so what about the weinstein’s film bully which is clearly trying to positively influence society by addressing the issue of bullying in schools? and now it won’t be shown in schools because the mpaa has given it an R rating because of the ‘f’ word? this is a good example of the disagreements people will have over what constitutes ‘positive values’. the mpaa is clearly more concerned with language than they are over depictions of violence in many PG-13 rated films! as if kids don’t hear bad language every day, it’s assumed to be more harmful than watching people being assaulted or killed! sex is a natural and healthy expression of life but i’d be willing to bet that MANY parents would rather their kids see total carnage (i.e. transfomers and such) than a naked person any day. and healthy relationships? i think many would probably prefer to define that as strictly between a man and a woman, of the same race. that’s bigotry but there’s still plenty of it out there. just read the papers! so who is to decide these things? will we vote on it? it’s an impossible situation. if u don’t like it
and let others decide for themselves!!
^ Because Michael Fassbinder’s penis is Weapon of Mass Destruction.
I mean honestly, any decent American’s head would explode if they saw it.
@JazzalohaI think some consideration towards positively influencing the society is appropriate, while failure to do this is irresponsible and maybe even reprehensible.
But what is your definition of a positive influence on society? Do you think everybody would agree with that definition?
And isn’t it possible that a work could have a profoundly positive effect on an individual without necessary have a similar effect “on society.” People always complain about pop culture trying to appeal to the broadest possible swath of people. Wouldn’t this just end up being a different version of that?
(for the record, I do think there’s a lot of art that has a positive influence, but I don’t think it’s possible to standardize it)
me too ^ art IS a positive influence on society. what jazz is suggesting frightens me
sorry if i got a little worked up about it :p
my eyes are blinking neon, ruby
just trying to make a point. repeatedly. lol
k i’m swearing off this convo. again :P
Ruby said, so what about the weinstein’s film bully which is clearly trying to positively influence society by addressing the issue of bullying in schools? and now it won’t be shown in schools because the mpaa has given it an R rating because of the ‘f’ word? this is a good example of the disagreements people will have over what constitutes ‘positive values’.
There are going to be disagreements, and these disagreements are legitimate—and in those cases, I imagine individuals—both the people who make the films and the people that watch them—will have to make that decision. However, it doesn’t follow that there aren’t areas of agreement. Whatever we may think about violence and its place in society, I think most people would agree that glamorizing violence, revenge, anger, etc. in a way that ignores the drawbacks and costs is bad thing—not to mention irresponsible—especially if this is an industry norm.
I understand the trepidation towards censors, and I’ve repeatedly said that this is a valid concern, but can we acknowledge that filmmakers and the film industry also bear some level of responsibility? Furthermore, if we really believe that the status quo—i.e., let big business make films, TV shows, etc. strictly with profit in mind without any consideration about the effects on society—is preferable to any other option, can we admit the drawbacks and consequences of such an approach? For example, the “turn it off” is not really a serious solution to the concerns I’m raising because people aren’t going to “turn it off” precisely because these films, TV shows, etc. work on very compelling and often baser parts of who we are. Moreover, children and young people often don’t have the discipline and self-restraint to avoid these things—and parents aren’t often present to help them. The “turn it off” response is no different from the “just say no” campaign for drugs and sex—for significant numbers of people, it’s just not going to happen.
Moreover, I think this type of response basically absolves filmmakers and the film industry of any responsibility—and puts it all on the viewers. You don’t like the sexist depictions of females? Well, “turn it off.” You don’t like stereotypical portrayals of minorities? “Turn it off.” That approach and response doesn’t fly with me.
I don’t think there is one definition, nor does there have to be. Again, I think there are areas of consensus that are meaningful. As I mentioned earlier, most people would agree that physical attractiveness and great sex aren’t the most important part of a relationship. You’re likely not going to marry someone who looks like Angelina Jolie, and if you don’t, that’s not a major loss. Girls shouldn’t have to feel like they need to look like Angelina, either. If these things are happening, I’d guess most of us would agree that it’s not healthy or positive—for the young people involved or society in general.
