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Violent behavior extends far beyond NFL [Letter]

I just finished Scott Green's excellent letter regarding the Ray Rice story and the public's reaction to recently aired video of Mr. Rice striking his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in a hotel elevator ("What the Ravens should have done," Sept. 12). I do have two thoughts to add to the discussion. First, what new, substantive information did we learn from the most recently released elevator video (the one showing the punch)? The answer is none. There was never a dispute about what occurred and that Ray Rice struck Ms. Palmer hard enough to knock her unconscious. The image was, indeed, deeply disturbing but did not alter the facts of the case or the level of responsibility or guilt for what Mr. Rice did.

Second, I guess I'm the only one around who enjoys such dramatic series as "Breaking Bad," "Homeland," and "House of Cards" in which there are really graphic and realistic images of (among other things) head shots, blood spatters, stabbings, throat-cutting, immolation and torture. I understand that these images are staged, but we all know that they reflect real events in our violent culture. In fact, one of the reasons that these dramas are so compelling is how "realistic" they are and how often news stories take on the characteristics of explicit television series on which we regularly binge. Does anyone find it ironic that there would be such public outcry about the Ray Rice video when gruesome images permeate prime time and cable television?

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I hope that the Ray Rice story produces something truly positive, something that goes way beyond expressions of disbelief and shock that such an incident could occur in our (violent) society, perpetrated by an athlete who has, after all, been trained to be aggressive and violent in order to succeed in his sport. Our pastor spoke Sunday on violence, touching on Ray Rice but going beyond to the epidemic of murder and assault in Baltimore and endless war abroad. He contended that addressing violence with violence typically fails to produce lasting solutions to problems. He asked us to make an effort to look for and address violence in our own hearts. And his final piece of advice, which he admitted seemed strange at first glance, was to become a feminist, defined by journalist Rebecca West as "the radical notion that women are people."

It's a strange idea, all right. We'll never see a television series based on such a principle. After all, how could it compete with the likes of "The Walking Dead," "True Blood" and "Hannibal?"

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Kenneth M. Greene, Baltimore

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