Meaning: Violence and the Human Experience

Meaning: Violence and the Human Experience

Pat Johnson

The late anthropologist, Neil Whitehead, defines violence as “the breaking down of meaning.” Whitehead argues that violent acts are inherently meaningful symbolizing pride, power, or pain, perceived by victims, perpetrators, and witnesses. As the definition of violence is far more inclusive than strictly physical harm, violence can be necessary for life itself.[1] If all violence was senseless, it would have been purged from communities. However, violence persists with  the presence of meaning perpetuating its existence,  even in the most sterile and domesticated societies. Violence thrives in the human experience because of the meaning bestowed upon it. Brutality remains in everyday life for this reason, and displays of aggression are ingrained in every culture. No violent act can be senseless because meaning, not the lack thereof, extends violence’s impact. In terrorism, genocide, and holy war primarily causing physical harm is a secondary effect of a shared violent meaning to disseminate concepts across persons and societies. 

            Symbolism can be found in violence’s nuances. How these nuances interact in terms of order and disorder bestow meaning upon acts of violence.[2]  Whitehead argues that violence is a form of self-expression and actualization. This concept helps to explain why many nations’ flags contain the color red. Red not only embodies national courage and hardiness, but red also stands for the blood that was shed and sacrifices that were made for the homeland. Labelled as a “deeply meaningful and expressive human behavior,” violence is not a vestige of a barbaric past which has failed to have been scrubbed out civilized society. In fact, violence is a tool which can be used to aid in cultural understanding. Rather than vilifying jihadism, Nazism, or genocide outright, through examination, these violent practices and ideologies must be viewed as cultural patterns. Recognizing these patterns can help to shed light on the violent imaginaries and mindsets of cultures which perform them.

Violence holds a greater meaning than causing damage or inflicting pain on others.[3] The war violence is particularly symbolic because wars are often caused by a difference in opinion or ideology. For instance, in the 1978 Shaw Brothers Studios classic, The Thirty-sixth Chamber of Shaolin, the main character San Te fights to rise up against the oppressive Manchu government to overthrow them. In doing this, he liberates the persecuted Chinese people and decides to teach them his own school of martial arts philosophy. San Te fights not to necessarily harm, but to make change and to preserve his people’s cultural identity from the heavy-handed Manchu influence.[4]

            Whitehead describes the “poetics” of violence, explaining that poetics are the non-concrete causes and effects of violent acts. According to him, poetics “amplify and extend the social force of violent acts.” These poetics have ramifications which leave behind impacts lasting greater than the violence which caused the changes. These poetics of violence and their ramifications often motivate the development of a cultural character and identity. Many martial arts are the product of the social situation in which they were founded.[5] Atemi, for instance, is an ancient eastern martial art which has strong ties to both Chinese and Japanese history. Though founded by the Chinese, it was popularized and used widely in feudal, aristocratic Japan. This particular art spread throughout Japan’s peasant class because the art required only the mastery of the open hand to be effective, as atemi requires no weapon. Liberating oneself from needing a weapon was a revolutionary advancement because the Japanese ruling class withheld weapons from the lower class. By learning atemi, the peasant class could defend themselves and fight back against the ruling class. Over time as more and more warriors were able to attain weapons, atemi began to be replaced by placing blows of a blunt force, often with the long handle of a staff or halberd. However, as fighters started to become more equipped in both weapons and armor, the efficacy of atemi reduced significantly. As atemi spread from China to Japan, not only did the violence and fighting style move locations but also the concepts which atemi stood for. Fitting a need in Japan, the fighting style embodied self-reliance. Because of this quality, it gained popularity very quickly. In Japan, learning to defend oneself without the use of a weapon was a necessity, whereas in China it was a luxury.

