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[P]
Crossing the Fine Line

By mind21_98 in Media
Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:46:00 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Several days ago a thirteen old kid in Connecticut decided to imitate a stunt on the MTV show "Jackass." The boy is now in the hospital with second and third degree burns, and the father is blaming MTV for what happened, even though MTV has clear disclaimers and warnings (both verbal and visual). Did MTV cross the line?


In recent times the modern media have come under fire from various groups, claiming that TV violence causes children to develop violent tendencies. This has resulted in the United States government passing certain legislation in the favor of people who want to shield their children.

However in other countries, violence on television is not as large of a debate as in the United States. In some cases in Europe they even provide pornography on free television (not on pay-per-view or restricted channels). Is this due to differences in parenting style between American and European parents? Is there an actual link between the amount of violence that a child watches and the amount he or she actually performs? Or is the modern media a scrapegoat for irresponsible parents to use when their own child goes off the deep end?

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Poll
Does modern media induce violence?
o Yes, I imitated an act of violence I saw on TV 5%
o Yes, I began having homicidal thoughts 12%
o It hasn't caused any change 39%
o (TV/Quake/Music CD) actually causes me to become less violent 33%
o No Opinion 8%

Votes: 108
Results | Other Polls

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o decided
o Also by mind21_98


Display: Sort:
Crossing the Fine Line | 110 comments (102 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Parental responsibility (4.15 / 19) (#1)
by enterfornone on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 11:57:52 PM EST

Perhaps parents should raise their kids rather than expect TV to raise kids for them. Parents are too quick to shift the blame on to TV, the government, the school system, rather than accept that it is their job to be responsible for their kids.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Hear, hear! (3.75 / 4) (#30)
by leonbrooks on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 07:18:29 AM EST

But also consider the number of impediments to both parental reponsibility and authority in our socoiety.
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]
RE: Hear, hear! (none / 0) (#65)
by Phil the Canuck on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:45:49 PM EST

...and those would be?

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Parents working? (none / 0) (#94)
by Phaser777 on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 01:06:18 PM EST

Parents who both have to work to support their family, divorced parents who have to work to support themselves. Those are two instances I can see where a parent might have some trouble being an actual parent and would allow a TV/school/daycare to take their place.
Or parents being too busy watching TV themselves to parent their kids.
---
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
Repeat.
[ Parent ]
Japan and Anime (3.75 / 12) (#3)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:10:31 AM EST

Is there an actual link between the amount of violence that a child watches and the amount he or she actually performs? Or is the modern media a scrapegoat for irresponsible parents to use when their own child goes off the deep end?

Although the modern American media can be gratuitious in the way it exploits and cheapens the human experience such as via the Jerry Springer Show or Temptation Island, it would be nothing short of ridiculous to imply any sort of serious correlation between the amount of violence on television/cinema and violence in society. A prominent example of this is Japan where the average Animè contains what is typically R-rated violence and sex but yet the rate of violent crime is relatively low compared to the United States.

PS: The MTV show is rated for mature audiences, what were the kid's parents doing letting him watch Jackass when he obviously isn't mature enough to handle it?

But anime isn't Rugrats... (none / 0) (#9)
by jasonab on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:43:48 AM EST

While I don't disagree with your conclusion, I think your evidence is a little suspect. I doubt the violent anime you mention is watched by many children in Japan (heck, some of it disturbs me). There is kids anime, of course, Pokemon and the like, but I doubt many parents let their kids watch Vampire Hunter D.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]
It's sanitized before it gets here.. (4.25 / 4) (#11)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:57:31 AM EST

There is kids anime, of course, Pokemon and the like, but I doubt many parents let their kids watch Vampire Hunter D.

Most Animè that is considered "kid's anime" even in the U.S. such as Battle Of The Planets, DragonBall Z and Tenchi Muyo is actually rather violent and sexual (e.g. talk of blowjobs on Tenchi, lots of blood and death in DBZ, etc) when shown in Japan, most of the scenes considered unsuitable for U.S. audiences are editted when they are repackaged for U.S. audiences.

