“The American industrial-entertainment complex has pretty much replaced the church as the maker and enforcer of values on this continent. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it’s a significant thing, with profound implications.”
One of those implications is that violence is treated as entertainment. That’s not a new thing for humanity, but the problem is we’ve become terrifyingly efficient at it.
And that trend is not slowing:
“The schoolyard killing sprees that have taken place since 1996 are of a sort never before seen: they’re not gang or race-related, but random, rural and retributive. The attackers are usually tortured outsiders dramatically evening the score; in virtually every case they’re obsessed with violent pop culture. It may not be the lone culprit (the availability of guns is a continuing problem), but brutal media imagery is almost certainly helping nudge the whole bell curve of human behavior, producing surprising numbers at the fringe (one kid on a rampage may be a fluke of genetics, but six such kids, unknown to each other and scattered across the continent, are harder to dismiss) that themselves get amplified and spun on the evening news. Thus does what David Grossman, author of On Killing: the Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, calls the “virus of violence” continue to spread, from dish to receiver to cranium.”
Do me a favor. Right now, touch somebody. Just a hand on the shoulder is fine. A hug is good. A massage is great. And I want you to do something else too. Go buy a book. Not for you. For a kid. Pick out something good. If you don’t know any kids, go down to the library and donate it and while you’re there ask the children’s librarian about children’s storytime and if they need more readers.
Turn off the t.v.