Subject: Re: Real vs. film violence
I'm sorry, but I've just got to wade in here.
Ulf is on track. I've read the stuff too.
Research to make the connection between entertainment and behavior is
spurious at best.
Okay, so David Smith wants to hear why his fellow Americans are so enamored
with "action" in entertainment.
I want to make clear that I hold the belief that the consequences of placing
oneself in the path of messages for the purposes of entertainment are very
small compared to the influences on behavior arriving through other household
avenues. The assault on America is more a product of a mass reluctance to
investigate the inner self than it is a product of some conspiracy to subvert
the Constitution. Imagination and creativity are under attack. Corporate
steam roller strategies are devaluing the contribution that creative minds
make to advancing civilization.
A population that believes that it is more important to be wealthy than to
illuminate the soul will eventually resort to desperate means to acquire that
goal. Marshall McLuhan suggested a long time ago that there was a direct
relationship between a sense of identity and aggression. The less a person
has an identity the more likely they will resort to violent means to assert
Considering the social and technological changes that have occured in the
past 30 years it is not hard to identify myriad ways in which the cultural,
communal, spiritual, and personal identities of Americans has been withering.
Some circumstances cannot be anticipated. Others can be dealt with. I feel
that hijacking aircraft in the seventies was a direct result of the loss of
national identity of the people who wanted to draw media attention to their
When a young viewer has the unsettling perception that they are powerless in
their own world they will respond. That message may arrive through a film or
it may arrive through their parent(s). Their preference for entertainment
which features people taking action is completely understandable as a
consequence of that lack of identity; not the other way around.
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