Between the Forceps and the Stone

by Briggs Nisbet

Each of our lives is bracketed by two events, one celebrated, the other mourned, both violent by nature. Between these two allegorical points, our paths meander or race swiftly to our ultimate destination. Few arrive without the mark, in memory or flesh of some brutality received or committed, intended or random, along the way.

Violence is drama. Violence is metaphor. The murder of Abel. The passion of Medea. Violence is entertainment. The Three Stooges. Reservoir Dogs.

We may as a culture suppress our expression of violence but it never is far below the surface of our denial. We may be, as Rich Frankel cites in his essay in this episode, in the midst of a Golden Age, but we also live under a threat of mass destruction, and with the memory of massacres, holocausts, mass starvation, and monumental acts of terrorism . And in our everyday lives, a sense of threat, an air of menace often permeates the most mundane activity like a walk down the street -- or a bus ride. Who's innocent? Who's safe? Who's in trouble? Who's gonna make trouble? Crime permeates the public mind. And punishment becomes an industry.

Sex, drugs, and violence, the new horsemen of the Apocalypse, if one would believe the preachers and the politicians. There is nothing new about them. Except maybe the profit margins. It is ironic, if not amusing, to witness the rising hue and cry for censorship of such popular commodities.

Enterzone is not a commercial venture. We offer art and culture, not commodities. The sex, drugs, and violence contained within this zone are the work of artists and writers, crafters of ideas and images whose tales and visions, follies, foibles, nightmares, memories, and emotions conjured are presented to you, reader, gratis, for your pleasure or edification, or amusement. If they sometimes resemble reality, it is intentional.

Copyright © 1996
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