The argument I’m hearing is that since we can NEVER, to ANY degree on what constitutes positive and negative values, we need to let big business do whatever they want; that they bear no responsibility whatsoever, as it’s up to individuals to turn it off.
I understand what you’re saying, Jazz.
But I don’t know how you can curb that sort of stuff except through censorship, as they used to do with movies in the past. I mean, what do you do about something like this other than impose censorship?
MPAA is an association of FUCKING idiots. FUCK those morons.
I think a really good start is to just start the discussion about the industry’s responsibility. To me, the kind of arguments made in this thread prevent that kind of discussion from happening, and I’m sure the industry likes that just fine. Whether the industry changes in any substantive way is another story. But if this becomes a public issue—which is a bit scary because you could see how some would run with it—and thinking about this more, it even makes me pause—then I could envision the same sort of pressure—both positive and negative—towards corporations being more socially responsible. I’m sure economic consequences play a big role in that type of shift, but public opinion isn’t insignificant either (and they sometimes go hand-in-hand).
Honestly, an endless parade of threads like this in which these pathetic pieces of shit films (that promote and legitimize and glorify violence as a perfectly normal and commendable order of things) are “discussed” (and therefore promoted) probably doesn’t help either, Jazz.
Of course the industry bears a huge amount of responsibility for what it turns out. And they should be held accountable. And one of the more effective ways to do that is to not watch the shit. If you do watch it, call the mother fuckers out on the fact that they glorify violence. Don’t fucking promote it or legitimize it. No child should be exposed to the amount of violence in Transformers movies.
A so-called “obscene” word in itself has never hurt or killed anyone. Yes, obscene words can be coupled with mental or physical abuse, but that’s an entirely different matter. But decades of research have categorically proven that there is a significant correlation between violent acts and exposure to films and TV shows that promote violence.
We as a society have been so desensitized to the glorification of violence that our priorities as human beings have been turned upside down.
Honestly, an endless parade of threads like this in which these pathetic pieces of shit (that promote and legitimize and glorify violence as a perfectly normal and commendable order of things) films are “discussed” probably doesn’t help either, Jazz.
Well, you got me there. I confess that I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I do enjoy action films—which do glorify violence; and I do enjoy talking about action films as well. Having said that, if the film industry stopped the assembly line for films like this, I honestly think that would be a good thing. (Man, does this really mean I need to stop watching action films?)
But decades of research have categorically proven that there is a significant correlation between violent acts and exposure to films and TV shows that promote violence.
Wait. These two sentences seem to contradict each other, not to mention the previous sentence about the facgt that the industry does bear some responsibility.
Yes, I’d say again that the industry does bear responsibility. At the same time, that doesn’t absolve US the consumers of the responsibility to remind them of their responsibility. There’s no law that coerces us to watch and promote these films.
And no, Jazz, I don’t think you’re being a “hypocrite.” Not at all. I know you, and I realize that you are obviously not someone who would be more prone to committing or condoning violence because of exposure to some action movies.
However… I will say this. I think the fact that you forgot for a moment that your own fondness for action films might actually somewhat weaken your argument about the industry’s responsibilities is indeed a testament to the fact that we as a society have become somewhat immune to the violent content in these movies. I’m not worried about Jazzaloha—a cinephile who also happens to enjoy action movies—watching these films because you can obviously put the films into some sort of context. Kids, however, cannot. And they are bombarded with this shit 24-7. The industry has a responsibility, but we do also. It’s two-fold. It’s so easy to forget just how much violence we’ve come to take for granted as a society.
