Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

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colinr0380
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#326 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:46 pm

The BBFC annual report for 2012 is up.

Here are the choice parts of the report:

This year is apparently marked the very first complaint received about the 1970 classic The Railway Children:
The correspondent was concerned that children may be encouraged to play on railway tracks as a result of seeing the film. While aware of the real dangers of such behaviour, the BBFC judged that it was very unlikely that The Railway Children would promote such dangerous activity.The Railway Children is set in the Edwardian period and trains and access to railway property are very different today. The film also demonstrates the potential harm to children if proper care is not taken.
I presume , as with scenes of smoking in older films, that The Railway Children is now going to get an advice warning about 'archaic scenes of railway trespassing'!

The Three Stooges, predictably, got a lot of pre-edits before being submitted for classification ("These sequences included the use of a vegetable peeler on a man’s head, a cheese grater on a man’s foot, hair tongs on a woman’s tongue and a man’s head being placed in a microwave. There was also a line of dialogue about teaching children to play with matches."). Taken 2 and Jack Reacher were both edited for 12A certificates.

The 1990's Total Recall got reclassified down from an 18 to a 15 rating this year (similar to the way that The Terminator had been a decade or so ago).

Gremlins got reclassified down from a 15 to a 12A rating, while Jaws got reclassified up from PG to 12A (because "the scenes of sustained threat, bloody injury during and after shark attacks, nudity, and marijuana smoking were difficult to reconcile with the PG Guidelines.")

American History X, I.D., Lisa And The Devil, Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me and The Octagon all got reclassified down from 18 to 15 certificates on home video.

Ken Loach ran into trouble again with swearing on The Angel's Share: "...multiple uses of very strong language, several of which were aggressive or which occurred within an aggressive or violent context, exceeded what was allowable at 15. The distributor chose to dub out eight uses of very strong language in order to achieve a 15 classification for cinema release,although one aggressive use and some other non aggressive uses were retained. For the DVD release the distributor reinstated the language cut from the cinema version and the film was subsequently passed 18."

However The Paperboy passed by unscathed despite the way that it: "...also contains an unusual scene in which a woman urinates on a man who has been stung by jellyfish as she claims that this will neutralise the poison. This scene establishes a narrative point and occurs within the context of someone trying to save a friend’s life". So as long as you are friends and think it will save their life, pee away!

Similarly Zero Dark Thirty was passed uncut because: "American operatives are portrayed torturing prisoners for information, including the use of ‘waterboarding’. These scenes are based on real accounts and were classified 15."

Oliver Stone's Savages was apparently edited for a 15 certificate in theatres and then got an uncut 18 rated DVD release.

On The Road was released uncut despite frequent scenes of drug use because: "Although some of the characters who use drugs are glamorous and attractive, there is no instructional detail and the drug use reflects the characters’ lifestyles, as well as the period in which the film is set. Much of the drug use is also dated, especially the misuse of Benzedrine, which is no longer available in the form shown."

Rob Roy had its Tim Roth/Jessica Lange rape scene reinstated for its Blu ray release (it was cut down in all previous releases).

Chinese films Legendary Amazons and Sacrifice (the Chen Kaige film) as well as South Korean films My Way and War of the Arrows were all edited for horse falls on home video submission.

No films were outright rejected this year though a number (such as the grindhouse-style biker gang film Dear God No!) were cut.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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domino harvey
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#327 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:32 pm

