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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:14 AM

Violent media poisoning nation's soul

Mick LaSalle / San Francisco Chronicle / 1-1-13

We enter 2013 with the sickening, dispiriting events in Newtown, Conn., still fresh in mind and yet without much conviction that anything can be done to prevent such future horrors. Obviously, the overriding issue is that we have a gun problem in the United States and a political climate that has been, at least until now, too timid to do anything about it.

But we also have a culture problem, and we know this. We know, because though Newtown shocked us and stopped us in our tracks and continues to haunt our imaginations, it did not surprise us.

If the Newtown killings were an act of terrorism, the whole country would be mobilized to protect itself from the Other. But this felt like something from within, not just from within our borders, but from within the soul of the nation. And in talking about matters of the soul, our cultural gatekeepers have been just as timid as our politicians.

Fourteen years ago, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano, in "Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill," were warning us about the effects of violent video games and movies on young and impressionable minds. They compared the games that kids play to the conditioning that soldiers and Marines get in order to desensitize them to killing. They pointed out that by the time children reach adulthood they have witnessed hundreds of thousands of simulated violent deaths and have come to associate witnessing death and mayhem with pleasure.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Violent-media-poisoning-nation-s-soul-4160035.php

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Violent media poisoning nation's soul (Original post)
Auggie Jan 2013 OP
modrepub Jan 2013 #1
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #2
Auggie Jan 2013 #3
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #6
bongbong Jan 2013 #4
Auggie Jan 2013 #5
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #7
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #8
Igel Jan 2013 #9

Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:29 AM

1. Something to This

Remember reading something on training soldiers during the Civil War. Military observers noted that most raw troops would hesitate before firing their weapons because they had an emotional lock not to fire on another human being. This hesitation, of course, can be fatal in battle situations. To remove this "problem" soldiers are desensitized by becoming more mechanical in their shooting process and shooting at targets. All of this "training", however, doesn't help those battle experienced people from reliving their tramma at a later date.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:37 AM

2. In some quarters your post is already an "NRA talking point."

Since that group has also taken a similar position.

I don't know how much violent videos and movies cause folks to be de-sensitized, or flip out. I'm a defender of the Second Amendment, and I share your concerns, mainly because violence is packaged so artificially. When I go hunting (an act of violence is required) I am in a very real world; it's not all of reality, and it doesn't equate to the other horrible acts of violence in real life, but it makes Pacman Plus seem so weak and shallow, and it makes Armani-dressed gunmen synthetic.

Alienation and social impotence can cause one to wither and rage. And there is always a market for it. I just go hunting.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:59 AM

3. LaSalle is calling for media/movie reviewers to point out "cruel and nihilistic" messaging ...

and for a re-examining of the movie rating system (LaSalle is a long-time film reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle).

I agree with him.


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Response to Auggie (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:11 PM

6. Well, as long as it is a rating. I don't know how it will affect things.

There may be something to the media saturation of mass muders' life. I favor relegation into obscurity and unmarked graves. But that is wishful thinking, too, I guess.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:38 PM

4. He's a media reviewer

 

So in his case, "when you have a hammer every problem looks like a nail" becomes "when you're a videogame reviewer, every problem looks like it's caused by videogames"

It isn't true, since the example of other countries' love of violent videogames hasn't translated to more gun deaths.

Just another NRA Talking Point (AKA Big Lie), designed to take the heat of Precious.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:59 PM

5. Did you read the entire article?

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:12 PM

7. See?

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:24 PM

8. I remember when it was Dungeons and Dragons that was the problem

Before that it was comic books and before that it was pulp fiction and dime novels.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:54 PM

9. Right. We force kid to watch violent, misogynistic, hateful content.

Just like the Klan had to teach Southerners in the late 1800s to be racist.


You watch what suits you. If you don't like violence, you don't play violent video games. The most that happens is peer pressure.

If you don't like misogynistic porn, nobody's going to forcibly download it to your computer, remote run it, and both disable the computer's shut-off controls while making sure you're strapped down.

If you don't like Tarantino films, you're unlikely to (a) watch many of them, (b) sit through one of them while paying close attention, (c) be the sort of person to think, "Gee, I could be doing that instead of watching this wimpy film! Where's my AR with the 250 round magazine teflon-coated steel-jacketed depleted uranium bullets?"

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