Atemi experienced a sharp decline in popularity when weapons were re-introduced to the peasant class, as it was no longer necessary to learn to fight with an open hand.[6] This fluctuation in popularity applies not only to the style of fighting itself but also to the notion and idea of fighting with an open hand. As the style’s popularity fell, so did the physical concept which the style symbolized, though the concepts of self-reliance and resilience lived on. Studying the poetics of violence is crucial because the poetics explain why and how certain forms of violence naturalized. Martial arts are especially culturally expressive because each style came into being in their respective communities for their own unique reasons. By studying the art, one learns much about the artists and the cultures behind it. How a particular art popularized speaks volumes about its culture. Actions speaking louder than words, an atemi strike provides clues to cultural and historical context, as well as the values and philosophy behind atemi when it was in development.

Violence is inseparable from the cultural imaginaries of peoples across the globe. In the popular media of television and cinema, the imagination of brutality must be viewed together with the violent act because violence cannot be limited to the damage inflicted, but a comprehensive view of violence must also include how the violence lives on, determining how a culture defines itself. Martial arts cultural imaginaries often contain violent hyperboles in their films, comic books, and music. Displays of quick, stylized, and strategic fighting is commonplace. Bruce Lee in his films is a prime example of how the stakes of martial arts are raised and how skill levels reach inconceivable peaks. The final fight in the Shaw Brothers’ film, The Eight-Diagram Pole Fighter, is an excellent example of an incredibly unrealistic violent cultural imaginary. At the end of the film, the monks, despite their vow of non-violence, proceed to throw poles through and rip out the teeth of their enemies, an image very characteristic of this particular imaginary.[7]

Disney’s Meet the Robinsons exemplifies a violent martial arts imaginary like that of The Thirty-sixth Chamber of Shaolin. In the film, a food fight initiates between two family members. What ensues is an immersive meat-based martial arts imaginary, masterfully tying together patterns and themes seen in martial arts cinema. As the scene commences, a change in music, provides a kung-fu soundscape. The music is sonically similar to that of the Shaw Brothers and Bruce Lee films of the 1970’s, making use of eastern instruments, including woodwinds and a gong. As the characters speak, their speech does not match completely with the voices produced. This sound technique refers to the practice of dubbing, common in many martial arts films. Editors would often dub the original footage over in another language, most notably English, in order to make an East Asian film more consumable to western audiences. The habitus of Aunt Franny’s character, is similar to Bruce Lee’s, displaying a balance of both power and speed. Much like Neo and Morpheus emulating Lee in The Matrix,[8] she encourages her adversary to fight by giving him a swift two-finger wave as she engages him with piercing eye contact. Once the first meatball is shot, the two characters take on the knowledgeable sensei and testing disciple roles typical to the imaginary. Uncle Gaston, wielding the meatball cannon, describes his challenger as his “little” sister, while stroking his imaginary beard.

 In martial arts media, a sensei is often depicted as an experienced old man in a position of power and respect, sometimes toting a long beard, a role best personified by Pei Mei in Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2.[9] Throughout the scene, there is a clear pattern of order and disorder, or yin and yang, which provide an underlying framework for simulated violence. As the characters fight, chaos is rampant, but this disorder is frequently offset by breaks to converse and intimidate. As the characters take these breaks, there is a sense of peace in the room to counteract the violence which preceded. At the end of the scene, Aunt Franny’s jouissance, or state of enjoyment, at having bested her opponent is clearly visible. Uncle Gaston, on the other hand, has been forced into a spectacle of suffering in front of the rest of the family, as they clearly see his embarrassment and anguish for surrendering.[10] Although short, the scene tells a story to its viewers through a fight dialogue. Like many martial arts films, the body languages of the characters say as much as the words they speak. By utilizing Kreng’s formula for a meaningful fight—a justified beginning, conflicting middle and satisfying ending[11]—the “food fight” scene from Meet the Robinsons is Disney’s lampooning creation of a violent martial arts imaginary.[12]

