's an instance where I did the thing that this thread is about. It's from American Psycho

    When Patrick was about to feed the stray cat to the ATM, but shot the lady instead, I was just glad he didn't hurt the cat.
     
  17. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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  18. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I'm not so sure it's a lack of caring, it's just that we've become numb to a lot of it. It now takes a drastic example to shock us into caring. The events of 9/11. The kidnapping of a child. The brutal murder of a homosexual. A mother drowning her children. The Timothy McVeighs of the world. These all cause me to wonder about our "superiority" as a species.
     
  19. Steeve Bergeron

    Steeve Bergeron Cinematographer

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  20. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    I disagree. Oh well, to each their own.
     

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