Jazz, it seems to me that you are coming to this question from the wrong way around, and that is what is having an impact on your “answer”. If there are values to which we can all agree on without question or internal opposition, than in society those things should be able to be realized. That society isn’t able to find or maintain these alleged values should suggest that there is more to the question than saying we all can agree peace love and harmony are good. If there is something in a movie which truly bothers us, say overt racism, we will be truly bothered, and we won’t take to the film. If we aren’t bothered by the film, than it isn’t having that sort of effect on us which means we aren’t noticing any instances of racism or whatever that may or may not exist in the film. Your suggestion then is to say films need to be more forthright about promoting certain values, that is to say the films need to better highlight race and positive reactions to it to basically force people to notice what they wouldn’t have otherwise, that or films should otherwise only show positive interactions among people and avoid negative representations and objectionable actions. This would pretty much drive everyone away from the theater as those who already “know” these things would find the films tedious and heavy handed, and those who don’t would find little to interest them or would feel preached to as the necessary stooping to the lowest level would render the stories virtually inert and uninteresting.
The problem is that we actually like violence and some forms of feeling separate or different than others. Individually those boundaries may vary, but the complexity of human beings isn’t something that can be smoothed out in any reasonable manner. Art doesn’t exist to give answers, if there is an obvious answer which we already know, then a movie dealing with it isn’t of interest as it would simply be didactic and aimed at some “lesser” folk who needed the lesson. Art isn’t science, it doesn’t provide answers, it thrives on dissonance, the contradictory impulses which exist in each of us. A work of art basically deals with the boundaries between two worlds, the real one which we exist and live or day to day lives, and an essentialized or exaggerated one which is then contrasted to the real internally which is where our response comes from.
If you remember, you started a thread for me once on “needing” violence in films. This is what I’m referring to. Even in the most liberal and artiest of art films which seem to directly condemn violence, we often find our “pleasure” or gain our strong emotional response by seeing some character we empathize with suffer or die. This is where the catharsis comes from. We are both enjoying the violence as that is would provides the artistic experience while we are also repulsed by that very violence we need to fully appreciate the film. We need Hamlet to die and take out the entire court of Denmark, or Lear and his daughter to be led off to their ends. Even if a film manages to end ahppily, we still need the protagonist to suffer to make the gained end worth attaining.
This isn’t just true of high art films, or violence, it is generally true of all “art” or entertainment, even if we ourselves don’t enjoy it or find it simplistic or something, someone else might be for reasons similar to those above. Why, for example, are The Dark Knight and Star Wars so damn popular? I would suggest that a key component of their success has to do with how much people “like” the villians and wish them to succeed, or not fully fail. People “know” the so-called good guys are going to win in the end when they start watching the movies, so it isn’t a matter of suspense, but a sense of being torn between what one knows should happen and what one is also enthralled by, the allure of the “bad”. It’s easy to say something like war is bad or violence is unacceptable, but that is a facile attitude which doesn’t begin to explain why war and violence exists. We are more complex than such easy answers can account for, and that underlying complexity is what is measured out in art. Art addresses social goods by showing the contradictions inherent in the social order and in each of us. Art doesn’t exist to give answers, it exists to raise the questions.
I’ve been reading some ancient Greek tragedies lately, and I was initially somewhat surprised at the high level of bloodlust and perversity within them (having been reasonably ignorant of them previously).
I don’t think that the basic human desire for violence and immorality within art and entertainment is ever going to be eradicated or even significantly curbed, Jazz, not least with a “positive agenda” from a few popular and influential filmmakers. Problems of real violence in real life imo ought to be dealt with where they begin: the family environment. A well-adjusted individual who has been raised in a good family is able to enjoy watching violent films (such as Star Wars) without feeling the desire to inflict violence upon people in real life. Those people who are inspired to inflict violence upon others after viewing films such as A Clockwork Orange are people who are already mentally ill walking time-bombs, and the films in these instances are really just “triggers” which could be replaced by a whole plethora of similar triggers, “art” or no. Conflating “art” with a sense of “responsible morality” is just naive, because it has never really been like that and it probably never will be. Art can raise questions as Greg points out, but it has no genuine obligation to do anything beyond that.