[ Parent ]
Or hell... (2.00 / 1) (#17)
by Elendale on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:22:30 AM EST

Ryoko enjoying some electricution more than she should.
In case that made no sense, the dubbed version of TM edited out some stuff that the subbed version did not.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Ryoko-chan (4.33 / 3) (#23)
by fluffy grue on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 03:07:09 AM EST

Hehe, the first time I saw the first episode of Tenchi Muyo, it was subbed. I was highly amused the second time I saw it (dubbed) where she shouted out, "Ooh, that tickles!" instead of "I'm coming! I'm coming!" :)

The Japanese seem to raise their children better, though. I mean, they're exposed to so much sex and violence on TV from an early age, and yet we never hear about Japanese children bludgeoning each other with cattle prods trying to make each other come. In fact, we never hear about Japanese children imitating any of the life-threatening things which happen on Japanese gameshows - stuff on TV seems to stick to TV. Maybe it's because of the incredibly strict lifestyle - even deviations from the norm are controlled. Hell, members of the criminal underground such as the Yakuza even have an incredibly strict code of conduct amongst themselves, and even things like highway street racing have intricate protocols to follow...
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Violence and whatnot (none / 0) (#67)
by Elendale on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:30:01 PM EST

I do seem to remember a school shooting in Japan a year ago. Of course, i can't seem to find anything on it so i may just be confused. One other thing to remember is that Japan has a smaller population than the US does, thus these things will occur less often. Anyone know what the violent crime rate per person is? Last i checked it was lower than the US violent crime rate. With that said, i think the very existence of Japan is enough to disprove the claims that video game violence/tv&movie violence leads to real world violence.

On an almost unrelated note, do you prefer the sub or dub of Tenchi? I actually like the dubbed voices better than the Japanese, especially Ryoko and Kagato- though it may be partly that i saw the dub first.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Dubbed crime (none / 0) (#72)
by fluffy grue on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 03:18:29 PM EST

Although the Japanese population is much lower, their population density is much higher (especially in Tokyo), and it's typically regional population density which leads to crime rates, not total population. I mean, after all, the total population of the world is much higher than the regional population of downtown Chicago, but downtown Chicago probably has a much higher per-capita crime rate than the world at large. ;)

I prefer the sub of Tenchi. I've never heard Kagato dubbed (I only ever saw the first episode dubbed), but the shittiness of Ayeka's voice is definitely enough for me to keep my DVD player in subbed mode. :) Actually, the only anime I can think of offhand where I prefer the dubbed version is Macross Plus, and that's probably somewhat to do with the fact that Macross Plus was (IIRC) produced specifically for both English and Japanese viewers.

On a tangential note, why the fuck couldn't Sega listen to all the gamers who said that they wanted a subbed-only version of Shenmue? God, the voice acting on the English version is HORRIBLE, and after about 5 minutes I just turned the voices off and set it to just displaying the subtitles - why couldn't they follow through on their original plan of just doing the subtitling and keeping the Japanese voice acting, huh? It would have been easier for them to do, since they wouldn't have had to half-assedly record new voices or do a shitty new lipsync job... grr! At least Jet Grind Radio is better for having the voices in English (and they didn't do anything stupid like Anglicize the names - it's cool having J-pop-named characters like Tag and Gum, and neat still having the Japanese pun of the main police guy named Onishima...) - and that's the way that translations SHOULD be - don't dumb things down for us poor, dumb Americans, since the poor, dumb Americans who would be getting the game/anime/whatever are likely to actually appreciate the Japaneseness of it. Whee.

Oh, I do like playing Sonic Adventure with the Japanese voices, btw. It's funny to see where the subtitles have expositional dialog (for us stupid Americans) which the original Japanese lacks, and more funnily, where they've 'mis-translated' profanity... :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Population density is important (none / 0) (#80)
by Elendale on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:52:46 PM EST

Although the Japanese population is much lower, their population density is much higher (especially in Tokyo), and it's typically regional population density which leads to crime rates, not total population.

Yeah, i hadn't thought about that.

The dub of Kagato is very good. Its not very true to the Japanese version, but Weston Peese (the guy who did) it is excellent. Speaking of which, i should get his shrine up...
As to Ayeka's voice, they even made fun of it in the third movie ("...and you have a whiny voice" "I do not!" or something to that effect, not sure if its the same in Japanese). Tenchi is done better in the sub as well, IMHO.

