These letter were originally published February 24, 2013.
Back in the late '40s, '50s and '60s, we did have violence on television and the movies. Then, the heroes were shooting criminal cowboys and presumably nasty Indians. But the ultimate message, at the end, was always that truth and justice prevailed -- somehow. Those old heroes seemed to have, to me, the wise and compassionate natures, mentioned by Dr. Darcia Narvaez in her Feb. 17 Tribune piece on media violence, that young kids wanted to emulate.
With so many of the current generation of violent video games, the "hero" is the one who can kill the most cops or kill the most opponents, however indiscriminately.
To me, a healthy young mind raised in a healthy environment can, with good learning alternatives, mentally separate the fake reality video game from real life and real-life violence.
All well and good, but I also strongly feel that unhealthy young minds out there absorb the violence of video games as the one-and-only answer to a problem and warp their reality.
It's killing us
Anyone with half a brain can figure out without studies and forums that we have created a killing society. When I was growing up back in the '60s, the television shows we watched were "Gilligan's Island," "The Price is Right," during the day, and at night, "Adam-12" and shows like the "Andy Griffith Show," "The Wonderful World of Disney," or "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom." Now the only thing on daytime TV are shows such as "Today" with two middle-age women who glamorize drinking every day with terms such as Boozeday Tuesday, Wine Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday. Shows like Jerry Springer show how ignorant viewers have become. At night it is all about "CSI," "NCIS," "Burn Notice" and the new, more violent "Hawaii Five-O." I don't think Hollywood knows how to produce anything but violent shows anymore.
Thank God for "Everybody Loves Raymond" reruns and some of the funny sitcoms that are left. As for reality TV, which is far from reality, it's a great waste of one's mind. My father used to tell my mother back in the day that the idiot box would be the demise of our society. Monkey see, monkey do.
How sad to hear that one of Hollywood's latest films is called "Bullet to the Head." It just makes me cringe. Just what goes on in the minds of moviemakers, including the movie stars (other than the almighty dollar)?