Re "A rapid-fire surge in PG-13 violence," Nov. 12
Many film and television producers are wrong to think that the content of a film or a TV program has no effect on the viewers.
Violence does not satirize the media culture; it succumbs to it, idolizes it and exploits it. People are being numbed by the extreme violence in media; kids are especially affected.
How many people, after seeing "Jaws," refused to swim in the ocean? How many couples, after watching a movie in which a couple patches up a lousy relationship, examine their own situation?
For a healthier society, the media should produce more positive stories and renounce extreme violence.
Kudos to The Times for illuminating the convoluted film-rating system of the Motion Picture Assn. of America. How dubious for the MPAA to assume the function of protecting youthful moviegoers from immoral fare.
Perhaps adopting the European movie rating model is just too logical. There, child development experts — and not amateur raters like the MPAA's who are hell-bent on keeping adolescents sexually ignorant — rate movies. They tend to minimize youths' exposure to violence but not to adult love.
The rate of gun violence in Europe is far less than our country's; so too is the teenage pregnancy rate. Let's dump the MPAA's system and adopt a more common-sense model.
In the entertainment media today, guns and gun-related violence, along with high body counts, proliferate without meaning or grieving. We've become numb and apathetic.
This is not acceptable.
Early on in NASA's rocket programs, there was plenty of awe, excitement and attention. Once launches into space became more common, the interest and attention died down.
Violence becomes ordinary by a similar process of increased exposure. We have come to accept the shootings and random deaths as commonplace and fail to realize the serious damage to our society as a whole. We have become what is promoted: death and destruction.
Guns kill, and whether it's real or just playacting, this violence is working its way into our psyche as a normal part of life. This is wrong. We need to enact tighter regulations to cease this random and gratuitous violence.
Enough is enough.
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