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View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: Thursday (251 comments)

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  •  The culture has always been screwed. (8+ / 0-)

    The mass of Americans are bored stiff. Can you imagine if you took away reality TV, violent movies, and organized sports? People would kill each other, only much faster than they do now.

    Bread and circus, baby!

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:15:47 AM PDT

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    •  well, we could kick this around endlessly. (8+ / 0-)

      There WAS a time, before TV and movies, when Americans did not walk into theaters, schools, shopping centers, etc, and kill as many innocents as they could find.   Just for the hell of it.  Or to make a statement.

      Right now we have Bread and Circus, but instead of it being brought to you by your Emperor, it is brought to you by a gaggle of private enterprise emperors--and they bring it into your own little home so your kids can watch!  

      ecstatically baffled

      by el vasco on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:24:57 AM PDT

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      •  No, before movies and TV we had (11+ / 0-)

        Arizona and Montana and, and, and. Where people walked into public spaces and shot at each other. After movies and TV, we started to romanticize that. We still do.

        Then we embarked on a century of prohibition of drugs and for a while, alcohol, creating another class of gangsters aside from the financial ones so keenly developed during the Gilded Age.

        I personally don't think limiting kids exposure to violence will do the trick. I think selfishness, not violence, is the problem.

        What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

        by commonmass on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:35:25 AM PDT

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        •  does that mean you are comfortable with the (6+ / 0-)

          current saturation level of violent "entertainment" available?  Do you feel that video "shooter" games and films such as Hostel, or Saw, are not part of the problem?   If you had kids would you want them exposed to such things?

          ecstatically baffled

          by el vasco on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:42:19 AM PDT

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          •  If I had kids I would take them out in the (9+ / 0-)

            country and teach them how to shoot a gun, and how to respect one and then set the proper example by not keeping guns in my house, which I do not. I would want my kids to understand that guns are weapons, and not toys or some kind of "forbidden fruit".

            And yes, I would severely limit their TV and internet time but I would also expose them to some of this media violence and then have a talk about it. Sheltering kids is always a bad idea, but for the alternative, you actually have to "do" parenting, something apparently many people are too lazy or too busy to do.

            What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

            by commonmass on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:54:10 AM PDT

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            •  well, your approach is much like mine. (6+ / 0-)

              But my main question remains unanswered:  are you comfortable with the current media culture?   I am not and I continue to hope that our President will speak up and keep speaking up.  One little peep won't do it.
                By the way, forgive me if I appear to be scolding you.  I am not.  I have read your comments for years and i know that your heart is good.    This issue is one that has caused a lot of verbal tomatoes to be thrown at me over the years here at DKos.   One weakness of the progressive set is our fawning acceptance of shit from the people who bring us "entertainment".

              ecstatically baffled

              by el vasco on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:05:43 AM PDT

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              •  Well, I see it this way, and I'm glad we're having (7+ / 0-)

                this conversation because it's an important one and because it DOES cause emotions to run high, having it in a reasoned and polite way, like we are here, is really key.

                I don't care what garbage Hollywood makes. We all have a choice as to what we watch and don't watch. Rather than pressuring Hollywood to make different films--something that has never been successful with the possible exception of the Hayes Code which did more bad than good and the ratings system, which is a total joke for a variety of reasons starting with the people who make the decisions and progressing to their obsession with sexuality no matter how it's portrayed over violence. Now, where I begin to have a problem is marketing violence to kids. There is a place to start, IMO. You can't target kids in cigarette ads (what cigarette ads?!) and you shouldn't be able to target them promoting violent games and films. But kids ARE going to see them, and that's not going to change without draconian censorship which, I believe, no one really wants to see on either side of the debate.

                I enjoyed, for instance, HBO's Boardwalk Empire which is very, very violent and includes scenes of torture, dismemberment, and gruesome gun murder. But one of the things this series makes you think about--no matter how exaggerated and fictionalized it may be--is the corrupting influence of prohibition, something we struggle with today in the form of the effects of the "war on drugs". Has this series value? Absolutely. Would I let my 10 year old watch it? Probably not.

                I am not comfortable with our current media culture because I am not comfortable with our current culture. I do not, however, favor censorship, which is the point of view I believe liberals should take, standing against censorship. Far more corrosive than media is politics, and far more violence has been advocated there than in creative media. See "second amendment remedies" for starters.

                If we stopped warehousing our children we'd help stop violence, but that would entail a complete revolution in society including jobs which paid enough for people to be able to spend time with their children for instance. This is a societal problem which runs very deep and is not going to be solved with putting band aids on symptoms.

                I hope we all wise up. Soon.

                What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

                by commonmass on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:24:33 AM PDT

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                •  I think we're on very similar pages. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Audri, commonmass, The Marti, koosah

                  Beautifully written, by the way.   I agree that formal governmental censorship is not the way.  I am not opposed to some forms of very local censorship.  For example: small town codes that forbid naked dancing ladies in bars.  If you really need to see that, drive a few miles.

                  But I do think that the public needs to wake up re the level of sadistic violence that is poured like gravy over half the films and video games made these days.   And trust me--unless you're a Mennonite, you will never protect your 10 year old from the constant flow of trash.  I still am haunted by the day my then 11 year old son asked me why people make movies that include torture.  He had seen such a film because the parents of a friend were morons.  He was very disturbed by it.  he was old enough to know the difference between documentary films and entertainment.  Try to compose a good answer yourself.  

                  One way to limit the flow of such material is simple and wholesale public scorn and boycoot, as corny as that may sound.

                  ecstatically baffled

                  by el vasco on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:48:12 AM PDT

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                  •  Boycoot? I'm all in. LOL. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    The Marti, el vasco, koosah

                    Seriously, you're right, it's only going to happen by changing the market for that stuff. Totally. It's not corny, it's really the only way it's going to happen in a way that both liberals and conservatives can deal with, ie, without censorship. IMO, the censorship thing is the common ground. True conservatives hate it (though they are a dying breed), and so do progressives.

                    As far as local censorship is concerned, I'm not so sure it's a good idea. Love him or hate him, but John Waters suffered under it. There's still a town in New York State that has a warrant out for his arrest for obscenity! For years his films could not be shown in Baltimore. I suppose if local towns want to try something puritanical, OK, but what that does is make people against violent media look like prigs. Your public pressure approach is, alas, probably the only thing we've got because Hollywood, for the most part, only understands one thing: money.

                    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

                    by commonmass on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

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          •  This keeps coming up (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Audri, leu2500, el vasco, The Marti

            The same (or even more violent) games, movies, TV shows, etc., are available in all prosperous countries. If it were strictly a media problem, then they would have similar problems with violence.

            Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

            by milkbone on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:29:30 AM PDT

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    •  Sounds like a plan. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, commonmass

      There's too many of us anyway.

      When lots of people show up to vote, Democrats tend to win.

      by Audri on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:44:17 AM PDT

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