Read an awful "feminist" piece from what I presume is Time's blog and not its print magazine. It's yet one more brash example of the increasingly hypersensitive so-called feminist internet outcry machine that has bastardized the multitude of important and vital tasks feminism can, should, and does serve by devoting time to click-bait that almost willfully misreads the objects of their offense while categorically misappropriating feminism in a way that reinforces every fedora-wearing, MRA-tagging dude on the internet's worst uninformed fears. This discussion belongs here thanks to the author's great offense at a scene of a woman being thrown in front of a bus for laffs in the trailer for RIPD, here claimed to be a grand act of aggression towards women on the part of a presumably male audience. I actually saw the trailer before reading the article, but even with several hundred words devoted to convincing me otherwise, nothing changes the fact that the moment in question is not a scene where the punchline, subtext, or any variation of meaning is "Let's hurt a woman" at all. The joke derives from the fact that undead Jeff Bridges, who appears as a statuesque blonde to the living, is punished by Ryan Reynolds' character for an earlier violent transgression in a similar manner. Now, whether that's funny is debatable. I didn't laugh, but that's because it's schticky humor, the joke being that anyone being able to be hit by a bus and be perfectly fine inherently comical in a Looney Tunes fashion, and just as fresh fifty-plus years onward. That's it, and quite obviously so. To paraphrase the West Wing, you have to want it to be sexist to be sexist. And what's the good of that, exactly?

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antnield
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#328 Post by antnield » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:56 am


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colinr0380
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#329 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:43 pm

I guess we should mention this, if only to complete the circle of the thread! The the first trailer for Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is up.

It seems from the trailer this while the first film was a silly B-movie, and the second felt like a grimy DIY fusion of Eraserhead and Mike Leigh with an underground gore film, the tone of this third film looks as if it will be going in a Natural Born Killers style hyper-satire direction.


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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#331 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat May 07, 2016 11:36 am

Being asked why they weren't shown the first instead?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#332 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:25 pm

HUH?????? Alec Baldwin has released a public radio interview with Human Centipede writer/director Tom Six today, January 22nd, 2019, in podcast form

EDIT: I had to listen to this immediately because I am still so amazed that this strange a thing exists, and it's just a straight-ahead interview led by an enthusiastic Baldwin who saw the first Human Centipede years back and insisted on meeting Six, who he now has insisted on interviewing in person after they've had numerous phone conversations

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domino harvey
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#333 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:44 pm

I love it when celebrities have completely bonkers favorites

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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#334 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:46 pm

He goes on to call Part 2 an "absolute masterpiece"

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colinr0380
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Re: Cinematic Violence: Can Anything Be Justified?

#335 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:15 pm

Part 2 is actually really good, though you have to have a very strong stomach for it.

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FrauBlucher
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A History of Media Violence

#336 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:10 pm

bottled spider wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:28 pm
Michael wrote:This film and The Exorcist were the films that actually ruined my childhood, thanks to my mom for not wanting to pay for a babysitter and instead threw me in the back of a station wagon and parked at a drive-in. Peeking at horrible images splashing on the screen between the dark figures of my mom and her boyfriend from the back, me all wrapped up in blankets, not knowing what to do or say about what I saw. And the sounds. The music. Blasting from the drive-in radio. What was my mom thinking!?
Pauline Kael ended her review of The Exorcist with the sentence "It would be sheer insanity to take children," which I thought was meant as a joke -- but maybe it was earnest advice after all!
And now kids play those games and have the internet. They’ve become immune to horror, real and fictional.
Last edited by FrauBlucher on Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Orlac
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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#337 Post by Orlac » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:37 pm

That's a rather dismissive attitude to take. Why would watching fictional horror make a young person immume to real horror. Care to show your working out?

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tenia
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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#338 Post by tenia » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:41 pm

Just my 2 personal cents, but I've watched more and more movies over the years, including horror ones, and am more and more distressed by real life horror.

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#339 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:27 pm

The problem with glib "I've seen loads of violent films and they never did me any harm" comments, quite aside from them being statistically dubious anecdata, is that these forums are biased towards highly intelligent contributors who are likely to be far better at rationalising their responses. For instance, I too have seen loads of extremely violent films, and yet when I entirely accidentally watched an ISIS beheading video (I forget the circumstances, but it started playing before I realised what it was), I felt physically sick, so in theory I should be in full agreement with both of you...