Importantly, the meaning behind violent acts can be misinterpreted or even changed. The way violence is perceived among individuals can cause meaning to be altered. Violent meaning, therefore, is elastic and changeable.[13] The 1978 Bruce Lee film Game of Death exemplifies an alteration of the meaning in a violent imaginary. Originally, Game of Death was directed by and starring Bruce Lee. However, during production, Lee died unexpectedly of cerebral edema, or the pooling of fluid in the brain. Before Lee’s death in 1973, there was only about 100 minutes of film. After Lee’s death, one would imagine that the project would be abandoned, but the film’s production continued. The original Game of Death, directed by Lee, was incomplete. Because of this, Robert Clouse, the new director attempted to salvage the old footage, but he believed the only way to make use of the footage was to change the plot in order to manipulate what he had into forming a complete narrative. Thus, the version of Game of Death released in 1978 had little resemblance to Lee’s original plan for the film. In order to piece together the story with such little footage, Clouse heavily implemented the use of doubles, often with their backs facing the cameras, so their vague resemblance to Lee could not be seen by viewers. In one scene, Clouse not only heavily relies on doubles, but he also superimposes a towel around Lee’s shoulders in existing footage in an attempt to change the original context of the scene to fit the needs of his new narrative. In order to show close-ups of Lee’s face to the audience, Clouse overlaid a cardboard cut-out of Lee’s face over the face of the double to make it appear as though Lee was intimidating a rival. This is a clear example of “Bruceploitation” or Asian filmmakers dishonestly attempting to capitalize on Lee’s success and on-screen presence in martial arts films after his death. In this film, the violent meaning behind the original fight scenes were re-purposed to fit Clouse’s intention which differed greatly from Bruce’s causing the film which was released to be forced and unnatural.[14] However, there are many other means to express sentiments through violengviolent action.

Unlike in films and media, violence is often used in performances to express cultural values and ideas. Whether it be a tribal dance in which clansmen thrash about to bring a fruitful harvest or the how the brutality in Ultimate Fighting Championship displays the import of individualism in American athletics movement of the body expresses ideas. Sports, competitions, and frolics are ways in which the body speaks through motions in relation to order and disorder. For example, a war can be fought for freedom, for the annexation of territory, or to ignite change. An army can be raised to protect a population or to enslave another. Much can be learned about a culture by its displays of violence or threats to use it. The United States has by far the most powerful military in the world, as well as the largest defense budget, spending billions of dollars each year. Most troops are held in reserve and are not intended to engage in combat. This aggrandization of funds and soldiers is a performance which displays American nationalism and the desire to be feared and respected in the realm of global politics. Patriotism in the United States dictates that its citizens should believe that they inhabit the most powerful country in the world. This exhibition of people and weapons is a physical expression of this nationalist sentiment. A large military is a display of might for other nations to view as onlookers.

In cultures across the globe, athletes are sources of pride for the citizens of their respective nations. After competition, these athletes are often draped in the flag of their home country as a sign of validation and approval from their people. Why do cultures respect and look up to athletes? Through practice, athletes forge a valuable connection between mind and body. By pushing themselves and striving for physical greatness, a display is made of their endeavors. This is the reason why when the athletes do achieve their goals, they are heralded as role models and paragons of self-motivation and hard work. Due to the nature of competition, a winner and a loser are determined among the participants of a contest. Therefore, when an athlete is hailed the victor, the pride of the athlete is reflected onto the denizens of the athlete’s home country. That pride translates not only towards the athlete but also towards the common residence of the athlete and the citizen, often translating into nationalist feelings. Is there any wonder why the Olympics is such a fierce competition? The athletes compete not for themselves but for their friends, families, and comrades. The Olympics is not a competition of athletes but of nations. In this sense, it is the countries and the people who are truly participating in the competition.