Shenmue should really be subbed. Really. What part of this does Sega not understand?

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Onishima is watching you (none / 0) (#102)
by fluffy grue on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 01:31:11 PM EST

Well, Ayeka's voice is pretty whiny in the Japanese too, but at least it's a tolerable whininess. The English dub of her voice is a really bad caricature of whiny, and she sounds more like the pampered sister of a New Jersey gangster than a snot-nosed princess.

I wonder if those rumors of a third OAV series being in production are true... the first two OAV series only scratch the surfaces, I dislike Tenchi Universe (too much like a cartoon for me, and too detached from the OAVs), and I've heard that Tenchi in Tokyo sucks monkey-poo and certainly isn't worth paying $12/episode. I haven't seen the movies yet (still waiting for my express.com order with all three of them to be shipped), but I'd be guessing that they don't do much to fill in the general history and instead just focus on a few concentrated plots.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

3rd OVA (none / 0) (#103)
by Elendale on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 04:32:15 PM EST

I seem to remember the third OVA being confirmed recently. I can't remember where, but there was an interview about it. It looks like it will deal a lot with the goddesses and Tenchi. Here's hoping it will be good!

As to the movies, they don't really follow any of the series. They're all pretty neat (the third one being somewhat inane though, IMHO) and i liked them. Still, i wish these people would quit fracturing their storylines >:(

-Elendale (Ahh, offtopic goodness)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
If an OT conversation continues in the forest... (none / 0) (#105)
by fluffy grue on Sat Feb 03, 2001 at 07:21:01 AM EST

Argh. So the movies take YET ANOTHER storyline approach? As in they have their own history of how things came to be, or is it just ambiguous enough that any of the Tenchi storylines (OAV, Universe, hell, even Pretty Sammy) can work? Annoying.

So, is it just me, or in the OAV series are they purposefully ignoring the possibility that Earth is a Jurai colony, and that humans are actually Jurai who only age more quickly because they don't have their trees? Actually, in the Tenchi universe (not to be confused with Tenchi Universe) there are so many stories there to tell, none of which are ever told, and probably never will be since Pioneer Animation seems to prefer to fracture the hell out of a good series instead of letting it properly unfold. :(
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

OAV vs. TV (none / 0) (#21)
by magney on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:50:19 AM EST

I'll absolutely grant you Battle of the Planets and Dragonball Z, but as I recall, the first few eps of Tenchi Muyo that showed in the US were based on the OAV series, not the TV series. OAVs tend to be somewhat more graphic.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

passing the blame.. (4.00 / 12) (#4)
by rebelcool on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:16:00 AM EST

from incompetant parents who dont teach their children common sense, or watch them closely. They have nobody to blame but themselves. It's sad, but tough shit dad.

Pay more attention to your kids.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Who's Responsible (4.46 / 13) (#5)
by Maclir on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:23:32 AM EST

This is all part of the growing trend to find someone to blame. Noone - particularly parents it seems - is willing to take the responsibility themselves for the actions of their children. When something goes wrong - blame the media, blame the school system, or even better, blame the government.

Why has there been a huge growth in litigation? People are looking for someone to blame. Nothing can be an unfortunate accident, someone - other than themselves - has to have been responsible. This certainly keeps the legal "profession" in luxury cars.

Your other issue - the comparison between community standards in the USA and Europe regarding violence and pornography has been covered many times here and other places. My feelings are summed up twofold:

  1. The USA clings to its centuries old ideas about the ownership and use of guns. Many other countries are far more restrictive that the USA in both the ownership and carrying of all firearms. The USA has a very high rate of deaths by firearms. In Australia several years ago, after a particularly nasty mas homicide, the ownership of a number of categories of firearms was greatly restricted. The latest figures show that the current per capita rate of gun related deaths is substantially lower that is was 10 years ago.
  2. The USA clings to its centuries old ideals of "morality" (at least publically). Many other countries are far less restrictive that the USA. The USA has a much higher rate of sexual assaults that those countries in Europe with a more liberal view of nudity, sex and so on. And despite all the publically stated views on morality, "lets wait until we are married", the USA has one of the highest rates of teenage girls having abortions.

