Violence in the media has been an issue to many, specifically parents, for some time now. The pernicious images, movies, videos, and music are so common that should you turn on your television and flip through all of your channels, you are highly likely to run upon some depiction of fighting, gun use, or vociferous verbal confrontations. But violence within the media is not anything new, it has been on the famed stage of our society for quite some time. As well, my personal opinion is that it cannot be stopped. I feel that by looking on the progression in the past, that our future only holds more and that it will fall to the people themselves to shade their eyes and malleable minds from the things that come before us in the name of entertainment.
The pattern of violence in media is nothing new. It is actually a rather antediluvian thing of society as the world has progressed. Long before television, there were public executions. Before that, there were the gladiators. Plays staged treachery, battle, and bloodshed, even such of older lore- like Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". That is what entertainment consists of. The exaggeration of reality. The excitement and forthcoming emotions that are histrionic, yet catch the viewer's eyes. How is it not appealing, when average life is not as enticing as the tales woven with blood, lust, and emotion? Even in those days, it was hard to resist, and sent viewers home weaving fantasies of their own in their imagination and dreams of what it would be like to live such an enthralling existence.
Today it is not much different. Except that the overpowering things shown are even more flashy and eye-catching, and without relent. Plots seem to be ever growing more and more destitute, while the booms, bangs, flashes, and action all grows more digital and imaginative. It seems that with time, the majority of creators and producers find only their minds wrapped around making the effulgent fantasies of their projected work a reality on screen. Every movie is trying to gain hegemony over the others before its time, every one conquering a bar standard for the everyday action movie. The scenes of fighting are no longer a short minute, or a few seconds with a quick defeat. Instead, they are now lengthy, repetitive, and with such a brutal show of blood and impact that sometimes you just can't draw your eyes away from it all.
And yet, what makes this all so negative? Negativity comes from the fact that we as humans are elastic in mind. While if we watched one movie that was extremely violent, and we had never seen something like it before, it would be shocking. But with time, we would mold a bit, if for any reason, to learn to like it. Sometimes this doesn't happen, but I am merely trying to make an example. An even more vulnerable to these movies, images, and influences, are children.
Children have minds like a handful of play-doh. It's going to be a good while before it hardens or solidifies into something defined. A young mind is vulnerable, bereft of the set goals and values of adults. So when a little child is exposed to that, to the sharp ring of gunshots or the burst of blood from an open wound in clashing, it sinks in. Perhaps imagine two children being upraised. Their families love them the same amount, and they live in a middle-class home. For the most part, they live in a psychologically stable environment. Now one child watches safe things. Safe being Disney, Nickelodeon, and things that otherwise don't contain excessive amounts of gore. You could even go on to say that that child listens to the music of Disney soundtracks or simpler things, things that don't have much of a bad impact. Now the other child is far different. This child watches flashy, grandiose action movies, from things like Iron Man to Ninja Assassin. Things all about the fight or battle scenes, with a decent or good plot bearing the effects and additions in sight to apprehend its watchers. Their musical choice might be a selection of soundtracks from these movies as well, or perhaps it would fall to a genre of rock, hard rock, metal, rap, hip hop, or something else that falls into one of the popular genres of music nowadays that can have some vulgarity and coarse lyrics. It is likely that the first child, without the outside influence of bullies or pressure from foreign sources, will not be a violent or unruly child. While the other might be prone to curse early, fight or mimic moves seen in the media of his or her choice, and may even grow to speak back, becoming a duress to the household's peace. I think, in my personal opinion, that the second child would be far more likely to take up in impecunious behavior. Again, these are all statements from my opinion.
If it is a problem, why haven't we prevented it? Because it is not technically a problem. Though it is offensive to some, and many can say that the rise in physical, emotional, and verbal assaults in the media is not something they favor, you also have the people that like it. It is entertaining, it draws us in, and how would it be stopped if every movie that came out beholding a somewhat austere plot and scenes of coercion, beguilement, and attack is attracting hundreds of thousands of watchers. I believe that violence in the media will just continue with time, and our generations will adapt to it. How would we stop it, even if we had the will to do so? Would we abrogate it? Would we do so in rectitude, or would it be instead out of compunction after having seen a visible and obvious effect that it has on the neophytes of our society? I feel, in all veracity, that the power of violence in media over children truly lies in the hands of parents. I believe that they can control what is seen, and without rebuke even, while leaving the PG-13 and R films and shows out of the reach of their children's mutable minds. And for the rest of society? I suppose we will just go on, continuing to find enjoyment in the unrefined entertainment of our day, and the days to follow.