RE: media violence report in Science

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Apr 15 2002 - 13:47:47 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 13:47:47 +0100
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    Actually Bruce's movies make that all perfectly clear. In 'The Big Boss',
    Bruce is arrested at the end of the film; in 'Fist of Fury' (I believe 'The
    Chinese Connection' in the US) he is shot by the authorities; in 'Way of the
    Dragon' the family is clearly in ruins and he has to go back to Hong Kong.
    Only in the US produced 'Enter the Dragon' is the ending not quite so
    downbeat, and even here it's not quite the James Bond style ending. Bruce's
    films occupy an amibguous space in terms of attitudes towards violence, in
    the same way that all those Steve Reeves movies about Hercules (and the
    like) occupy an ambiguous relationship to fascism (reflecting the post-war
    Italian ambiguity over what happened), the films usually ending with the
    muscle-bound hero turning down the people's call for him to lead them).

    Kids need guidance to help them recognise the complexities of such things-
    and top marks for you doing that with your son (and also for letting him
    watching Bruce Lee movies!).

            <What I fear is that it teaches children and young adults the lesson
    > 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.>
            Besides society does instruct us, outside of the media, that
    violence is a legitimate means to resolve conflict and deal with wrongdoers-
    from the death sentence, to nightsticks and tasers, to military responses to
    terrorism, to smacking etc. etc. If we want the media to convey socially
    responsible messages, best make all other parts of society do it also. Some
    people see revenge as justice after all.


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