QED?

What's Responsible (4.00 / 5) (#12)
by Osiris on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:05:25 AM EST

People are looking for someone to blame.

You, on the other hand, are looking for something to blame, in your two examples, guns, and puritanic morality. Still off the mark. All of these things (imitating TV, shootings, and teen abortions) are really issues of personal responsibility. No law will create it, no law to restrict freedom and try is permissible. Not one. If dumb people want to murder others, set themselves on fire, or become unwantedly pregnant multiple times, why on earth should my freedom be restricted because of it?



[ Parent ]
Centuries-old ideas (3.57 / 7) (#15)
by Kaa on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:54:38 AM EST

The USA clings to its centuries old ideas about the ownership and use of guns

The USA clings to its centuries old ideas about the freedom of speech.

Many other countries are far more restrictive that the USA

Many other countries are far more restrictive that the USA.

In Australia several years ago, after a particularly nasty mas homicide, the ownership of a number of categories of firearms was greatly restricted.

In Europe several decades ago after a particularly nasty world war, freedom of speech related to nazi ideas was greatly restricted.

Etc., etc.

The USA has a very high rate of deaths by firearms.

So? To take a couple of classic examples, such countries as Switzerland and Israel have guns -- assault rifles, no less! -- available most of the time to most of its adult population (male only in Switzerland, I believe, both sexes in Israel). And..?

The USA clings to its centuries old ideals of "morality"

Don't confuse USA and right-wing Christians. Cities like New York or San Fransciso are no more restrictive than Europe. And backwater is backwater.

Kaa
Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.


[ Parent ]

Flamewars (none / 0) (#100)
by odaiwai on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 12:44:26 AM EST

Abortion and Gun-Control in one post? You trying to start a Flamewar?

Sometimes I think there should be an equivalent to the Seven Words You Can't Say On Television: "Seven Topics You Can't Discuss Without A Flamewar"

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
Protecting people from their own stupidity? (4.78 / 19) (#6)
by khym on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:24:44 AM EST

I just don't get the people who are calling for MTV to be responsible for this. It seems to me that anyone with a modicum of common sense would understand that lighting yourself on fire when your doused with a flamable liquid is a bad idea. Now, if the show showed the host doused with gasoline without any protection, lit on fire, and then he was fine, that might make some of the slower witted people out there think that you can ordinarily survive that sort of thing. But the host first put on a fire proof suit; wouldn't this tell people of normal intelligence that you might need some sort of special protection before lighting yourself on fire? Plus there was the written and verbal warning to "Not try this at home "

Now, if in spite of all this, your kid goes ahead and lights himself on fire, this would seem to mean one of two things:

  1. You haven't raised your child to have even a smidgen of common sense, in which case you are responsible for your child being in the hospital.
  2. You're child is congenitally mentally deficiant, in which case you shouldn't let him watch TV unsupervised.

But it seems that some parents think that it's the responsibility of TV stations to protect common sense defincient children from themselves. So out goes the Jackass host lighting himself on fire. Also can't show any cowboy movies where a cowboy jumps from the second story onto a horse; some dimwitted kid might try that and break his neck. No shows or old newsclips about Houdini; some kid might drown himself while trying to escape from being tied up. No shows showing how stuntmen do their jobs; kids might try that on their own.

But what about print media? Get rid of comic books like Batman and The Punisher; kids might decide to battle crime on their own. Same goes for books like The Hardy Boys, where the main characters take on the villains on the own, or even, God help us, Scooby Doo. Even Harry Potter has children facing off against the villains on their own, so that's right out. So, what's left is, lets see.... Barney....

Yeesh!



--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Barney (3.66 / 3) (#50)
by Phil the Canuck on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 11:01:44 AM EST

So, what's left is, lets see.... Barney....
Not even that. Kids might get the idea that it's OK to go out singing and dancing with purple dinosaurs, and therefore start dropping acid. :)

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Barney kills (4.66 / 3) (#57)
by Ricdude on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:29:10 PM EST

Many children have been injured by attempting to "hug" Barney, only to have the television fall on top of them...