There are many media manifestations of the influence that physical competition and violence holds. Rocky IV provides the quintessential example of a demonstration of symbolic violence through physical competition. Containing the three-part structure of a well-formed fight which Kreng discusses in Fight Choreography, the brawl represents more than a simple exhibition boxing match. Rather the violence is used to sculpt an immersive fight narrative.[15] Each of the boxers in the scene embody the nations from which they hail and the ideologies which their countries value. The match takes place in Moscow between Rocky Balboa, an American boxer, and Ivan Drago, the Russian. Balboa is a 5’10” underdog who is dwarfed by the massive 6’5” Drago. Before the fight begins, Balboa is aggressively heckled and disparaged by the Russian crowd whereas Drago is praised by his comrades, as his strength and success in boxing is a symbol for Russian excellence inside and outside of the boxing ring. This particular match was Balboa’s challenge to Drago in an attempt to avenge Apollo Creed, an American boxer who fell to Drago’s glove. As the Russian national anthem plays in the arena, a massive banner depicting Drago is raised, and the Russian audience thunders in patriotism. The fight scene has very unique aesthetics, including a darkened crowd, a boxing ring blasted by spotlights, and the dripping of the fighter’s bodily fluids. As the fight begins, Balboa is pummeled and beaten into the corner by Drago. The crowd members cheer in support of Drago, as the situation appears hopeless for the Italian Stallion. Drago’s sheer size and wingspan overpowers to Balboa. After the first round, however, Balboa rallies, landing a blow on Drago’s temple which draws blood. Upon seeing this, viewers begin to envision a hopeful future for Balboa. The fight continues and more punches are landed on the American fighter. However, it seems as though the more times Balboa is hit, the more motivated he is to take down his opponent. Although he is knocked down at several instances, Balboa continually chooses to stand up and fight. Despite how insurmountable Drago appears to be, the battle’s tide shifts. The Soviet crowd begins to applaud and support Balboa for his resilience, rather than cheering for their own fighter. Balboa rallies and defeats Drago in the final round of the fight. To Balboa and the Russian officials’ surprise, the crowd erupts at Balboa’s victory. Balboa then explains how Drago and he were representatives for the two countries “killing each other” in the Cold War. Balboa reveals how he learned that people’s perspectives can change over time. Balboa hopes that this change and mutual understanding can occur between the two nations as wholes, rather than strictly in the boxing arena. Though it may sound paradoxical, Balboa fought for peace. At the scene’s end, Balboa is lifted by his comrades and is draped in the stars and stripes in a display of American nationalism. Balboa shouts to his son exclaiming that he fought for him, adding yet another layer of meaning to the boxing match. The final scene of Rocky IV is the epitome of a well-constructed fight scene because of the import of the violence which takes place.[16]

            Although using violence as a means to express oneself is morally and ethically questionable, choosing to view violence as a tool for expression aids in cultural understanding, explaining the cause of violent behavior among social groups.[17] In the Islamic faith, Jihadism is an ideology followed by many conservative Muslims. Jihadism preaches for violence against cultures which Muslims find threatening to their own faith. The violent acts which are the products of Jihad are viewed in the West as terrorism. Although some may view suicide-bombings as cowardly (insurgents purposely target innocent civilians), others view suicide bombers as crusaders waging a holy war against the West to protect their Islamic faith. These warriors are products of their culture. Their ideology dictates that others view them as saints and martyrs who make the ultimate sacrifice for their religion, whereas outsiders view them as terrorists and killers.[18] Similar to Jihadism was the kamikaze culture of the Japanese Special Attack Units during the second World War. Translating roughly to “divine wind,” kamikaze aircrafts acted like missiles. However, these missiles were full-sized fighter jets that were guided to their targets by pilots who were killed if successful. Knowing that they would die in the process, pilots still intended to fly their jets into enemy because dying as a kamikaze pilot was seen as an honorable death. In Japan, honor is a virtue held in high esteem, making a kamikaze death a blissful one that would bring glory to one and his/her family.[19]

Violence is also universally present in the cultural traditions of humankind, regardless of location, in the form of micro-aggressions. These traditions are displays of a culture’s character and values, and they are a means to the exhibition of said values. For instance, in eastern martial arts training, senseis instruct their disciples in the practice of breaking. To break, one uses a part of their body to strike a surface, cracking said surface. Breaking is a demonstration used in martial arts competition, as well as in the examination of a martial arts student. Whether it be a wooden board, cinderblock, or clay brick, the goal of breaking is always the same—to channel enough force to destroy the object. Breaking, in essence, is a showcase of eastern values. An exhibition of skill, breaking is a way for one to test limits and push oneself in a show of refinement and polish.[20] In breaking, it is the more practiced and graceful, not the strongest who will be the most successful. Breaking is also incredibly nerve-racking, as the pressure is very high when attempting to break boards. When a student learns to overcome his/her mental obstacles, they can best accomplish the physical goal of breaking the object. This is consistent with the eastern belief in the necessity of achieving a connection between the mind and the body in martial arts and displaying how one’s technique, not one’s brute strength is the key to victory. Using this mindset, one can attain mastery of a discipline through practice alone. Without making the conscious effort to hone one’s own skills, improving is impossible. As martial arts master Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” [21]