Even more than no obligation, I would suggest that art is basically built around feelings of tension and release, even music, so a narrative form is almost, by definition, going to be dealing with areas of our being which don’t allow for easy moralities. Even the Christian mystery itself is based on the notion of suffering and violent death leading to redemption of the world, one doesn’t get the reward without the pain, that’s a large part of the power of the story.
@JazzalohaI don’t think there is one definition, nor does there have to be. Again, I think there are areas of consensus that are meaningful. As I mentioned earlier, most people would agree that physical attractiveness and great sex aren’t the most important part of a relationship. You’re likely not going to marry someone who looks like Angelina Jolie, and if you don’t, that’s not a major loss. Girls shouldn’t have to feel like they need to look like Angelina, either. If these things are happening, I’d guess most of us would agree that it’s not healthy or positive—for the young people involved or society in general.
Bad example, I don’t find her attractive at all ;) Well yeah there are a number of things that most people would qualify as positive values but then again the majority can be wrong. Most people on the planet think religion is something positive, most people on the planet think homosexuality is an aberration, Georges Bush got elected twice lol. Just because the majority agrees with you it doesn’t make your ideas more legitimate.
I certainly don’t wanna let corporations do what they want and I’m in favor of the government being involved in culture, which is how it works in my country and most other developed countries except America. But when it comes to filmmakers, I don’t think they should be under any obligation to do this or that, we shouldn’t place restrictions on artists and their freedom of expression (as long as they don’t break the law). As an individual you can try to improve society through your films but you can’t impose your views on other creators and force them to follow a guideline on what to do and what not to do.
No, I don’t think filmmakers do have responsibility to portray anybody’s values other than their own.
There is a small argument for censorship in terms of what gets shown to young kids, because they’re the only ones who really can be influenced as you seem to suggest anybody can. But, there is absolutely no grounds for government censorship of art shown to adults. If power exists, somebody will come along who wants to abuse it. Let the government censor sexism or racism, they’ll start censoring anything they don’t consider American enough for their tastes, and anything that flatters their donors’ competitors.
Right now we have a situation in America where the legal culture is controlled entirely by people over 60, vast majority white, vast majority male. If we give those same people control over social culture, we all have to live like idealized versions of their childhoods.
Maybe in most other developed nations the government has power over culture, but keep in mind which Americans currently want the most to exert control over culture. (Evangelicals and neocons).
Even with regards to the sex appeal thing. Personally, I’d rather be with an average looking woman with a fun personality than a good looking woman I can’t stand. But, if you over-indoctrinate kids to that point of view they’ll think other people will apply the same standards, then be surprised in high school when they spend all their time being themselves, as the sitcoms told them to, and can’t get any dates. So yes, people absolutely shouldn’t judge each other on physical appearances, but we’re training young kids right now to be shocked when they do.
Government control over culture isn’t just unacceptable, it’s futile. (Or at least requires draconian levels of enforcement to actually change anyone’s behavior). And it may seem agreeable if the government agrees with you, but imagine if it didn’t. Would you accept evangelical Christians with that amount of control over culture?
“For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.”