[ Parent ]
Stupid is as stupid does. (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by static on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 05:25:47 PM EST

The truth is, in the US, J Random User and family have been gradually brainwashed into believing that they can always blame someone else. And where possible, they should be able to sue for damages. It would be easy to blame the lawyers and the courts for letting this happen, but I think that that is shifting the blame too far. These people somehow need to be taught responsibility for their own stupidity.

Of course, the gene pool could just need some good strong chlorine, anwyay.

Wade.

[ Parent ]

Its happened before. (none / 0) (#82)
by Woodblock on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:05:27 PM EST

Tom Green did a similar stunt when he was on Canadian television. He wrapped rags around his feet, doused himself in lighter fluid and ran around with his feet on fire. I don't recall any news of any Canadian kids setting themselves on fire.

Perhaps this is a uniquely American problem?
-- Real computer scientists don't use computers.
[ Parent ]
Why Does This Get Attention? (4.33 / 18) (#7)
by Signal 11 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:28:11 AM EST

Okay, you've done something stupid as an adult, say, strapping a turbine engine to the top of your car and then turning yourself into jelly from the G-forces.. where your remains are found later by a State Trooper - inside a few feet of solid rock. You'll get a darwin award, and infamy through e-mails exchanged at work, but CNN won't cover it. Now, were you to do the same, stupid, thing as a kid it would likely be covered by CNN and the military would face questioning by a senate oversight committee for improper disposal of goods, as well as public outcry over the matter (visit the darwin awards page for a more detailed explanation).

It's instinctual for us to protect our kids, that's why these kinds of things generate public outcries. It's embedded into our very being - protect the genes. But step back for a moment and think rationally: Who's responsibility is it to watch that parent's kid? It isn't MTVs - their only responsibility is to the latest Neilson ratings and their TV supervisors. It's entertainment, or so they say. MTV cannot take on a parental role here, and ultimately that's what's going on - these people are blaming MTV for their own failings. Yes, a terrible thing happened to your kid and it's a tragedy. Faced with that, I might be grasping for answers. But that's not the right answer.

What do you expect from a teen? They're young, wild, and think they'll live forever. Hell, I'm 21 now and still feel the same way, and I got raging hormones to boot. The only thing that keeps me from doing insane things like that is a supportive family and a network of friends that acts responsible in both word and deed. The failing here was not television, it was the parents and the peers of this kid. In this era of dual-income families and 60 hour work-weeks, parents are putting their kids on autopilot.. and look at the generation we've got - Generation X.. called that because they don't care! Why don't they care? Because their parent's didn't care either!

Look at the environment that the kids who are part of these tragedies, or who perpetuate them. In every one, you'll find at the center someone who was neglected by their family, by the community, by their peers, or by the school - and often more than one. It is this system of neglect that allows this to happen - not television. It is part of our society - we want money, and we've sacrificed a lot to get to it. The family atomics in this society have fractured and come apart, our morals are wavering and weakening, all around us we see apathy and indifference. In a situation like this, you can bet you're going to see an increase in violence, depression, sorrow, and self-mutilation, just to name a few.

Wake up people. Embrace your kids, spend time with them. LISTEN TO THEM, and put yourself in their shoes. They need our help, as much now as at any other time, and there should always be a safety net of friends and family. We may live in a society of individuals, but we accomplish nothing except through cooperation with others. There is no excuse for neglecting the people you love - love and friendship can only develop and mature by spending time with those you would love and cherish. If you don't spend time with your kids, you're saying you don't love them. The lack of love and companionship is what ultimately causes tragedy. We are social creatures, and without the right kind of socializing, we'll tear ourselves apart from the inside out.

Or burn ourselves up.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

violence, pornography, violence? (4.50 / 8) (#8)
by danny on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:30:27 AM EST

In successive sentences you go from violence to pornography and then back to violence. This is seriously confused, as there is no connection between pornography and violence. (Yes, some pornography can be violent, but so can some historical documentaries and soap operas.)