Another example of a micro-aggression found in a cultural tradition would be the Mexican piñata. Now commonplace at birthday parties and celebrations, the piñata emerged in Mexico as a teaching tool that Spanish monks used to evangelize the native Mexican people. Blindfolding oneself to swing at a container filled with toys or candy was an analogy which illustrates the struggle of humankind against the devil’s temptation. The blindfold was introduced to the players to have them experience the blindness and importance of faith in God. Although humans may not be able to see God physically, by living a faithful life one can receive the divine reward of the afterlife. The cone-shaped objects attached to the piñata’s body represent the seven deadly sins, and the body of the piñata which the participant strikes at, embodies evil and all of the allurements it offers. The prizes held inside the body act as either the temptations of evil or as the fruits of faith, depending on whether or not the player is able to successfully penetrate the piñata’s exterior. Traditionally, striking the piñata is made into a spectacle at parties. After being spun in circles, and being shouted at and cheered on by friends and family, the participant feels the disorientation which one experiences when being tempted towards evil. More than a simple party game, piñatas showcase the Christian struggle of choosing to do good, despite the natural inclination to do evil.[22]      

Another example of a micro-aggression still actively exercised would be the Jewish tradition of the “breaking of the glass.” At Jewish weddings, before the ceremony closes, the groom swaddles a glass in a cloth and steps on it, breaking it. This small, violent action is an expression of Jewish culture and tradition. The Jewish wedding traditions are very concerned with giving thanks to God, remembering all of the blessings He has given. The Jewish people recount all the actions that God has taken to protect His Chosen People, especially the exodus from their enslavement in Egypt. The breaking of the glass also helps the wedding parties to mournfully recall Tisha B’Av, or the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple. At some weddings, the bride and groom recite Psalm 137:5 after breaking the glass. This psalm reads: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.” The glass is broken at the wedding seconds before the bride and groom kiss. By breaking the glass during this moment of tremendous joy, the wedding participants are forced to remember all of those who are suffering or enduring pain around the world. Shattering the glass also speaks to the permanence of the sacramental marriage. The marriage between the man and woman will last as long as that glass remains broken.[23]     

In his novel, Violence and Terror in and the Mass Media, George Gerbner, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, explains in a novel entitled Violence and Terror in and the Mass Media explains that violence is “the cheapest and clearest symbolic expression.” Violence displays power and reveals an individual or a community’s capacity to both intimidate and decimate.[24] These acts of “blind brutality” by “killers” are, in actuality, violent messages sent by those with a desire to be heard. The September 11th attacks were violent messages sent by al-Qaeda, an Islamic terrorist group, in response to the United States’ choice to support Israel and the sanctions which the United States placed on Iraq’s trade, as well as the Jihadist sentiment that the United States was a threat to the Islamic faith. The attack on the World Trade Center was a conscious choice chosen for its symbolic significance. Al-Qaeda chose to destroy the World Trade Center to express its disapproval of American commerce ravaging the physical embodiment of free trade. This violent action was especially potent because America’s trade was one of the reasons why it held such international power.[25] One World Trade Center or “Freedom Tower” was built in response to the September 11th attacks. The American choice to rebuild even larger than before was a meaningful display of power and resilience. One World Trade Center was and continues to be an American symbol for hope, proving that despite these crippling, horrific events which occurred, American spirits could not remain low forever.[26]

