Ponder Me This Hurt and That Ecstasy

Watching Criminal Minds in syndication on Ion Television makes me wonder whether or not we human beings would be less inclined to hurt one another if the other didn’t care.

For example,
Parent: Why did you punch Ashlee?
Child: Because I felt like it/Because she deserved it/Because I wanted to see her cry.

Logically, “Because she deserved it” would explain the punch (cause-effect, action-reaction) from the Child’s perspective.  Ashlee may disagree with the justification for being on the receiving end of the punch; she may not even cry or tell.  Would the Child still want to mess with Ashlee without the satisfaction of seeing immediate manifestation of tears or threats to tell?

With the exception of instances  where an offender cannot appreciate the moral and legal consequences of his* actions, would a person be as compelled to inflict physical/mental harm onto another person if the intended victim does not show signs of distress?

Yes.  I think so… some people enjoy seeing other people suffer physically and mentally.  Other people interpret the lack of response as getting-away-with-it.

Browsing the home pages of Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and NFL has inspired the question of whether or not casual sports fans of the 1980s and 1990s could as enthusiastically inform themselves of particular sports headlines without having to read the paper, listen to the radio (a lot), or ask hard-core sports fans (a lot)?  User-generated, blogger-disseminated, and journalistic wire feeds have increased the information available in the digital landscape.  No argument there.  Nonetheless, I am curious about how the late 20th Century fan would rate his info-gathering experiences vs. the 21st Century fan.

* I’m using “his” in a gender neutral sense.

PS. I think Rob Delaney is fantasizing about wearing a tux and belting out more tunes at Carnegie Hall.  I wouldn’t mind listening to him sing a version of High Enough by the Damn Yankees or I’ll Remember You by Skid Row.

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