...but I can't knee-jerkily dismiss the findings of a 2010 analysis that specifically took into account the results of 136 peer-reviewed studies into desensitisation following prolonged exposure to violent films and videogames, and concluded that:
The evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior.
(Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in eastern and western countries: a meta-analytic review, Anderson et al, Psychological Bulletin, March 2010).

That said, I haven't been able to read the whole thing, as it's locked behind a journal paywall. Does anyone have access to it?

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#340 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:34 pm

If there were a causal connection between violent media and violent actions, why have the latter declined precipitously over the exact decades where exposure to the former has exponentially risen?

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Big Ben
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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#341 Post by Big Ben » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:46 pm

Violence and entertainment have always gone together. The "bloodthirsty" audiences in Shakespeare's time certainly enjoyed bloodletting in their plays as did Romans (Who as I recall actually killed people). And lest we not forget the Roman Coliseum.

And of course the Grand Guignol which was frequented most heavily between World War I and II.

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swo17
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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#342 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:27 pm

I look at it like drinking--some people can handle it, others can't

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#343 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:46 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:34 pm
If there were a causal connection between violent media and violent actions, why have the latter declined precipitously over the exact decades where exposure to the former has exponentially risen?
Yes, but certain types of violent actions have undoubtedly risen precipitately over the last few decades. For instance, in the 1950s kids were taught how to protect themselves from nuclear attack, not the possibility of a maniac treating them like disposable characters in a shoot-em-up video game. (Granted, there are loads of other factors at play here - most obviously, easy availability of powerful weapons, which is why this is a largely US-centric phenomenon.)

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#344 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:11 pm

Orlac wrote:That's a rather dismissive attitude to take. Why would watching fictional horror make a young person immume to real horror. Care to show your working out?
Not dismissive at all. Not sure how old Michael B was when he saw the two films he mentioned, but back then there was less exposure to realistic violence. Today a person the same age MichaelB was at the time he was referring to has taken in much more violence through medias, games and the internet. Of course I’m generalizing because Swo is correct. Some can handle it and others can not.

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#345 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:12 pm

MichaelB wrote:The problem with glib "I've seen loads of violent films and they never did me any harm" comments, quite aside from them being statistically dubious anecdata, is that these forums are biased towards highly intelligent contributors who are likely to be far better at rationalising their responses. For instance, I too have seen loads of extremely violent films, and yet when I entirely accidentally watched an ISIS beheading video (I forget the circumstances, but it started playing before I realised what it was), I felt physically sick, so in theory I should be in full agreement with both of you...

...but I can't knee-jerkily dismiss the findings of a 2010 analysis that specifically took into account the results of 136 peer-reviewed studies into desensitisation following prolonged exposure to violent films and videogames, and concluded that:
The evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior.
(Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in eastern and western countries: a meta-analytic review, Anderson et al, Psychological Bulletin, March 2010).

That said, I haven't been able to read the whole thing, as it's locked behind a journal paywall. Does anyone have access to it?
While true, it’s not really predictive of behaviour. There are a lot of other factors involved to get someone to produce certain behaviours. So the arousal is present, yes, but this doesn’t translate directly into behaviour. By and large, the media has never been great at influencing behaviour. It’s much better at influencing opinions and values, at getting us to be more or less accepting of things. Turning us into weaponized Sirhan Sirhans, not so much.

Also, I’m surprised they used the word ‘causal’, because as far as I’m aware you can’t determine causality from meta-analyses. They more determine correlations.

I’d like to hear what therewillbeblus thinks.