Here’s a pretty simple cognitive explanation that might help refine your thinking some:
“While oral storytelling and printed texts can confidently be identified as the cultural predecessors of the recent technologies of mechanical reproduction and dissemination of words and images, the basic cognitive capacity for creating and enjoying imaginative fictions is harder to explain. To situate the effects of fiction in an evolutionary perspective, we may need to identify relevant adaptations enlisted from other domains. Citing Horace (20 BC) that the purpose of literature is “to delight and instruct,” Pinker (1997) argues it is “helpful to distinguish between the delight, perhaps the product of a useless technology for pressing our pleasure buttons, from the instruction, perhaps a product of cognitive adaptation” (539). The key theoretically interesting feature of entertainment, however, is precisely that it does not seem possible to pry the two apart. Even if we are only interested in being entertained, we end up being influenced. This close integration may indicate that we are dealing with an adaptation where the surface motivation conceals an unconscious function. We would not wish to argue, for instance, that we should distinguish between the delight of eating and sex as products of a useless technology for pressing our pleasure buttons and the adaptive functions of nourishment and reproduction. Natural selection tracks results, leading to the intimate association of motivational and functional systems. In this paper, we propose to view the attractiveness of entertainment as well as the tacit learning associated with it as an effect of ancestral adaptations for pretend play. More specifically, we propose that in pretend play, evolution has produced a suite of cognitive adaptations designed to make use of surplus resources in a safe environment to train strategies for dealing with dangerous or expensive situations that have not yet occurred. For reasons that will become clear below, we refer to this proposal as the organizational-mode hypothesis."
That’s a good point, that storytelling is all about hypothetical reasoning.
But I still disagree that people are as easy to influence this way as you think, at least after you’re about 13. I would again make the distinction between somebody’s inner feelings and the outward expression of those feelings. The latter can be influenced by fiction, the former can only be influenced by real experiences.
Have you ever read Chuck Klosterman’s essay about the long term impact of Say Anything on his subsequent romantic relationships (for the record, by my calculations, Chuck would have been 17 or so when the film first came out).
I agree that, when it comes to actually effecting the “who you really are” part of you, that fictional stories and the other arts are decidedly “secondary sources” compared with actual life experiences. However, I do think there’s a bit of a dialectical relationship—novels and films shade both my expectations from, say, a romantic relationship as well as the manner I interpret them, both as ongoing phenomenon and when it comes time to do this postmortem . . . which carries over into the expectation for the next relationship, etc., etc.
It’s definitely a trickier issue when you try to work out things like the “violence” influencing violence, though. It does very much depend on a person’s inners, I think, but I also think there’s still some of a similar dialectic at work (one of the things that makes Peckinpah at his best great to me is that he presses the enjoyment/revulsion fascination with violence from both sides) .
I’m not worried about Jazzaloha—a cinephile who also happens to enjoy action movies—watching these films because you can obviously put the films into some sort of context. Kids, however, cannot. And they are bombarded with this shit 24-7. The industry has a responsibility, but we do also. It’s two-fold. It’s so easy to forget just how much violence we’ve come to take for granted as a society.
I’m worried about young people, too, but I think it’s wrong to assume that adults can’t be affected as well—especially if we’re talking about a steady diet of these films, TV shows, etc. What you read, watch, listen to, does shape your attitudes, thoughts, values, etc.
Mishka said, I don’t think that the basic human desire for violence and immorality within art and entertainment is ever going to be eradicated or even significantly curbed, Jazz, not least with a “positive agenda” from a few popular and influential filmmakers.
I want to be clear here: I don’t categorically object to violence or immoral behavior on film, TV shows, etc. and I’m not advocating the eradication of such from films, etc. Instead, I’m more concerned with film industry’s treatment of these issues—one that is primarily concerned with commercial matters, and not the effects on society or individuals. This is what I’m objecting to.
Well yeah there are a number of things that most people would qualify as positive values but then again the majority can be wrong.
Sure, that can be the case, but are you arguing that some areas of consensus are not meaningful and valid? (You sure you don’t work for the film industry? ;) What about the ones I mentioned—e.g., females feeling like they need to look like swimsuit model for self-worth? Or guys feeling like they have to find a female who looks like a swimsuit model for a good relationship? Now, if a film industry executive said, “Oh, a lot of may people may feel this is wrong and inappropriate, but you know what? The majority is sometimes wrong,” would that wash?
I certainly don’t wanna let corporations do what they want and I’m in favor of the government being involved in culture, which is how it works in my country and most other developed countries except America.
