RE: media violence report in Science

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun Apr 14 2002 - 04:20:00 BST

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 23:20:00 -0400
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    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    >Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 18:48:37 -0700
    >>Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    >>Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 18:20:23 -0400
    >>Hello, Wade,
    >>What do you make of the article Ray posted? It suggests that watching
    >>violence on TV DOES lead to a greater propensity for violent behavior in
    >>I am not suggesting that a person isn't responsible for what they do,
    >>regardless of how much or what kind of TV they have watched. But I would
    >>be surprised if by watching violence a person does not accustom himself to
    >>the patterns he observes.
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > On Saturday, April 13, 2002, at 03:48 , Lawrence DeBivort wrote:
    >> >
    >> > > It makes me wonder what impact living amidst inescapable real daily
    >> > > violence
    >> > > has on Palestinians and Israelis. Thoughts, anyone?
    >> >
    >> > Media violence has always been a red herring of the politically useless
    >> > liberal set and the intellectually challenged social science set and
    >> > always will be.
    >> >
    >> > The people living amidst violence smell real blood and see real
    >> > They answer in kind, or they answer in flight, or they answer in fear,
    >> > because they are human and they feel.
    >> >
    >> > There is no preparation for violent motive or action from media images
    >> > and never has been, nor has there ever been any needed for man to kill
    >> > his neighbor or his kin or his enemy.
    >> >
    >> > Pushing off the relentless capacity for evil upon an image is sheer
    >> > idiocy.
    >> >
    >> > - Wade
    >> >
    >What I fear is that it teaches children and young adults the lesson that
    >violence is the proper reaction to certain kinds of behavior and a solution
    >to certain kinds of problems. I had to help my son unlearn the lessons he
    >was learning from watching kung fu movies. I found him trying to justify
    >his actions against his sisters on the basis of a need for revenge. His
    >idol was Bruce Lee. He was taken aback when I pointed out to him that in
    >all those movies where the hero went through untold hardship and suffering
    >before he extracted revenge, the hero's family and friends were all killed
    >or mutilated. And I asked him how revenge helped any of them. It was the
    >lesson the movie makers failed to make clear.
    In movies or other types of media (expectating a thorough bashing by Vince
    at any time now) there may be violence at a superficial level, yet lessons,
    morals, or meanings at a deeper level. Maybe some kids (or some adults)
    maybe not grasp what is occurring at this deeper level. I recently watched
    "Training Day" (starring Denzel Washington) and though the movie was violent
    (some may think gratuitously so) I came away with a different thought
    pattern about the possibilities of police corruption. War movies are
    typically violent (almost by definition), yet there are messages beyond the
    violence to be abstracted from something like "Platoon". That movie wouldn't
    have come off very well if it was candy-coated for popular consumption. I
    recently watched Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange" and though a violent film it
    attempted to look at the prison system and alternative means of treating
    criminals (for better or worse) in a rather twisted way. I'd say "Clockwork
    Orange" was shocking even by today's standards, for violent content. I can
    imagine the ruckus is caused when released (ca. 1971). BBTW, I thought it
    odd that just tonite I caught a music video (I think by Rob Zombie) where
    there was much borrowing from "Clockwork Orange".

    I guess the issue is what influence media portrayal of violence has on
    people's behavior (children especially). Violence has been, still is, and
    will continue to be a part of human experience in the "real world". Violence
    predated movies and TV by many years. Movies and TV's potrayal violences as
    a means of capturing this reality. Should TV and movies be candy-coated and
    portray a sanitized ideal in some hopes of humanity thus achieving some more
    civilized state?

    And to paraphrase something IIRC "Politically Incorrect"'s host Bill Maher
    has commented on in the past, why should we gear eveything toawrds children
    as in why should every aspect of media (or whatever else) be assessed in
    terms of "What about the children"? This is, if anthing else, largely unfair
    to people who do not have children. Why should their sources of
    entertainment be limited because it may be possible that some kid (not of
    their making BTW) may happen upon some TV show or movie when channel
    surfing? In a similar respect, why should my rights be limited (like access
    to TV, movies) because of the lack of maturity or moral defects of others?
    That appears to be a possible outcome of this constant focus on media engineering. Kinda reminds me a bit of the part of
    "Clockwork Orange" where the main character is behaviorally modified into
    associating images of sex and violence with intense nausea. Too bad about
    Ludwig van's song ;-)

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