In the current age, more individuals than in previous years seem to collectively understand the potential which violence has to communicate ideas as well as the human tendency to recognize the ideas behind these acts because of the violence committed. In the United States, violent crime statistics continue to rise year after year. The frequency of terrorist attacks and mass shootings increase as well. The media has greatly impacted how violent messages are dispersed. The rise of violence in crime is due in part to the knowledge that media coverage of violent acts will undoubtedly be broadcast or written about. Whether consciously or not, people will listen to these news stories and read these articles. In this era, the offenders of these acts expect to have their names and faces are depicted on televisions and newspapers. While most view this as public shaming, others may perceive this as the glorification of criminals. When shootings and bombings occur, some of the first questions reporters ask are “Who?” and “Why?”. Violence serves as a fool-proof way for a voice to be heard and for a change to be made. Violent acts have a ripple effect. Through violence comes more violence. Whether in retaliation or agreement, there is destined to be a follow-up. When a violent message is sent, although most vilify the action, others may view the act for the message which it spreads, looking past the violence that sent it.[27]

            Across the human experience, violence remains present because it is continually used as a tool for expression. As the old aphorism reads, “actions speak louder than words.” This notion demonstrates that cultures and individuals utilize brutality as a means of portraying ideas and sentiments.[28] Therefore, the concept of “senseless violence” is an oxymoronic farce. In a speech entitled “On the Mindless Menace of Violence,” the late Robert F. Kennedy asks his audience, “What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by his assassin's bullet. A sniper is only a coward, … and an uncontrolled, … mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.[29] His brother, Ted, disagreed with him, however. Ted said, “Violence is an admission that one’s ideas and goals cannot prevail on their own merits.”[30] In this statement, Ted Kennedy expresses the human tendency to use violence as a last resort of expression. When one wants to illustrate a thought, the option to use violence to gain recognition is always present. Because of the way violence is reported in the media, it is easier than ever for individuals to gain recognition and take credit for violent acts.[31] The blemish of violence not been wiped off of society because it cannot be. Violence remains because of its capacity to contain meaning and its efficacy to illustrate significance.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

“Breaking (Martial Arts).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_%28martial_arts%29.

Diamant, Anita. “Breaking the Glass at a Jewish Wedding.” My Jewish Learning, www.myjewishlearning.com/article/breaking-the-glass-at-a-jewish-wedding/.

Draeger, Donn F., et al. Asian Fighting Arts. Kodansha, 1974.

Fiske, John. Understanding Popular Culture. Routledge, 2011.

Game of Death. Dir. Robert Clouse. Perf. Bruce Lee. Columbia Pictures, 1978. DVD.

Gerbner, George, and Nancy Signorielli. Violence and Terror in the Mass Media. Unesco, 1989.

Goalcast. “Top 20 Most Inspiring Bruce Lee Quotes.” Goalcast, 18 July 2017, www.goalcast.com/2017/07/20/top-20-inspiring-bruce-lee-quotes/.

“History of the Piñata.” History of the Piñata: Mexico Culture & Arts, www.mexconnect.com/articles/459-history-of-the-pi%C3%B1ata.

“Jihadism.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihadism.

“Kamikaze.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamikaze.   

Kill Bill Vol 2. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Uma Thurman, Gordan Liu. Miramax, 2004. DVD.

Kreng, John. Fight Choreography: the Art of Non-Verbal Dialogue. Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

McBride, Jessica. “Covering Crime: How the Media Covers Violence.” Wisconsin Interest. Winter 2005. Published: Pages 31-37. Print.

Meet the Robinsons. Dir. Steve Anderson. Perf. Daniel Hansen, Wesley Singerman. Walt Disney Studios, 2007. DVD.

“One World Trade Center.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_World_Trade_Center.

“Robert F. Kennedy Speeches.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Remarks-of-Senator-Robert-F-Kennedy-to-the-Cleveland-City-Club-Cleveland-Ohio-April-5-1968.aspx.

Rocky IV. Dir. Sylvester Stallone. Perf. Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 1985. DVD.

“September 11, 2001 Attacks.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11,_2001_attacks.

The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter. Dir. Lau Kar-Leung. Perf. Gordon Liu. Shaw Brothers Studio, 1983. DVD. 

The Matrix. Dir. Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski. Perf. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne. Warner Bros, 1999. DVD.

