[lit-ideas] Re: media violence

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 11:53:35 -0400

These are significant philosophic questions which I wouldn't presume to 
answer without a week's worth of thought, but one small aspect is 
perhaps commentable on immediately.  One problem is that children and 
young people mature at such differing speeds that a class of freshmen in 
high school will contain emotional and mental 6th graders and emotional 
and mental 12th graders.  So it's no good saying that something is all 
right for high school and not all right for grade eight (or some such). 
  I'm not sure where I can go with this thought, though.  I refuse to 
think that censorship is the answer.  I suppose I'd like to say that all 
experiences should be there for the taking, but hardly any experiences 
should be foisted on people.   (The few people who learn to love 
Shakespeare when forcefed in high school are swamped everywhere by those 
who learn to hate him).  Eventually we're all adults and make these 
decisions for ourselves, taking into account our experience with our own 
squeamishness etc.  (I also have chosen not to watch the Berg footage -- 
too many indelible images painting the inside of my brain already -- 
things I wish I could somehow 'unsee')

Relatedly, we can't predict how information will be accepted or 
rejected.   My brothers all participated in the ROTC in high school in 
the 1960s.  Two did all right.  The third came home one day saying that 
he couldn't go back, sickened as he was by the propaganda, the rhetoric 
and the groupthink.  The emphasis on dehumanising the enemy and 
preparing yourself to KILL, KILL, KILL (they had to shout this in 
unison) was too much for his gentle nature.  Others of course, ate it up 
(or just didn't take it personally).   Maybe everything preaches to the 
converted.  Maybe it isn't the message.  Maybe it's always what you 
bring to the message.

An intriguing topic.  So much more to say....

musing along in rainy North Bay

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