Honestly, the idea of government getting involved in culture doesn’t make me so comfortable, and I’m not advocating that. On the other hand, just letting corporations have free reign seems crazy. What I’m suggesting at this point is that this become an issue for public debate.
But when it comes to filmmakers, I don’t think they should be under any obligation to do this or that, we shouldn’t place restrictions on artists and their freedom of expression (as long as they don’t break the law). As an individual you can try to improve society through your films but you can’t impose your views on other creators and force them to follow a guideline on what to do and what not to do.
If we’re talking about individual filmmakers I generally agree with this. An individual making a film(s) and expressing their viewpoint—whether the values are positive or negative—shouldn’t really be restricted (as long as they don’t break laws, as you mention). On the other hand, suppose you’re someone like Steven Spielberg—who makes movies that many people will see (and he knows many people—many of them children) will see his films. Does he not have some level of responsibility since has this reach and influence? I think he absolutely does. The argument that the responsibility is entirely on consumers isn’t compelling and it’s a cop-out, imo.
Having said that, I’m not talking about individual filmmakers, so much as the film industry and the norms of the film industry. I’m talking about the collection of movies and the attitudes, values and believes that the collection of these films promulgate. The industry they an awesome resonsibility, imo—that go way beyond their shareholders. Imo, they’re like the shaman and myth-makers of our society—helping us understand who we are, why we’re here, what’s important and how we should live our lives. In some ways, I think they’re more influential than religious institutions and priests. Big business shouldn’t be the ones filling this role, imo.
haha so even spielberg’s films are objectionable? wow
as far as sex and body image goes, you’ll have to deal with the advertising industry first i think. good luck with that
Jazz — we’re in a capitalist society. Business and money rule culture.
Matt said, I agree that, when it comes to actually effecting the “who you really are” part of you, that fictional stories and the other arts are decidedly “secondary sources” compared with actual life experiences.
Yeah, I basically agree with this.
However, I do think there’s a bit of a dialectical relationship—novels and films shade both my expectations from, say, a romantic relationship as well as the manner I interpret them, both as ongoing phenomenon and when it comes time to do this postmortem . . . which carries over into the expectation for the next relationship, etc., etc.
Definitely. This is what I mean when I say that narratives and other art influence our perception and understanding of important questions in life—which include romantic relationships. It also includes ideas about what it means to be human, a man or woman, etc. We would all agree that one’s culture plays a huge role in helping individuals answer these questions, and stories and art are a big and powerful manifestation of culture.
Now what happens when big business—which doesn’t care about people or society so much—basically is the main producer of culture? You get that kind of crappy popular movies, music, TV shows, video games, etc. And while these things may be crappy, they’re exactly where most Americans are getting their culture from. (Yes, there are individual artists that go against big business and work outside of them—and they’re vitally important, but their influence can’t be compared with the products of pop culture.)
Your suggestion then is to say films need to be more forthright about promoting certain values, that is to say the films need to better highlight race and positive reactions to it to basically force people to notice what they wouldn’t have otherwise, that or films should otherwise only show positive interactions among people and avoid negative representations and objectionable actions.
I’m saying several things:
1. In the case of racism, I would object to the industry norm of marginalizing minorites and depicting them in a narrow and stereotypical way (e.g., black characters that are drug addicts or gang bangers). I use the term “industry norm” to underscore I’m not objecting to one or two films that express this view, but a large number of them, constituting a trend or norm.
2. As a counter and solution to this, the industry could allow for more diverse minority characters, who are richer and more complex. I’d consider this humanizing of minority characters as a positive and healthy influence. Why? Well, individuals often go beyond stereotypes; people are diverse in their profession, personality, thinking, interests, etc.—so it’s realistic. Moreover, if minorities are cast in leading roles, that can also have a positive impact on minorities themselves.
Would these things drive people away from the theater? I don’t think that’s necessarily the case—and in some cases just the opposite, in fact.