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#346 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:30 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:11 pm
Not sure how old Michael B was when he saw the two films he mentioned
That post was from just Michael, a different user

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#347 Post by knives » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:53 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:46 pm
DarkImbecile wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:34 pm
If there were a causal connection between violent media and violent actions, why have the latter declined precipitously over the exact decades where exposure to the former has exponentially risen?
Yes, but certain types of violent actions have undoubtedly risen precipitately over the last few decades. For instance, in the 1950s kids were taught how to protect themselves from nuclear attack, not the possibility of a maniac treating them like disposable characters in a shoot-em-up video game. (Granted, there are loads of other factors at play here - most obviously, easy availability of powerful weapons, which is why this is a largely US-centric phenomenon.)
I'm not sure of your point. Violence including murder have gone down dramatically over the decades, the leading reason scientists believe is the reduction of lead exposure, and if you are referring to school shootings specifically as you point out that is largely an American problem yet violent media isn't an American phenomenon. Why doesn't Canada have more school shootings? The simple fact is that no causative relationship has been shown with violent actions which is where I see you overstepping the study you referenced as well as others which only refers to a desensitization to stimuli. That's not equivalent to action.

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#348 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:07 pm

I agree with Sausage's attitude that calls for a consideration of other factors. There is mental health, social environment and conditioning, genetics (biolpsychosocials, as mental health professions tend to break it down in a comprehensive report for profiling) but yeah, we really don't "know" any definitive correlation and to go beyond a relationship to cause and effect is problematic. I believe that video games probably add an extra element compared to movies (passively watching vs. committing violent actions in control via surrogate play) but I think in all of these cases, from movies, video games, music, etc. they may serve as a social influence but are only a small piece to the complicated puzzle of the mind and a person's place in their social context. One could say they are the 'tipping point' or the 'straw to break the camel's back' or whatever, but we also don't really know that either and it's unfair to place so much utility there just because it's the easier and more visible marker than the underlying components. To use a pretty straightforward example, if a child is neglected by their parents, have no social group, untreated mental health issues, a biological imbalance of impulse, and seek refuge in violent video games before engaging in a school shooting, is the video game the guilty party or is it actually the coping strategy the child sought out only to then reinforce the behavior not being addressed through support and services?

I'm one of those people who grew up watching violent movies very young. Most people are shocked to hear that my favorite movies in 4th grade were Se7en, Fight Club, and American Beauty (my tastes have since changed...) and I've never had an episode of aggression in my life. I respectfully reject the proposal that I'm better at "rationalizing my response" compared to others, though I'd love to give myself that credit. I have my own set of issues involving impulse, mental health, and self-destructive tendencies, and am a more emotional-based person than logical. However, I've had certain protective factors and supports that others have not. If the neglected person in my example chose to seek out knitting instead of video games, would they become violent down the line? I don't know, but I believe that life is so complicated we have no right to associate one factor to one instance of behavior that occurred when a person was unstable or dysregulated (and which does not define their personality, no matter how finite the action is in ending the lives of others and the consequences that must be taken).
swo17 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:27 pm
I look at it like drinking--some people can handle it, others can't
I realize this is not meant offensively, but it's also the kind of shrug-off microaggression that insinuates, deliberately or not, that by not "handling it" those people with the mental health issue of addiction, or respond violently, have a deficit that makes them "less than," and thus "others" them from humanity. It's obviously a complicated issue that nobody really has all the answers to - and you're not even wrong when taking that comment at face value! - but it must be said that this is a simplified way of saying we don't understand the intricacies of the collage of factors that produce the illness rather than separating the weak from the strong and/or normal. I believe that those who act violently cannot handle the situation because of a variety of factors that are outside of their control, and that while some conditioning can occur to extinguish or lessen the behavior, the antecedents and biological/socially conditioned responses will always be there. Similarly, an alcoholic can stop drinking, go to meetings, engage in therapeutic services, but certain sensitivities to discomfort, negative core beliefs, etc. will remain and they will always be at risk for relapse because of uncontrollable genetic and conditioned components.

