Societies ScapegoatYouth crimes are on a continual rise. It seems that everyday violentoffenders keep getting younger and more aggressive. We turn on the news only tohear that a ten year old mugged,shot,stabbed,beat or blew up one of his peers.
With crimes on the rise involving children, people begin to look for a cause.Society, when looking for a scapegoat, becomes worse than a blood thirsty lynchmob at a witch trial. Usually the most obvious source of violence within a homeis the television. However, in most cases it is not the true cause. With the TVin the forefront of virtually every home in the civilized world, it’s no wonderthat it’s the easiest target for criticism.
It’s elementary to blame the tubefor a child’s behavior; it’s a quick and easily identified source of violencewithin a youths confined world. The TV many times is identified as the cause ofaggressive acts to avoid dealing with other underlying issues. Society todayhas an entire array of different afflictions that plague us from day to day.The television is of very little significance alongside the landfill of troublesthat influence children today. Besides, trying to get networks to cut outviolence and aggression entirely would be like trying to get Jesus Christ towrite a top ten list of reasons why Christianity sucks. (It’s not going tohappen.)TV is not the reason that our youth courts are filled to capacity withcourt dockets so hideous you would swear that you were looking at the start ofthe apocalypse.
Television programs are not the reason for the apparentincrease in adolescent crime. If you find yourself picking up your kids fromthe police station all the time, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! There are nosignificant consequences for youth crime in our justice system. Maybe we shouldimpose stiffer penalties on violent offenders, instead of more censorship on TV.Kids would not have such a tendency to mug, beat, strangle or shoot their peersif there were tougher consequences for doing so.
The Japanese are responsible for some of the most violent cartoons evercreated to date. I mean these things make our R rated movies look like a walk inthe park. Japanese cartoons display bloodshed and drug induced murdering spreesas if they were nothing. Even with all this vicious behavior on Japanesetelevisions, the youth crime and aggressive behavior is one tenth of ours. Howcan this be? Because the Japanese have adopted a zero tolerance policy forcriminal behavior and reprimand criminals with a vengeance. Japanese societyrealized that blaming things like TV for violent behavior is unacceptable.Instead, the Japanese have taught their public that aggression in reality and onTV do not go hand in hand.
(Or as I would say, “it’s not the TV’s fault!!!”)A healthy amount of violence within children’s programs in my mind isperfectly acceptable and necessary. Violence in moderation teaches childrenabout situations that may be encountered outside of their home, and helps themto deal with such incidents. Kids are aggressive in nature, and a child whogrows up on Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, and Mary Poppins is likely to have adifficult time dealing with other kids. Face it, children need a certain amountof bellicosity to balance out all the bubbly behavior that some of these idioticchild role models portray: like Barney, who should be committed to an asylum.(I know if I was forced to watch Barney at an early age I probably would haveblown up the house.) You may ask, “why do children need a balance of violenceand aggression at all, why don’t we just program happy shows all the time?”Because human kind has always been an aggressive species and probably willcontinue to be.
By not preparing your children for acts of rabidity you arepreparing them to be future victims. And if your child is beat up at school,it’s not the TV’s fault!!! (Maybe it’s time to let little Jack or Jill watchthe Power Rangers, or a Rocky episode or two.) I do, however, agree with one of the points people are trying tomake against children viewing violence. A five year old child should not bewitnessing Freddy hack off human extremities with chain saws and axes. This iswhere the parents should be stepping in to filter out what their little bambinois taking in. Certain programs are oriented to different age groups and viewingshould be controlled, not removed through censorship. Parents want strictcensorship because they don’t think it’s possible for them to control what theirchildren watch.
After all there are TV’s at friends houses and probably atleast two within your own. So what’s the point? Even if you forbid your childto view certain material they can watch it somewhere else. The point is, onceyou have told the child not to watch something it becomes taboo or wrong towatch it in their minds.
Sure it will probably prompt him/her into viewing itsome time or another; but now watching the program is, “wrong” and they know it.As a result little Jr. will be less likely to chase his sister around the housewith an axe and blame it on Freddy Crouger. After all, blaming Freddy would gethim busted for watching Mr. Crouger in the first place. And if your child doesturn into Freddy later in life, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! (It’s probablybecause of all the times they fell on their heads.
) It’s ridiculous that cartoons like the Road Runner were taken off thetube in certain parts of north America, because of their vile illustrations.This is preposterous. Wily Coyote illustrated to children that dropping anvilsoff cliffs, using explosives, guns, and running things over with trucks didn’thelp him catch that annoying Road Runner. As a matter of fact Wily Coyoteshowed kids that his aggressive manner never paid off.
Everything Wily Coyotetried literally backfired in his face. And in Bugs Bunny, I don’t believe ElmerFudd ever managed to blow away, “that waskily wabbit”. But I guarantee thatsome parent with an over active imagination saw the Bugs Bunny show as apromotion for their kids to join the N.R.
A.. Or how about Bambi, anotherviolent film. Bambi’s mother is shot by a gun toting maniac, and is forced tolive with his dysfunctional father. (Let me guess, this is a subliminal messageto shoot wildlife or your mother) Films like this in my mind can act as abuffer for the detection of warped children. If your offspring expresses anyinterest in wanting to be Wily Coyote, Elmer Fudd or the hunter that killedBambie’s mother, you should have himher committed to a mental hospital. Ifyour child does however pick up a gun and proceeds to blast the family rabbit orkill a deer in the backyard, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! Fault lays in your lapagain for not keeping your firearm locked up.
Guns in children’s programming is a big issue today. Society is soupset over the surge of gun related incidents among our youth. Once again someindividuals blame it on the TV for instigating these ideas within a child’s mind.This is not true.
Maybe one in every million kids that watch violence on thetelevision will actually use a gun because of the program. In these isolatedincidents people would probably find that the child had easy access to a firearmand no education as to what could happen if misused. Children that do pick upguns and massacre family members usually do so with complete ignorance of theconsequences.
And of course when confronted the youngster will probably say hesaw someone on TV do the same thing. In fact the correct response should havebeen: My parents were idiots for leaving a shiny and loaded Smith and Wessonhand gun on the coffee table for me to play with. In these incidents firearmeducation and proper storage is the real underlying issue.
Because it’s not theTV’s fault people can be so stupid.In certain cases there have been instances where children have re-enacted scenes from programs they have seen, and been badly injured. Withoutsounding sadistic, I believe in these few isolated incidents it probably workedout best for the child. Having a bad incident occur at an early age opens upparents eyes to whatever field they have neglected to teach the child about; atthe same time it also gives the youth an eye opening experience to their ownstupidity.
After all children learn best from trial and error, and it’s betterfor them to figure out what not to do early in life. And if Jr. jumps off theroof of the family home to be like a super hero, it’s not the TV’s fault!!!(Your kid probably has less common sense than a lemming.
)Violence on TV is both unavoidable and necessary for children to learnabout their ever changing hostile world. The only question to be asked is,”when is a child mature enough to watch certain programs?” A change inchildren’s programming is not likely to occur any time soon. It’s up to theparents to regulate and censor what they deem appropriate. Through bettereducation of violence, children will be better equipped to realize what isintended for entertainment and what actions are not acceptable in day to daylife. Censorship is not the answer. It’s way too easy to blame TV for dirtydeeds that may have been caused by other unseen sources.
What it all comes downto is, if your little Jack or Jill wants to be Wily Coyote or Elmer Fudd,chances are they have a real problem that has to be addressed because, IT’S NOTTHE TV’S FAULT YOUR CHILD IS DERANGED!!!