Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Time For My Weekly Media Bashing

If it's not one publication, it's another. This week, a magazine I actually quite like to read for reviews and previews but constantly fails me when they write speculative stories--Entertainment Weekly.

This past week there was a story about how crime shows are going overboard with violence against women. They even mock the idea that women are also heroes in these shows--like that just isn't enough. There must be some sort of underlying evil plot afoot here. Violence against women is more shameful than violence against men. This sounds a lot like the basis for making hate crimes worse than any other violent crime.

I am, of course, a proponent of no violence taking place against women. I am also of the opinion, however, that men should be spared from unnecessary violence. So, when you make a TV show with violence, are the creators supposed to just put men in every situation? Do only dudes get killed in the world nowadays? Is violence against women not a true reflection of society anymore? The same garbage was tossed around with the Nashville Scene's Jim Ridley a few years ago when the Scream movies came out. He made some flippant remark about how the movies were an excuse for director Wes Craven to torture women. I've seen those movies, for better or worse (and I'm not a big fan of Craven), a couple of times each and yes, there's some women being tortured--but there's also men getting the same treatment. I guess with women, it seems so much more violent. And oh by the way, yes, a woman ends up being the hero in most of Craven's movies--that doesn't ever matter to those who are making this point.

Just like the idea of harsher penalties for hate crimes, isn't the idea that violence against women is somehow "more taboo" just another way to again separate women into some sort of different (special, elite, or somehow "more sympathetic") group? Aren't we supposed to be embracing equality? I'm not saying that these TV shows are "embracing equality" when they show a woman bound and gagged getting tortured, I'm saying that there shouldn't be any more criticism of it than if it were a man bound and gagged and getting tortured. If you detest violence, or detest it being depicted, then you are showing bias if you think it should be any different.

Also: in the same issue, a potshot at television's summer numbers--how they are lower than last year's. Come on, now, haven't we already "proved" that people aren't going to the movies anymore because they're staying home? (To the uninitiated, the answer is, "Of course not.") TV's summer slate is filled with reruns and horrible reality shows. Tune in!


At 8/03/2005 03:43:00 PM, Anonymous John B said...

"There are over 100,000 women battered everyday in the US. And to think all this time I've been eating mine plain."

I agree with the shitty reality shows (except the Ultimate Fighter). The only reality tv is sports, except boxing.

I also agree that torture is torture and murder is murder. Remember the South Park where Cartman is charged with a hate crime against token? Isn't every violent crime a hate crime regardless of color, creed, or sex?

At 8/03/2005 04:22:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Chris, my man...some days it's like you're reading my mind.

Excellent post.

One point....society has long been trying to blame anyone and everyone for our children's bad behavior except ourselves...the parents.

Do I think there's more violence and sex in tv, movies, and games than 20 years ago? Yes.

Do I think it's possible that this surge in seedy entertainment has played a role in kids becoming more sexual and violent? Yeah, probably.

But is it the main reason? Hell no. Main reason is the parents, the rising divorce rate coupled with the rising numbers of young parents who don't know how to raise a kid....let's take responsibility for our actions and our kids darn it!

At 8/03/2005 05:03:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

That South Park episode went through my head a few times while writing this, especially the part when the kids make a presentation to the governor (I think...maybe it was something or someone else) to change the law. After they make their point (hate crimes are the same as any other crime, race is just another motive in the long list of motives) the governor goes, "Wow, that presentation made the most sense of anything I've ever heard."

At 8/03/2005 05:50:00 PM, Anonymous John B said...

Kennelworthy - How about this. My wife thinks this is the solution to shitty parents. You have to be approved to buy a house, buy a car, drive a car, get insurance, adopt a child, etc, etc. So why dont you have to apply to have kids? When a female is born, she is born with all the eggs her body will ever produce in her lifetime. As the eggs develop, they are then harvested and held in banks. you want an egg, you have to apply for it. I think it's a brilliant idea, but of course there comes a hint of big brother and further promotes the fact that we are too stupid to take care of ourselves. But, a very interesting idea indeed.

Dont forget that back in the 80's it was all Ozzy's fault and also the fault of that damn D&D!! Monsters!! LOL

What'cha think?

At 8/03/2005 08:35:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

There was a really bad T.V. movie back in the eighties called "Mazes and Monsters" I think. In it Tom Hanks plays a dude that plays too much "D&D" and starts seeing dragons and shit in real life. If you've seen this by some chance you will understand when I say it is the funniest damn movie ever made.

At 8/04/2005 09:14:00 AM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

I think the egg-application idea is good in theory. I really do.

But my problem with it would be that forcing people to act a certain way or to mature at a certain rate is not really the same as them taking responsibility for themselves. Does that make sense? If we put applications in place for having a kid (which gives me plenty of big brother thoughts) then they won't learn the appropriate behaviors on their own...they won't learn responsibility as much as have it forced upon them.

Of course, I guess that's the same thing we do with prisons...

I dont' know. All I know is that there are more bad parents out there today than ever before...and I hate dealing with their kids.

Maybe we should invent a responsibility ray-gun, and we can go around shooting the bad parents who have horribly misbehaved kids....

At 8/04/2005 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous John B said...

Yes, i remember Mazes and Monsters! TERRIBLE!! He went to the tower at the end which was really a skyscraper and just before the credits he was at a mental institute. This ranks up there with "Reefer Madness" for hysterical scare movies.

It is truely a 12 packer (need to drink at least 12 to make it through the whole thing)


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