Hands off...
September 13, 2000 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Hands off... I'm a Gore/Lieberman supporter, but his recent threats of government intervention into violent entertainment (along with Lynne Cheney) make me a little angry.
posted by owillis (16 comments total)
Yeah, I know it's not an original thought, but isn't Lieberman an orthodox jew? Isn't the old testement filled with sex and rape and murder? I mean, isn't a woman chopped into little peices and mailed to a bunch of people in that book? Aren't thouands or millions of people intentionally drowned? Do christians/jews read that book to their little bitty impressionable babies? Cause maybe they should stop.
posted by Doug at 5:46 PM on September 13, 2000

I don't think ancient israel had a reliable postal service, doug.

look, lots of people object to the marketing of cigarettes to minors; how is this different? I'm a strong proponent of free speech, but can we have free speech and still protect minors from forms that are consensually deemed to be offensive? (to some extent we already try to do this with our various rating systems.)

to be truthful, for me the most confusing thing about this debate has been its identification of the simpsons as a children's show; I've never, ever thought of it this way. it's a *cartoon*; that doesn't automatically make it a children's show.

I posted a link on today's pocket which states that the consensus now is pretty much that violent entertainment causes aggression.

at the very least, advertising anything supposedly forbidden to children on a children's show is disingenuous, and I'd say pretty slimy.

I don't like the idea of government regulation to solve every little problem, either, but when you have a completely irresponsible industry (the tobacco companies come to mind) which puts profit above all else--and in doing so puts a proportion of a vulnerable population at risk--what *should* be done?


posted by rebeccablood at 6:26 PM on September 13, 2000

Come on Rebecca, I never said the pieces GOT there...

So if we can say that there are ideas and images that are innapropriate for children (which I agree with), then we must come to the conclusion that this is the case because children are impressionable. If we thought watching violent porno would have no effect on a child, there wouldn't be this uproar. And not that it wouldn't have an effect on an "adult," but children are below a mental level in which they can chose to voluntarily screw their brains up. So, if children are impressionable and below the age of consent for voluntary mind-fucking, shouldn't we just not advertise to children? I dunno, I don't think we should, and I was just wondering what you think.
posted by Doug at 6:46 PM on September 13, 2000

Don't these hypothetical little fuckers have parents, for heaven's sake? What about their responsibility to determine what their children should and shouldn't see? If the advertising is too graphic, then turn the damned TV off and read 'em a book, you morons.

I am so sick of hearing America's social ills blamed on the "entertainment industry," as if those buying the tickets to see all that crap bore no responsibility for the outcome - it's just the big, bad Media Companies turning an evil buck. "Violent content leads to aggression." Oh, that's a big surprise. So if you don't want little Johnny and little Janey to be aggressive with the rest of their third grade class - how about checking out the video games before they buy 'em, Mom?! Get your fat ass off the couch, turn off Jerry Springer and get involved.

There are already plenty of ways to keep kids from seeing entertainment not intended for their impressionable little eyes, whether they see advertising for it or not. If you don't want you kids exposed to it, it's your job as a parent to make sure they don't.
posted by m.polo at 7:10 PM on September 13, 2000

Lieberman has basically been trying to shut down things like video games and professional wrestling for years. As a huge fan of both, he's on my shit list.

There's never been a scientific study that proves that video games (for example) cause kids to behave badly. Lieberman certainly thinks they do. I grew up playing gorry games, watching wrestling and seeing violent films. I turned out just fine, because my parents taught me wrong from right. If some bastard kid ends up reinacting something they've seen in an entertainment form, I say, don't blame the entertainment, blame the parents for not teaching the kids wrong from right. Chances are they would have done something fucked up even with out said "violent entertainment" anyway.

Besides, this is why there is now ratings on all major forms of entertianment now (movies, games, tv, etc). I say they've done enough. Let the parents do their jobs, and quit promoting false truths about the "negative" effects of media.
posted by vitaflo at 7:33 PM on September 13, 2000

"Lieberman has basically been trying to shut down things like video games and professional wrestling for years. As a huge fan of both, he's on my shit list."

By "shut down video games," do you mean he actually wants to get rid of the entire video game industry, from Arkanoid to Zelda? If so, then I definitely agree with you.