As someone who has worked specifically with the population of children aged 5-14 in residential treatment centers for social-emotional issues, often placed outside of the home due to persistent severe aggression, steadily since 2009, I have a lot of experience on this issue and yet few answers. All I can say is that I've worked with thousands of kids that range from violent because of (predicted) primarily physical and sexual abuse, neglect in infancy resulting in reactive attachment issues, neglect in later years, other trauma, developmental issues (autism with sensory issues), anxiety, pretty much every mental health disorder sans addiction, and honestly sometimes just faulty 'wiring.' Sometimes kids some in coming from a wonderful home, but they were born with a brain that lacks the functions of empathy and these kids often turn out to become the "sociopaths" we read about in adulthood. I'll never forget sitting down one day talking with a kid who had made a lot of progress, after 8 years in our program, and was mostly safe at home and in our setting. He turned to me and said something very similar to, "man, I've been doing pretty well, but like I just don't feel feelings, and I get mad and just can't feel anything for people" followed by (verbatim), "I don't think my future is gonna go so well." That last part was said in a simple matter-of-fact delivery, as a calm observation. We need to consider that sometimes, that's the case here. Do I have a problem with games like GTA even though I played them myself? Yep. Do I have strong feelings on what increased technology is doing to our youth and stunting their social development? Yep. Research is showing that brains are changing as a result of spending more time in front of devices and for the same reasons that learning a language or instrument is more likely to yield mastery when starting between 5-12 before myelination, this is affecting our youth and cementing some of these deficits. Still, I don't think that violence in movies or video games or music should be indicated as responsible for physical violence, and until we start looking at the other less visible causes, we're going to keep running in circles. Also, even if violence has risen in western cultures, I'd be quicker to look at the sociological shift in individualism, absence of culture and collectivistic practices, and other institutional deficits that lead to a lack of support or opportunities to feel 'part of' anything at a young age. There's a huge social piece here that I think is just flat out ignored because we don't want to face it, because it's less tangible, more complicated, and a less easy target to displace our own anger, confusion, and fear.

For the record, I'm not making these statements against any posters in this conversation (I have no problem with what anyone's said even if I disagree with some) but I think that the attitude that generally is adopted by many people today in directing most of the focus on this (or any 'one') area is misplaced, and potentially harmful as a result of producing its own ignorance of considering the whole person-in-environment picture.

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swo17
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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#349 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:19 pm

Yeah, I definitely didn't mean that statement in a judgmental way though I think it's important to still be able to make such distinctions (perhaps there is a better way to word what I said?) For instance it's a mantra that allows me, without causing cognitive dissonance, to both politely accept a friend drinking in front of me as well as a parent counseling a child not to ever even try drugs or alcohol

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Re: 909 Night of the Living Dead

#350 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:36 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:19 pm
Yeah, I definitely didn't mean that statement in a judgmental way though I think it's important to still be able to make such distinctions (perhaps there is a better way to word what I said?) For instance it's a mantra that allows me, without causing cognitive dissonance, to both politely accept a friend drinking in front of me as well as a parent counseling a child not to ever even try drugs or alcohol
Yeah, I feel like that's a different kind if example though because your own utility placed in the safety of your child is going to consider risks with stricter alerts that outweighs the benefit of accepting these risks without intervention. I try to separate it as there are people who drink too much but "can not" drink, or who can maybe stop; and then there are people who "cannot" drink in safety because they cannot stop. Everyone's executive functioning becomes limited as they consume alcohol, just by science, so non-alcoholics make poor choices as they rely on their impulses and nucleus accumbens and associated 'pleasure centers' of the brain, and can even have difficulty stopping and act in cognitive dissonance etc. etc. so by that logic many people "can't handle it" who aren't necessarily alcoholics - though the difference is that complete inability to use all will power, logic, force to stop regardless of experience with consequences and even not wanting to drink (what people call "drinking without your own permission"). It's an insane idea for many to entertain that someone takes one sip of alcohol and literally cannot stop unless physically restrained, even if they have no interest in drinking and it no longer produces the desired effect, but it's real.

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