Tuesday, March 3, 2009
6:13 PM ● In the Defence of Media Violence

For Mrs. Roy:
The myriad of countries on the planet are lucky if they possess famous icons, inferior industries, or even everyday phrases accredited. America is renowned for its horror films. Consequently, one of the most responsive issues addresses these movies, questioning the link between the intensifying violent media and escalating crime rates; is it enough that wastebaskets across America should brim over with this entertainment for sake of community safety? In the defense of violent animation, bloodthirsty games and films have less of an influence-in moderation-if enjoyed knowledgably to the prepared audience.

The boundaries on graphics are changing by the decade. Children are now exposed to more hostility in cartoons than in the early “lampoon” days, therefore it is reasonable to expect more when viewing “advanced” or horror pictures, especially as the video graphics are promised to be gorier than the former best-loved game. Before you shake your head in disapproval, note that as the violence increases, so do the limits; a ten year old in the 1940s watching Woody the Woodpecker would be influenced equally as a ten year old today watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) because it all depends on what is socially acceptable. Take exhibit B for reconsidering, when the classic series Tom and Jerry aired Saturday mornings (somewhere in the 40s) “in most episodes, Tom and Jerry casually smoke tobacco, for example, Tom gives Jerry a cigarette before his supposed death and Tom daydreams about smoking a Cuban cigar once Jerry is dead. Mild sexual innuendos pop up, too…” (www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/Tom-Jerry.html). Few viewers of this show, in which guns and saws appear regularly, found it too inappropriate, in fact, so few that it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons of 1941. When seeing the facts in black and white, it becomes easier to grapple that the amount of violence in cartoons is not the issue, as modern cartoons are on the same scale as the classics in the social standards department.

Why, then, does the joint variation between Hollywood aggression and real aggression exist? The answer may be the multiplying intake of the media. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube (Compiled by TV-Free America, sentence and all following statistics taken practically word for word from http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html). Considering the number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home is 6 hours, 47 minutes, percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner is 66, number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children is 3.5, number of minutes per week that the average child watches television is 1,680, and the percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day is 70, it is also reasonable to think the frame by frame videos we watch would impinge on…everything we do. When the hours per year the average American youth spends in school is 900, the hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500, and the brutal content becomes available until each sporadic increment gradually becomes frequent competition for filmmakers, how much does this really add up? Compare and contrast, if you will the pre-television generation, when cinemas were occasional family outings. Even during the peak of television (after World War II), it was enjoyed about an average of four hours a day and the crime rates would not reach their peak until the 1980s. Today, the average has reached eight hours per day spent staring at the television screen. Thus, if the intake is the source, the intake could be the terminator. In other words, we might be better of monitoring how much violence we watch, rather ending it all and forever.

To precisely watch a gruesome-content diet would include watching all the influences. For expansion, one may argue that sharpening a pencil is dangerous; someone can fall on it. In actuality, there are wide varieties of pointed objects someone can make hazardous. In relation to the matter at hand, one may list the cons of video movie violence, when in reality there are other probable causes to these affects and effects. Not only media that may contain aggressive behavior, but also opposing medium can trigger the unintended. Best-selling authors can exemplify this one. “Dragnet, which was probably the most famous anti-drug television shows, was very funny to watch them now because they were so stilted, so self-righteous, it was kind of disinformation and everyone grew up laughing. And that’s what told you that drugs were okay.” Author of Please Kill Me, Legs McNeil admits (The Drug Years: Feed Your Head). James Frey, of A Million Little Pieces, also is proof of The unintended as he describes “My first real exposure to drugs was probably in fourth grade when a local police officer brought in this big cabinet and it had all these drugs in it so we could see what they looked like and avoided them and I remember, I think sort of universally in my class it sort of absolutely backfired because we thought it was totally cool” (The Drug Years: Feed Your Head). It becomes evident that these socially acceptable films may not, always and alone, be the source of the world’s belligerence.

Though the places hostility can be found is numerous, the source of the consumer demand may not be, according to page eight of Gerard Jones’s Killing: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence. Gerard states, “A lot of us stumble over that as parents, blaming what our children see for making them want things, forgetting that it's our children themselves who are doing the wanting. Each child's fantasies and emotional needs are very much his own, even if he shares them with millions of other kids. When we burden those needs with our own anxieties, we can confuse and frighten children about their own feelings. Adult anxieties about the effects of entertainment are sometimes the real causes of the very effects that we fear most.” This author, journalist and comic clearly stands in favor the idea of keeping the scary movies on the shelf or, at least that we should not oust these movies with only a “No No!” to justify to our youths; this would add to the hysteria about them. Once again, it is clearer that an immediate end to this media seen as negative would not end crime.

The tricks to avoid consumption of any image are moderation, self-control and knowledge: fundamental life-skills that truly indicate what define how to measure level appropriate content. Once theses virtues are achieved, ghastly scenes are viewed maturely, without the negative impact.

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