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March 1995, Week 5


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Ulf Dalquist <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 29 Mar 1995 17:11:52 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
David Smith wrote:
>In case anybody was wondering, I am not an advocate of film
>censorship on the basis of violence or anything else. I do think
>that the overall level of violence in America is truly frightening,
>whether we are discussing the products of Hollywood, the
>ceaseless domestic slaughter occasioned by the cult of the gun,
>or America's collective glee at the mass execution of 100,000+
>Iraqi conscripts, burned and blasted by the technological might
>of America while they cowered in their trenches, or in headlong
>retreat. Excuse me, but this IS sick.
>What has been the role of Hollywood in fomenting America's
>unslakeable thirst for blood? I'm speaking of course of the beloved
>'action film', before which millions of braindead schlubs sit
>entranced, getting their fix of vicarious excitement. Lest there
>be any confusion on this point, I exclude art-house films such as
>Tarentino's RESERVOIR DOGS, which I see as a parody of American
>firearms machismo and not an 'action film' that seeks to apply a
>quasi-repectable veneer of moral (or, at least, emotional)
>justification over the violence-for-its-own-sake.
Being one of those braindead schlubs, I'd like to recommend mr Smith some
bedside reading:
Richard Sparks: Television and the Drama of Crime - to understand that most
action films/cop shows are tales of morality, including very LITTLE
violence-for-its-own-sake and lots of violence-for-the-sake-of-saving-other
person's lives/society/the universe.
Pierre Bourdieu: Distinction - to realize that your aversion against popular
culture is nothing but an attempt to, through the display of 'better taste'
distancing yourself from the lower classes. The distinction between low-brow and
high-brow culture is nothing but a way of defending class differences.
Get well soon,
Ulf Dalquist                Phone:  +46 46 104266
Dept. of Sociology          Fax:    +46 46 104794
Box 114 221 00 Lund SWEDEN  E-mail: [log in to unmask]