Saturday, February 14, 2009

We Are What We Consume

In the freewheeling '80s, the Moral Majority started taking the matter of sex and violence in TV shows and the movies more seriously. There was a lot of sarcasm on the left, with people comparing the denunciations of American culture by Christian Coalition types with the mullahs in Iran (the assumption being, if the Iranians criticize America and they're nuts, the Christians must be similarly off their rockers). "Change the channel!" was a popular retort. Others believe that individuals are inherently violent or not violent, and so the content of what's on TV wouldn't affect them one way or another--the violent were going to end up evil anyway.

As in my previous entry, I can't help but marvel at the selective outrage, as Hollyweird is willing to self-censor on issues like smoking. Bad guys are now seen as smoking, not good guys. Smoking is no longer sophisticated or cool, but bad for you, and so must be portrayed as evil (Arthur C. Clarke even suggested that film editors could make a great deal of money digitizing out scenes of smoking from old movies).

So imagine my lack of surprise when I see that the dirtbag who shot five people at my alma mater was tossed from the Army, in part because of his obsessive fandom of movie murderers. Imagine my further lack of surprise when I hear that former President Clinton suggested reinstituting the "Fairness Doctrine." So apparently, only SOME things in the media can influence children and must be removed--and those things would be anything that conservatives think or do.

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