Thursday, April 26 2007

Guns for the Children

Interesting debate at Jeff Goldstein's site on the FCC's attempt to regulate violence on TV.  There are several interesting musings I have in this topic, but I'll only inflict one on you this evening.

In a previous post, I wrote that I thought that the correlation between the traditional groupings that divided a culture into subcultures (race, religion, ethnicity, etc.) were having less of an influence on what other groupings an individual belongs to.  There are some traditional ways of grouping individuals that are still valid predictors of what other groupings an individual belongs to, or, rather, there are traditional groupings that still can be predicted to a large degree by what other groupings a person belongs to and will continue to be predictable in the foreseeable future.  The one that interests me today is age.

Hobby and interest groupings often develop out of relationships with peers, and especially at the school and college ages when one has copious free time and associates with peers of the same age.

Almost everybody imagines the good parts of their own particular childhood as the exemplar of what a childhood should be.  I get around a table of gaming buddies (one of the hobbies in which I am an age outlier and in which there is a diversity) and in discussions of childhood, everyone had it best in their own particular childhood.  Everyone's TV programs were the best, everyone's movies were the best, everyones genres were the best.  One odd predictor of age I have seen is for those who like Mel  Brooks movies, which movie is the best.  People who were raised on a diet of Westerns like Blazing Saddles, people who grew up to Star Wars like Spaceballs, etc.  It's not a surprising observation as each of his movies was written to track to a particular genre.

How does this relate to violence on TV?  Those of us who remember being children in the 80's and 90's look at TV and already see a children's programming lineup reduced to mush by previous campaigns against TV violence.  Those of older generations constantly remind us of what we missed in the way of the good Looney Tunes cartoons.  The political affiliation of the poster doesn't matter except as in which group of politicians get most of the blame.  The liberals blame the social conservative fundamentalists, the conservatives blame the nanny state non-violent progressives.

The problem is the prime voting age population takes a look at the present situation and sees someone who claims they can make it right by getting all the garbage off of TV, without realizing that the garbage on TV isn't particularly worse then when they originally grew up.  I have my own theories that place some of the blame for the current cultural problems (which are relatively mild when you actually look at the symptoms rather than the hype) on TV, but not in the places where you would normally look.

Posted by: Civilis at 08: 44 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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