Violence in Film and the Streets


In the wake of the awful and unspeakable events in the innocent school in Connecticut, the violence of TV and film are called into question again. With the news of Fox rescheduling its adult animated programs, Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show to show repeats instead of the scheduled episodes for the seasonal period. Fox are obviously being cautious in the wake of the awful events that have happened so close to the festive period. I remember around the time of 9/11, the BBC dropped the first episode of 9th season of The Simpsons Homer Vs New York City,as it included the Twin Towers. Which was fair enough. AS I was young at the time I was a little frustrated, but I finally saw the episode.

Coming back to the present issue, it’s hard to draw the line between being sensitive and moving on with our lives. America has and always will be a violent nation. Not to condone the awful actions of last week, which saw a disturbed young man killed women and children at school.

We must acknowledge and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances. Yet we should also carry on with our lives. Its a difficult call to make. Fans of the afore mentioned programs will understand, with a little frustration. The episodes will air in good time. But also they have and will also carry adult content. They are after all adult programs.

This also moves over to the postponing of the release of Jack Reacher (2012) that opens with people being gunned down. Criticism is also being drawn again to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012) which is full of violence in the directors usual style. Jamie Foxx has  come out saying that is does promote violence influences people. He’s right and he’s wrong, Of course if you watch enough violence you maybe become pre-disposed to violent acts. But our society teaches us not to. Violence in films is always balanced by the film telling us its not right to commit such acts. Be that in the form of the law, or the characters reactions. Another point that Tarantino made was that it’s a Western, which is synonymous with violence, it can’t shy away from that. His form of violence is more graphical than others, yet he balances this out as all film-makers do. Westerns portray a violent past that America has for a century glorified in film, it’s not going to let up now.

It takes a certain kind of mental instability to commit such acts that have been seen recently. It’s too easy to blame film and TV for their influence. Of course there is a responsibility to them. Director Sam Peckinpah hated violence, he didn’t glorify it, he emphasized how disturbing it can be, the horror it can bring to lives. Just thinking about The Wild Bunch (1969) which is packed with this violence, at the time it was criticized. I don’t to go off on a tangent here, back to the issue at hand, America and other countries with gun and violence problems must look at the other issues such as mental health, social issues that lead to such acts being committed.

It’s because of the American constitution  that allows them to bear arms, which makes sense in a nation that has fought hard to build their country, how they came to be too.

I’m not pretending that I know all there is to know about this subject. But there’s a need for balance between, respecting the grieving, understanding the wider issues and getting on with our lives. Of course the lives of those affected will never be the same again, my thoughts are with them at this time. And there I will finish, leaving you to read this and respond.

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