Violent entertainment

I decided to write a little something about this after stumbling over a link in Tuesday Morning Quarterback. The irony in writing about violent entertainment as pointed to by a column on football does not escape me.That said… Gregg Easterbrook has a serious point. Yes, smoking in movies is bad. But why? Well… because showing smoking in a cool light likely aids and abets kids with smoking. Are there stats out there? I suspect yes and no, stats can be massaged. But answer this and try to be honest for a moment: when you first saw the cool guy smoke in a movie or saw someone flip out a lighter to take car of a hot woman’s cigarette in a movie, didn’t it register? Sure, maybe you were cool enough or smart enough or aware enough to know better but it was there. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Zippo lighter, master of film and just generally a cool thing. Doubt it? Bring one out at a party and watch people play with it. I cannot for a moment believe that anyone thinks there is not fire behind the smoke (if you will allow the allusion) of showing cigarettes in film as being cool. Fair enough, let’s take that as granted.So what about violence in film?Easterbrook points to an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics that purports to say that violence in film and television clearly has a correlation to violence in kids. A cursory reading backs that up and frankly I am too tired to read the whole thing. People can start nit-picking now. But here is the question: have you ever watched a show or movie that was violent or disturbed you? Did you have nightmares? Did it ever make  you think about violence? Sure… sure… we are well-adjusted people who are intelligent (you are reading this after all). We know that violence is wrong. But somehow it creeps in anyway. Maybe it’s a bad dream, maybe it’s that small, tiny amount of aggression in the grocery store line. But it’s there.Try the converse for a moment. Does romantic music make you feel romantic? Will a slow lullaby put you to sleep? Will a sad drama make you cry? So why in the world is anyone doubting that a violent movie would have similar consequences?Like global warming aren’t the facts there and the only thing is to debate what to do about it?In our case we simply don’t tend to have violent media in our home. We know our kids will get access elsewhere and like everything else we are not as pure as the driven snow (a certain weakness for “The Sopranos” means I am human:-). But really, why not shield your kids as much as you can? They will see plenty of violence without your help.

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