August 30, 2007

Violence and PEACE PARTY

Naturally, the violence in our culture is one of my biggest concerns. It's one of the main reasons I created a comic book called PEACE PARTY that stars two nonviolent Hopi Indians.

Here are some of the pages I've devoted to violence, particularly youth-oriented violence:

America's cultural mindset
The evidence against media violence
Why white boys keep shooting
Teenage violence...solved! (more or less)
Winning through nonviolence

Why exactly is violence a core subject for an enterprise devoted to Indian comics? It stems from the fact that the Western/European/American mindset is selfish, greedy, acquisitive, aggressive, warlike, and domineering. This cultural worldview has a myriad of consequences:
  • Nations range far from their borders to conquer other lands.
  • The Church declares itself sovereign over every body and soul.
  • Mountains, rivers, and forests are plundered for their wealth.
  • America glorifies a Wild West mentality: the individual as solitary gunslinger and society as a hostile frontier.
  • The popular media--including comics--promote a Darwinian goal of being a victor or a victim.
  • Frustrated youths (almost always young men) who can't get their piece of the American pie get even by committing murder--or suicide.
So a greedy, violent attitude as ancient as the Bible is the problem. And the values embodied in indigenous cultures--community, respect for nature, looking ahead seven generations--are a potential solution. In other words, we need more stories like Whale Song and PEACE PARTY. ;-)

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