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Media Violence

TV heroes endorse tanks of noxious,flesh-eating gas The complex age of elaborate laptops, portable color televisions in every room, and pocket radios the size of a basic calculator have all taken their toll on American society. In a furious outburst reflecting the contemporary society in which we live, television has come to represent all that is evil and wicked for our children. Through gruesome, explicit, and often unrealistic portrayals of death and violence, the impressionable clay of our children’s minds are being molded into vicious statues incapable of comprehending the gap between what is real and what is injurious.

What you see is what you get has taken on an all too terrifying reality. It’s not just an escapist ideal, denial, or unavailable evidence that define why people equate violence on TV with the violence in their lives and in other Americans lives. It’s a founded and plausible justification. Over 1,000 detailed studies confirm this link. Advanced scientific research illustrates the horrific results we hate to hear: television is bad for kids. Our electronic babysitter has reached the end of her employment – she shoots out too many intensely violent acts in a surprisingly perfunctory way.

Leonard Eron, PhD at the University of Illinois, conducted a close study of television viewing from age 5 to age 30. The results hurt our television-loving brains: the more hours of television violence viewed, the more the tendency for aggressive behavior in teenage years becomes as does the likelihood of criminal acts and arrest in later years. Brandon Centerwell, professor at the University of Washington, depicted the doubling of the homicide rate after the introduction of television. Imitation, an austere reality which we are forced to accept, can be seen everywhere.

The gory bloodbath at Luby’s Cafeteria, which left 21 dead, was rooted in the killer’s passion for the movie The Fischer King as was the impact of Stephen King’s works that gave inspiration for a 17-year-old boy to shoot his teacher and hold the class hostage. Even the colossal resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920’s can be associated with media. Children in an ambience of intensive violent media become desensitized to violent acts, clearing a path towards an apathetic stance towards violence as an adult.

Also, this milieu of gargantuan helpings of fevered violence leads to profoundly aggressive behavior as an adult and the ghastly fear of the world around them. And unfortunately, it’s an indisputable fact that violence sells in the 90’s. turn on the television during prime time and right away a throng of gruesome programs amasses you from Extreme Wrestling to CNN news. When’s the last time you heard something positive on the news as opposed to civil war in Europe, the death of an inner-city youth by a rival gang, or the brutal rape and murder of a child by their parent?

Perhaps the news contributes more than just an insightful knowledge of events. Perhaps Columbine copycats and school bomb threats may never have arisen if the entire world hadn’t witnessed the blood-soaked terrors via cable television. An early study performed by Liebert and Baron in 1972 concedes that the willingness of a child to harm another child is increased by the intake of violence-charged television programming. Cartoon superhero contributors of this belligerent behavior include the seemingly unlikely Superman and Batman. Differentiating between fantasy and reality remains especially perplexing for children under the age of 8.

Like sponges, they absorb but don’t distinguish. We wonder why there exists this bellicose disposition among Americans, a characteristic prevalent more so here than in any other country. Could it be that media violence has evolved into an intricate art where the more money and computer graphics spent on the mind-blowing action exhibitions makes all the difference in profit? Could it be that the artificial death spectacles and mass slaughter of insignificant characters desensitizes us to the finality and reality of what death is actually like?

Or could it be that the ultimate human demise in the movies is now more like a choreographed dance number with intricate moves and creative turns than a dramatic conclusiveness of life? When will Americans do something about this horrid and grotesque tragedy and take steps towards curing this vicious social plague? Each person who monitors the inlet of violent television his or her child watches or who stands up against the flourishing climate of extravagant violence makes a difference. A starting point may only be a little beginning, but all great reforms found their origin here.

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