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Posted by: joseph r. torelli (
Date: November 22, 2004 02:57PM

On this, the 41st anniversary of JFK's assassination, I offer, once again, this stirring tribute from the late Phil Ochs:

That Was The President

The bullets of the false revenge have struck us once again
As the angry seas have struck upon the sand
And it seemed as though a friendless world had lost itself a friend
That was the President and that was the man.

I still can see him smiling there and waving at the crowd
As he drove through the music of the band
And never even knowing no more time would be allowed
Not for the President and not for the man.

Here's a memory to share, here's a memory to save
Of the sudden early ending of command
Yet a part of you and a part of me is buried in his grave
That was the President and that was the man.

It's not only for the leader that the sorrow hits so hard
There are greater things I'll never understand
How a man so filled with life, even death was caught off guard.
That was the President and that was the man.

Every thing he might have done and all he could have been
Was proven by the troubled traitors hand
For what other death could wound the hearts of so many men
That was the President and that was the man.

Yes, the glory that was Lincoln's never died when he was slain
It's been carried over time and time again
And to the list of honor you may add another name
That was the President and that was the man.
That was the President and that was the man.

Posted by: Talia (
Date: November 24, 2004 03:58PM

And how about that new video game that allows you to assasinate the President yourself? Fitting for this annivarsary I guess.

Posted by: joseph r. torelli (
Date: November 24, 2004 04:41PM


I saw the game advertised on TV...I fear the future.


Posted by: Desi (
Date: November 24, 2004 06:04PM

for most of us it's just history, something from the time of our parents. So I shouldn't worry too much.

There was a dutch video game where you had to kill as many people as possible on the main highway in the Netherlands (A2, as was the name of the game). A lot of fuss, and now it has completely disappeared and no one went out to the highway to actually kill people.

Most people can still tell games/fantasy and reality apart. The ones that can't will find something anyway. If it isn't drugs, it's alcohol, and if it isn't games, it's gambling. But the majority stays pretty normal I guess

Posted by: Linda (
Date: November 24, 2004 07:38PM

Listened to an interesting programme on Radio4 a few weeks ago about a song banned by the BBC. Apparently the disc still carries a label saying permission must be obtained before broadcast. The song is believed to drive people to suicide. What a bad influence it must be on our children, except that it dates from the late twenties. Its called Gloomy Sunday and didn't sound that dire. Mind you I was driving home after work at the time I was listening.

Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (
Date: November 25, 2004 12:01AM

From Full Metal Jacket:

HARTMAN: All right, knock it off! Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot? Private Joker?

JOKER: Sir, in the Marines, sir!

HARTMAN: In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!

Posted by: marian2 (
Date: November 25, 2004 10:46AM

A few years ago I heard horrendous noises coming from my son's computer so asked what went on - he was torturing a virtual fairy as part of a computer game. When asked why I was told 'it was the only way to get to the next level' . I was horrified by this from my previously gentle teenager who avoided treading on worms and wouldn't even kill agressive wasps! His brother spent all his time getting points for running over pedestrians and avoiding or blowing up policemen in another game.Several years on, both still play computer games and so far as I am aware neither has yet been caught emulating any such games in real life - or has all the practice made them really good at not getting caught?

Posted by: Just Jack (
Date: November 25, 2004 01:37PM


It's nearly impossible to even CATCH a fairy worth torturing nowadays.
If they could, you can bet they'd be emulating like crazy.


Posted by: Desi (
Date: November 25, 2004 01:40PM

No, I think your sons are just healthy persons that can tell a computer game apart from reality. Don't worry. I play a lot of computer games where I kill over and over again, but I couldn't hurt someone in real apart for self-defence. It is not the same.

Posted by: Desi (
Date: November 25, 2004 07:13PM

"getting points for running over pedestrians and avoiding or blowing up policemen" is this grand thief auto.

By the way, fairies are nasty creatures anyway. Just read Terry Pratchett.

Posted by: glenda (
Date: November 25, 2004 09:58PM

You're besmirching Tinkerbell? And the Tooth Fairy? And Fairy Godmothers? smiling smiley

Posted by: joseph r. torelli (
Date: November 26, 2004 09:59AM

"...for most of us, it's just history," wrote Desi. Just history...hmm. I think that may be part of the reason for the desensitization to violence and tragedy that has overcome so many today....the attitude that, if it happened so long ago, it can't possibly be of relevance to me. I don't recall feeling that way about Lincoln's assassination, though.

The rampant violence in video games is not so bothersome to me when it is directed at space aliens and fictional people. But when it is directed at images of real people, either dead or alive, that's when I really start to worry about desensitization.


Posted by: Linda (
Date: November 26, 2004 05:36PM

Terry Pratchett had his thoughts on space aliens in computer games as well. His surrendered and refused to fight any more cos they were fed up with being murdered. And if the tooth fairy doesn't have the change she'll take extra teeth instead.

Posted by: marian2 (
Date: November 27, 2004 04:18AM

I quite agree, Joseph - the fairy business came first, but it was Grand Theif Auto (as Desi rightly recognised) that bothered me more - that and an addiction to Hannibal Lechter films. However, that son was recently attacked by a lampost in London when riding his bike, and broke a wrist, so reality contact has probably redressed the balance.

Desensitisation also concerns me, especially when nasty images are used to extort money by charities; I always feel that those pictures of ill-treated children and animals give people who merely neglect theirs the chance to say 'Well, I'm not as bad as the folk in this, so I must be OK - I just haven't fed the rabbit for 3 days or have spent the dinner money on cigarettes'.

Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: November 29, 2004 09:08PM

Hey, we space aliens object to that!


Posted by: Desi (
Date: November 30, 2004 08:30AM

Well, in my opinion, computer games and stuff don't hurt you. You know it's not real. Watching the television does. Often after watching news (or even reading about it) I feel so miserable. I chose to stop watching television. But if you do watch, I think you'd better desentise. How can anyone live with so much misery and stupidity in the world?

Luckily there's escapism too. Hi forum!

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