The problem is that we actually like violence and some forms of feeling separate or different than others. Individually those boundaries may vary, but the complexity of human beings isn’t something that can be smoothed out in any reasonable manner.
I agree that we like violence and forms of feeling separate, as you say—and, again, let me be clear: violence in films and even stereotypes are not bad in and of themselves. I’m not trying to eradicate violence, sex, suffering or any dark subject matter from art, low or high. It’s the way these things are portrayed and used and the prevalence of their misuse that is problematic. My feeling is that the entertainment industry basically usese these darker forces primarily to titilate viewers in the interests of profits. We’re not talking about a thoughtful or artistic treatment of these issues—which I do NOT object to.
As for smoothing out differences, I recognize that people have different views and attitudes about violence and minorities—and on some issues there won’t be agreement—but would you acknowledge that there are meaningful areas of consensus on these matters? For example, I think we can all agree that if the film norm is glamorizing violence, especially in a way that ignores the costs of violence—that wouldn’t be a good thing—especially people (children!) got this as a steady diet.
and yet u enjoyed transformers, even making a thread about it! ^ i’d say this is one of the worst offenders, a film glorifying violence and aimed specifically at children! jazz, i agree our popular culture is trash and what’s worse, it’s infecting the rest of the world, but that’s the fault of the capitalist system. it’s certainly not just films either, it’s music, video games, magazines and advertising. are u reading this economics book to come up with some alternatives to the capitalist system? that’s an idea i’d enjoy seeing discussed here =)
FWIW, I didn’t enjoy Transformers. If I started a thread about the film, I didn’t do so because I liked the film. But as I admitted to Blue, I do enjoy films that glorify violence, as I like a good action film. And I do think I am being hypocritical at least somewhat, but as I said, if this glorification of violence stopped being the norm, I’d be all for it.
…but that’s the fault of the capitalist system
More than likely. But does that mean the entertainment industry bears no responsibility? I understand that big business has one primary goal: profits—and that people, the enviroment and other important things get trampled in the process. But human beings run these companies and they have a responsibility other than making profits. Will saying this make any difference? Maybe not. But I think it’s true nevertheless and reminding them of their responsibility and even finding ways to punish and encourage them economically are worth considering (just people punish or reward companies on matters of social responsibility).
I could craft an awfully logical argument that action films are, in fact, socially responsible:
Most of them boil down to the strong defending the weak. The heroes of these films never question that it is their responsibility to put their life on the line to protect the lives of innocent people, for no explicit reward. They always take prisoners rather than executing the enemy when they surrender, except in some cases where it’s proven the enemy will keep killing as long as he’s alive. Why are we villainizing these films? When I was a kid watching violent films, I imagined being a hero myself, and in my fantasies, I never killed anybody when it wasn’t to save an innocent person’s life. Transformers teaches chivalry. (Or in my case, 3 Ninjas).
I would also try to dispel the illusion that it’s a singular choice between the government having power and corporations having power. That’s just not the case. Heck, in America the corporations would have a lot less power if the government weren’t exerting power on their behalf. They’re allowed to dump chemicals into my river, and I’m not allowed to stop them because the government will arrest me. I think the government should stop the corporation from dumping chemicals into the river, but railing against big corporations as a concept is railing against your own freedom to trade your money for their goods and services. Shopping at Wal Mart is a choice, and you want to demonize Wal Mart because too many people make a choice you don’t approve of? That is a ‘Father knows best’ mentality that has no place in law.
If corporations are marketing violence to us it’s because they know we will buy it. They would just as gladly profit off peace love and understanding (And do). If it weren’t for violent movies kids would still be fighting each other on the playground, and there’s nothing movies can do about it.
I think the Simpsons has made my point better than I can three or four times over. Itchy & Scratchy, Ultimate Fighting. Jazz, I submit to you, that you take the role of Marge in these episodes.