Given that European countries with the most liberal laws on pornography have among the world's lowest incidences of rape and very low birth rates, I think it'd be hard to argue there's a link between the amount of pornography a child watches and "the amount he or she actually performs"... <grin>

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

Pornography (2.66 / 3) (#26)
by Gorgonzola on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 05:08:24 AM EST

Well, pornography gets boring on the long run. If you are able to choose porn from four TV channels in a row on friday at 11:00 pm you somehow get the feeling that you shouldn't be in front of your telly, but going out to do some clubbing. Perhaps ending up in a situation those people on screen seem to be in. Basically, doing anything but watching television.
--
A page a day keeps ignorance of our cultural past away, or you can do your bit for collaborative media even if you haven't anything new or insightful to say.

[ Parent ]
Clubbing?! (none / 0) (#106)
by fluffy grue on Sat Feb 03, 2001 at 03:39:46 PM EST

Oh my god, so you're saying that you've directly experienced people watching pornography and then inflicting suffering on poor, defenseless baby seals?! My god, wait until I tell my friends at PETA about this!

:)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Excellent Counter-Point (none / 0) (#73)
by ti dave on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 04:12:53 PM EST

From Merriam-Webster:

por·nog·ra·phy
Pronunciation: -fE
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek pornographos, adjective, writing about prostitutes, from pornE prostitute + graphein to write; akin to Greek pernanai to sell, poros journey -- more at FARE, CARVE
Date: circa 1864
1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2 : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>


As long as the author isn't referring to the 3rd definition, I'll concede his point.
I think that number 3 was the inference he was trying to make...

ti_dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Taste of reality needed (4.00 / 11) (#10)
by dyskordus on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:56:45 AM EST

This kid's father needs to quit trying to blame Empty Vee for what his son did to himself, and realize that he has an idiot for a son, and it's probably his own fault.

If you ask a five year old if it is a good idea to set fire to your feet, chances are they will answer "no", even if they see it done on tv.

Parents need to look to the mirror to find reasons for their chilren's behavior, not TV, video games, or music.


"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.

I remember playing with fire... (3.25 / 4) (#18)
by magney on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:39:45 AM EST

Not anything that ridiculous, but I was playing with lit candles unsupervised, and wondered what would happen if I lit a bit of tissue paper. To my astonishment, it burst into big flames, and I dropped it onto the card table where the candles were, whereupon it started making nasty-smelling smoke. I hurriedly got a glass of water to put it out, but the plastic coating on the card table had a big hole melted in it.

And I was a lot older than five at the time. Ten, at least.

The point is, kids shouldn't be left unsupervised all day until at least the teen years. Maybe not even then. Problem is, I don't know what to do about the fact that it's so much harder to raise a family on only one income (unless that one income is pretty phenomenal).

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Re: I remember playing with fire... (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by magney on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:45:16 AM EST

...let me add, by the way, that no TV program encouraged me to do this. It was entirely my own idea to play with fire.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

We all did stupid things. (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by Phil the Canuck on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 11:12:57 AM EST

That's what kids do best, after all. There's a huge difference, though, between torching a tissue and dousing yourself with gasoline and lighting it. Wanting to see what happens to the tissue is natural curiosity and poses minimal risk. What this kid did...well...it transcends any measure of stupid that I can put into words.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

That's nothing, I've set myself on fire (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 11:42:18 AM EST

Perhaps not with gasoline, but there are all sorts of neat tricks one can do with butane lighters. Cup your hand to trap some gas, ignite the gas, and watch the flame dance on your skin. The same trick can be done with one's trousers. The butane typically burns out before the temperature of one's skin or cotton fabric reaches the temperature where it combusts.

Now the only times I've set myself on fire where I actually was hurt were times when it was accidental. Being young and stupid often leads one to make all sorts of stupid mistakes when trying to play with fire in a controlled fashion.

For this reason, I'm teaching my daughters to respect fire from experience. I'd rather them suffer minor, controlled burns under my supervision than play with fire on their own with no adult around.



