Friday, January 07, 2005

A Rant Against Television Violence

Violence. Does violence on television bother anyone else lately? I don't even particularly want to watch the news these days what with all the dead bodies and such being shown. I know it exists. I've lived with it. I don't want it in my living room on live feed 24 hours a day. I'm thankful that I can cocoon myself from it every now and then. I'm not ranting against the news. It is real. It is what is happening. War, tsunamis, death and destruction. One shouldn't shield themselves entirely from it. It is happening. So I take as much as I can and I turn the channel or turn off the television.

What I feel the need to express is my disgust at "entertainment". Lately television dramas seem to be wallowing in violence. The violence against children is the most offensive. I think I may empathize a little too much (is that bad?). As an example, I haven't watched CSI-Miami since the episode where the father killed the whole family, including babies. I know it's "ripped from the headlines" (to quote another television drama franchise). But, do we need to see such horrors dramatized? I'm beginning to think that we don't.

Last night I started to watch a new show called "Medium". Nothing else was on, someone recommended it and I felt like plopping down in front of the t.v. for awhile. Let's see, opening sequence... some dream about a guy describing gutting his wife. A little farther on the protagonist sees a woman smother her baby in fear and then get killed (all in a black and white psychic flashback). I had to turn the t.v. off and read. Where is the entertainment in this. If you want to show atrocities, show real ones - there are plenty of them out there occurring hourly. I don't need to be "entertained" by them.

Now I'm a pretty much of a left leaning type of girl. But I can see why the "moral christian majority" out there in those red states (oh wait, I live in one of those red states...) are upset. Why aren't they more upset by violence than by a "wardrobe malfunction" or a towel drop before a football game? Which is worse, a stray nipple or a shot gun blast? That's my question.

When I have an hour or so to sit in front of the television, I want to be entertained, not disgusted. I watch the news, I read the paper, I listen to NPR. I know what is happening in the world. Give me something that doesn't insult my intelligence. Give me something that doesn't make me want to lose my dinner.

I'm done ranting.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Thank you so much for writing this... I've been thinking, I can't possibly be all alone in feeling this way can I?? The thing that bothers me the most is- why are people "enjoying" watching this stuff? I teach piano to kids and I know first-hand that lots of kids under the age of 10 are watching things like CSI... (?!) Great...and conservative or liberal has nothing to do with it so don't let anyone lay that garbage on you- it's called QUALITY and when I tell people that I'm upset by these new shows, they say "Oh... that's your conservative side..." mmm yeah- actually, that's the side that doesn't feel good about watching something that makes me feel mentally raped when I come home from work. I don't understand what's happening... I'm sticking to my DVD's of Columbo, Kojak and The Rockford Files, etc. Good writing, and truly entertaining. For comedies- I'm waiting for something as good as Frasier to come along... Every time someone suggests something new, I give it a try and watch it, perplexed thinking, "really?" And these are people who lived through all the great television that I lived through like Cheers, Newhart, Mad About You, etc. Guess they've decided that they "need" to lower their standards. Not me- old stuff is way better than stuff that makes me feel like I've been violated and assaulted. And as for people who say: "well you can just turn your TV off" well duh- but a) when I do have something on like a biography and then get an ad for an upcoming show where a dead guy is lying there and there are huge cockroaches crawling out of his mouth, as they say-- "I didn't sign up for that" and b) Sure I can turn it off. I do- and by the way, I do many other quality things: I am an artist- I paint, I do ceramics, I also surf, I spend time working with animals and with people I love. But I also used to greatly enjoy watching quality television. So how about instead of "well you can turn it off", we as the viewing public demand higher standards?