And though I've never liked wrestling, I'd watch Ultimate Fighting if I could. Is that even on TV (PayPerView) anymore? I only saw part of a match when the short-lived craze first started.

posted by CrayDrygu at 7:51 PM on September 13, 2000

there's a sickness in this country-- it's called greed! If violent tv and movies and games didn't sell, they wouldn't be made. they sell. they are made. the envelope is pushed, as there are consumers who want it to be pushed. The government's role could be to educate us about what's really going on, but since the government is infested with greed at just about every level, that doesn't work. what we need are strong non-governmental organizations that can invigorate and educate the populace to demand that corporations curb their greed in cases where we, the consumers are on the losing end. while i think Nader may be advocating too large of a government, one of the best things he talks about is bringing back strong Non Government Organizations-- groups that can reinvigorate interest in the direction our country is going. People do care... but they are too splintered to ever wield power in any real sense.

I am all for violent entertainment-- I love it when it's done well. but i am also for civic groups that educate parents about their responsibilities, and even for groups that lobby corporations to produce a better product for their children-- unfortunately freedom of speech is only so powerful when no one can hear you.
posted by chaz at 8:36 PM on September 13, 2000

Chaz makes a lot of sense, and I would like to subscribe to his newsletter.
posted by thirteen at 8:39 PM on September 13, 2000

lol. just visit my yahoo club (via my webpage, via my mf profile) to sign up.
posted by chaz at 9:55 PM on September 13, 2000

If you read further down in the story Rebecca linked, you'll see that the consensus isn't really there. There may be something close to a consensus that doses of violent entertainment can have an effect on children under controlled circumstances, but there's little-to-no proof that it means much in the real world, where kids have zillions of stimuli 24/7. Stimuli such as, oh, parents with some sense of right and wrong? Remember, if this sort of entertainment was truly that dangerous, we'd all be pretty violent. Yet somehow, 99% of us manage to come out okay.

Remember, violence existed before TV was invented.
posted by aaron at 10:16 PM on September 13, 2000

Finally. Maybe with all the kids playing Candyland instead of Quake III, I can finally win a Deathmatch or two.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 11:07 PM on September 13, 2000

Meanwhile over here, we get to see more sex and violence, while our kids see less. At last some (relatively) rational thinking by the film censors.
posted by Markb at 3:26 AM on September 14, 2000

Well, Titus, on general release in the UK, is based upon a script which features all sorts of nasty things, including entrail pie. Yum. Which isn't pleasant, but I'm not campaigning for Shakespeare to be banned.

I'm pretty much with Chaz on this: but I'd say also that "content providers" have responsibilities alongside those of parents. If, as was suggested, the movie companies are organising pre-teen focus groups for R-rated films in the US, while the MPAA distinguishes between "hard" and "soft Rs" and makes weasel words about "advisibility", then it's about fucking time that Jack Valenti got told to change the ratings system to something vaguely sensible.

There's violence done smartly, and there's violence done stupidly; just as there's comedy and romance done well and done badly. And if you could censor stupidity, I'd feel a lot happier.
posted by holgate at 7:05 AM on September 14, 2000

Only violence I do after I'm done with my game is throwing the CD against the wall. Stupid zombie dude killed me.

But seriously, this cliche attacking by lobby groups is getting so ridiculous, and less and less of it is based on any real backing. There is a paragraph in the Yahoo! article that talks about a report from the FTC, but there's no link to the real report or any backing to what they're saying about marketing to minors. It's disgusting when people like Lieberman exploit Columbine, calling it a wakeup call to the American people that the entertainment industry has gone to far. Instead of disgusting the real causes and factors involved in school violence.

They have nothing to stand on. Period. It's going to come to the point where the entertainment industry is just going to laugh in the face of these lobby groups and politicians, as if they were bums on the street corner praddling on mindless nonsense.

This is worse then the baseless allegations that Elvis Presley's dance moves ahd sexual undertones.. ugh.
posted by thirdball at 11:33 AM on September 14, 2000

Oops.. the FTC article is online.
posted by thirdball at 2:02 PM on September 14, 2000

but when you have a completely irresponsible industry (the tobacco companies come to mind) which puts profit above all else

just to be flippant for a moment - is there any other KIND of industry?

posted by Mars Saxman at 2:37 PM on September 14, 2000

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