[ Parent ]
So do I... (none / 0) (#92)
by Phaser777 on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 12:52:44 PM EST

I used to play with fire too. I'm guessing a lot of us did. Except unlike this kid, most of us know that FIRE BURNS. You'd think that guy would think twice about doing something he knew was bad, even if he saw someone do on TV (with a lot of "if you try this at home you're an IDIOT" warnings too). Sorta makes you wonder what this guy was thinking when he lit the match...
---
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
Repeat.
[ Parent ]
Re: I remember playing with fire (none / 0) (#97)
by dyskordus on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 01:44:34 PM EST

Playing with fire is a common thing among kids. But i think there is quite a bit of difference between setting fire to an inanimate object and setting fire to your own body.


"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.
[ Parent ]

The kids brain... (4.28 / 14) (#14)
by pqbon on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:28:24 AM EST

This kid's father is setting a terrible example for his son. Now his son (who let me remind you lit himself on fire at the age of 13! not 8 or anything old enough to reproduce!) is going to blame other poeple for the rest of his life for the fact that he didn't think gassoline would burn the shit out of his leggs.

For the next 60+ years this guy will have scares on his legs and maybe all up his body (I don't know the extent of the burns) and he isn't going to think he did it to himself. Althought one would wonder if any 13 year old who is stupid enough to light himself aflame would be in capable of realizing that the damage was his own fault or maybe the father who allowed his son to go through life not understanding enough about the world he lives in to realize fire destroys and burns. Just like fire cooks a steak fire cooks legs.

I'm suddenly reminded of the last line of the south park movie song by the parents. Paraphrased as: "Quick blame Canada before someone blames US!"

"...That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."

-Buffy Summers

On the bright side... (3.00 / 4) (#25)
by Seumas on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 04:14:21 AM EST

Well, look on the bright side -- I bet this kid will think twice next time before doing something just because he saw it on a television show. Childhood is about learning lessons for life -- and this dumbass certainly learned one last week! ; )
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Heh... (3.75 / 8) (#16)
by AdamJ on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:56:47 AM EST

The following show features stunts performed by professionals and/or total idiots under very strict control and supervision.
Emphasis mine.

a contrary view (3.50 / 14) (#19)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:40:00 AM EST

My God, you people have bought the corporate media's whole bill of goods on this one. Look at it this way:

If some neighbourhood adult, me for example, came round to your house while you were out and showed your kids how to play with gasoline, and told them it was really funny and cool, would you or would you not kick my ass when you found out what I'd done?

For extra credit, just how much would you care if I then told you I'd sort of blurted out a "but don't try this at home!" warning? Like hell. You'd still kick my ass.

Why should MTV get different treatment from a private citizen who did the same thing? They make money out of this show, but they ought to accept that part of the cost of producing this highly profitable product is to clear up the messes that it will obviously and predictably cause.

Y'know, there was a time when makers of youth-oriented programming thought that they had a responsibility not to show easily-imitated and dangerous behaviour. But that was before the days when they managed to pervert the free-speech lobby into a bunch of eager beavers shouting that "the media must never be held responsible for anything ever!"

Power without responsibility, the harlot's perogative throughout the ages.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Well... (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by skim123 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:56:17 AM EST

For extra credit, just how much would you care if I then told you I'd sort of blurted out a "but don't try this at home!" warning? Like hell. You'd still kick my ass

Kicking my ass and suing me (and winning) are two very different things. Should you be able to sue me if I am that trouble-rousing neighbor? I don't think so, the whole freedom of speech thang. Where do you draw the line? What if I go and tell your kid about a cult I'm a member of, and your kid joins it and turns over all his worldly possessions, shaves his head, and eventually kills himself in a mass suicide. Should you be able to sue me and my practicing of freedom of speech?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Sword Swallowing and Flame Eating (3.85 / 7) (#27)
by khym on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 05:23:06 AM EST

Lets compare a 13 year old kid going seeing a sword swallower and flame eater at a circus, and having someone show up at his house and personally swallowing swords and eating fire for him. Those two are a rather different

  1. At the circus, those are the sorts of stunts that are expected.
  2. At home, they would be rather shocking thing to see. Also, a kid getting that sort of personal attention, plus the mental effects of an its-happening-live-right-in-front-of-me display, make it a whole different ball of wax.