The Thirty-sixth Chamber of Shaolin. Dir. Liu Chia-Liang. Perf. Gordon Liu. Shaw Brothers Studio, 1978. DVD.

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[1] Whitehead, Neil L. “Violence & the Cultural Order.” Daedalus Winter 2007. Published: Pages 1-11. Print.

[2] Whitehead, Neil L. “Violence & the Cultural Order.” Daedalus Winter 2007. Published: Pages 1-11. Print.

[3] Whitehead, Neil L. "War and Violence as Cultural Expression." Anthropology News. May 2005. Published: Pages 23, 26. Print.

[4] The Thirty-sixth Chamber of Shaolin. Dir. Liu Chia-Liang. Perf. Gordon Liu. Shaw Brothers Studio, 1978. DVD.

[5] Whitehead, Neil L. "War and Violence as Cultural Expression." Anthropology News. May 2005. Published: Pages 23, 26. Print.

[6] Draeger, Donn F., et al. Asian Fighting Arts. Kodansha, 1974.

[7] The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter. Dir. Lau Kar-Leung. Perf. Gordon Liu. Shaw Brothers Studio, 1983. DVD. 

[8] The Matrix. Dir. Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski. Perf. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne. Warner Bros, 1999. DVD.

[9] Kill Bill Vol 2. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Uma Thurman, Gordan Liu. Miramax, 2004. DVD.

[10] Fiske, John. Understanding Popular Culture. Routledge, 2011.

                      [11] Kreng, John. Fight Choreography: The Art of Non-Verbal Dialogue. Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

[12] Meet the Robinsons. Dir. Steve Anderson. Perf. Daniel Hansen, Wesley Singerman. Walt Disney Studios, 2007. DVD.

[13] Whitehead, Neil L. “Violence & the Cultural Order.” Daedalus Winter 2007. Published: Pages 1-11. Print.

[14] Game of Death. Dir. Robert Clouse. Perf. Bruce Lee. Columbia Pictures, 1978. DVD.

[15] Kreng, John. Fight Choreography: The Art of Non-Verbal Dialogue. Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

[16] Rocky IV. Dir. Sylvester Stallone. Perf. Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 1985. DVD.

[17] Whitehead, Neil L. "War and Violence as Cultural Expression." Anthropology News. May 2005. Published: Pages 23, 26. Print.

[18] “Jihadism.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihadism.

               [19] “Kamikaze.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamikaze.

[20] “Breaking (Martial Arts).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_%28martial_arts%29.

[21] Goalcast. “Top 20 Most Inspiring Bruce Lee Quotes.” Goalcast, 18 July 2017, www.goalcast.com/2017/07/20/top-20-inspiring-bruce-lee-quotes/.

[22] “History of the Piñata.” History of the Piñata: Mexico Culture & Arts, www.mexconnect.com/articles/459-history-of-the-pi%C3%B1ata.

[23] Diamant, Anita. “Breaking the Glass at a Jewish Wedding.” My Jewish Learning, www.myjewishlearning.com/article/breaking-the-glass-at-a-jewish-wedding/.

[24] Gerbner, George, and Nancy Signorielli. Violence and Terror in the Mass Media. Unesco, 1989.

[25] “September 11, 2001 Attacks.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11,_2001_attacks.

[26] “One World Trade Center.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_World_Trade_Center.

[27] McBride, Jessica. “Covering Crime: How the Media Covers Violence.” Wisconsin Interest. Winter 2005. Published: Pages 31-37. Print.

[28] Whitehead, Neil L. "War and Violence as Cultural Expression." Anthropology News. May 2005. Published: Pages 23, 26. Print.

[29] “Robert F. Kennedy Speeches.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Remarks-of-Senator-Robert-F-Kennedy-to-the-Cleveland-City-Club-Cleveland-Ohio-April-5-1968.aspx.

[30] Violence Quotes IV, www.notable-quotes.com/v/violence_quotes_iv.html.

[31] McBride, Jessica. “Covering Crime: How the Media Covers Violence.” Wisconsin Interest. Winter 2005. Published: Pages 31-37. Print.