Thursday, May 16, 2013

HOOKED ON VIOLENCE



Echoes are still echoing -- talk-talk about Boston, the school in Connecticut, and the latest horrifyingly bloody death/murders -- it's buzzing around like a gnat that's arrived with the change in the weather.

What can I add to the mountain of words by commentators, philosophers, scholars, movie makers like Michael Moorhead, who created "Bowling for Columbine," a documentary about the 1998 Columbine High School massacre. 

Listening to Michael Moore I just nod.

Reading James Poniewozik in Time (he writes about entertainment and pop culture), I'm nodding. He's seen all the shows that are being devoured by us. He knows the plots, and the latest batch of villains and heroes. Loud and clear, Poniewozik deems this year's shows more thrilling, more horrifying than ever before.

Okay, thrill and horror is what makes shows into money-maker hits. We've got Nielsen, IMDB, Hollywood Reporter and a half-dozen other Websites announcing the daily, weekly numbers that tell producers that violence wins them bigger money numbers.

I used to watch movies, classical old ones, usually, avoiding the violent, gimmicky new ones. But lately, after surfing the news shows, and mostly hearing about the weather and sports, I tune in one of the true life crime shows -- "48 Hours Mystery," "Snapped," "Dateline," or the Investigation Discovery channel -- maybe a "Deadly Women," or "Wicked Attraction," or "Fatal Encounter" episode.
 
Like airport sandwiches, they are neatly slapped-together, suspenseful tales of murders and disappeared persons that are served with not very good actors -- a slice of tragedy you can munch on, turn away from, and return to for another munch.

They're familiar, not inventive, surprising or shocking stories that seem more real than the realty shows about survivors, bachelors, housewives, or models. 

Watching one of these oft-told tales, you know right away who's the good guy, and who's bad. Motivations are variations on the typical greed, lust, jealousy stuff that doesn't leave indelible impressions, or involve you like Jodi Arias, Casey Anthony, Scott-Lacy, O.J., or assassinations.

What about the wonderfully packaged NCIS shows?  I don't watch them. They're jam-packed with excessive reality that seriously bothers me.

I don't want to be bothered.
Konstantin Shalev 
Hey, the world's over -crowded, and we're warned of death possibilities daily from environmental sins that we're  committing, 

Those true life crimes get me feeling ... what?

Maybe a little sad, a little blue.  I find myself thinking tsk-tsk, alas, what a shame.

They're like bible stories -- no matter how many times you visit them  -- they affirm your sense of right and wrong.

Hey, it's entertainment!  It keeps me from worrying about the real, truly horrible realities that I see and hear about every day, all day long --all, all, all the things in the world that are happening that seem to be rushing us to the end of the world.

No wonder violence is getting more popular everyday.

Hurray, for the crime shows and their neatly wrapped slices of tragedy.
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7 comments:

Carola said...

I don't like to watch violent shows, never have.

denniscoble said...

Em, it is my opinion that Americans thirst for gladiators. These days, my only competition is to be better than I was, yesterday.

Stan said...

Your article is right on Em...somehow we've almost become numb to the words slaughter, massacre, murder, rape, etc. It's scary

Linda Phillips said...

I am so anti violence and always have been. I hate that there are so very many violent TV shows.

They are so pervasive and in my opinion, they glorify so much negativity. I do not see this as a good thing at all and worry about their influence on young viewers.

Anonymous said...

I watch NET FLICKS, no commercials to interrupt the violence. Seriously, there are many great actors and wonderful scripts available on this noncommercial source for entertainment. The weekly TV shows writers have lots of pressure and may be dumbing down or looking for affordable car chases rather than good scripts. Just my view so I just solve it in other ways to do it my way. Actually, the news has a worse impact on me than shows of violence because as you say, it's real. Hugs, H.

Anonymous said...

Good blog today ON VIOLENCE, etc. Woe is me....I watch Law and Order, Body of Proof, Grey's Anatomy and love movies like the Godfather. Even with all the real life dramas full of violence everyday, I still like to watch these shows. If the murder show is too graphic, I can't eat my lunch and watch it. Maybe I am in a minority, but give me THE GODFATHER any day to watch. kam

Maureen Jacobs said...

I have a question for you Ms. Em....isn't it funny how many people advocate against violence in Hollywood yet they act in films with a lot of violence? Violence exists. It has since the beginning of time. I do know for a fact that when I play aggressive video games I tend to feel, aggressive. Does it mean I go out and commit acts of violence? No. However, that being said, perhaps the issues are not so much the violence itself but the reasons those commit violent acts. Again, I may sound like an advocate for mental health, we have people in our community that can help with such issues. Be it a medical professional, a religious leader, or even just a friend, people need to address the REACTIONS to violence within the potential offender and rehabilitate. Too many what ifs come after an event. Let us be PROACTIVE. Ask how that person is, listen to them....really listen.

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