I would think that seeing someone swallowing swords or eating fire on TV would be rather the same as seeing it at the circus, since you seeing odd and weird things on TV is to be excpect, like lion tamers are expected at a circus. About the only things that I can think of that make the MTV show different are:

  1. People who do fire eating and such are expected to do it; that's what they do. However, a TV show host is just some guy, and if he can set his legs on fire, why, anyone can do it (or perhaps goes the reasoning of the 13 year old who's legs are burned).

  2. Things like fire eating are part of the cultural knowledge, and kids are exposed to stuff like that since they're tiny, and they get used to it, while setting your legs on fire is new, and thus attention grabbing; if you went by this standard, then it's OK to expose kids to old dangerous stuff, but new dangerous stuff is forbiden.

    Of course, a two or three year old could, for the first time, see or hear about sword swallowing, and decide to stick a knife in his mouth, but I've never heard of anything like this, presumeably because their parents are doing their jobs; however, at the rate things are going, I wouldn't be too surprised if I hear about a toddler killing himself by shoving a knife in his mouth. Maybe we should ban every under 18 from going to circuses, just to be on the safe side...


--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]
media sophistication (3.20 / 5) (#28)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 06:33:55 AM EST

see now we get into the realm of media theory. Furthermore, you're factoring out that the MTV host talks to the camera, which creates a wholly different framing effect (circus performers rarely if ever talk; their peformances are "framed" by the ringkeeper). Circus performers are also a long way away from the spectator, with physical and emotional "distance"; TV presenters are much bigger in your field of vision.

What I'm saying is not that anything should be banned; I'm just saying that it's MTV's responsibility to consider the way in which they're presenting things, and to take the consequences if those turn out to be bad. Unlike a lot of people, I don't have much of a problem with MTV making the actuarial calculation that they're prepared to pay for X number of burned kids in order to make Y amount of advertising dollars. I just don't think they should get a free ride, like everyone else on this thread seems to. It seems to me that this would amount to a public subsidy of MTV's bottom line by parents, who are forced to put in more unpaid labour inprviding a context to child-directed media which ought to be the job of its producers.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Pardon me, but... (4.20 / 5) (#59)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:49:53 PM EST

The stranger didn't come along at random.

You gave him the keys to your house and said "come over any time and tell my kids anything you want".

You damn well don't have to have a TV and you damn well can limit what it shows, especially if you've got a modern cable system.

My mother did that when I was a kid.

But somehow today "power comes with responsibility" never seem to apply to the parents who have the most power over their kids lives...

I hear this ranting about the "violent media hurting our kids" all the time, but then I go to see the R-rated "Twelve Monkeys" and see five different kids under the age of ten, ALL with their parents, and here my wife, the kindergarten teacher, ranting about the number of her kids who watch "Southpark" WITH their parents...

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
see, this is what I mean (2.33 / 3) (#63)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:25:10 PM EST

You damn well don't have to have a TV and you damn well can limit what it shows, especially if you've got a modern cable system.

My mother did that when I was a kid.

Unpaid labour, subsidising MTV. Having allowed them to create a culture of television in which it is not a realistic option to bring up a normal child without it, they have delegated the responsibility for providing acceptable content onto parents.

It's that simple. There used to be people, paid, earning actual salaries, at TV stations to ask the question "what sort of effect will this have on our audience?".

Now, those people have been sacked, the common stock dividend has been raised, and the stations just encourage the idea that "it's all the parents' responsibility". An implicit contract was made that in return for handing over a chunk of cultural space, we'd get responsible and useful programming. Now that compact has been broken, and the broadcasters are just strip-mining the habits they created.

Ever feel your pocket's been picked?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Uh...no (4.25 / 4) (#70)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:57:58 PM EST

I'm sorry, but that is just plain dumb. TVs cost money. Cable costs money. It takes labor just to get MTV in your house. MTV does not force its way into your house.

MTV has no more responsibility for protecting children from images that your voluntarily bring in to your house than a knife company has for making sure five-year-olds don't get hurt playing with meat cleavers.

This is not a case of "protect the children". This is a case of lazy-ass parents wanting the whole world structured for five year olds.

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
"protecting"? (3.00 / 2) (#84)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 02:26:16 AM EST

MTV has no more responsibility for protecting children from images

I can't accept this characterisation, as if MTV was just delivering magic images it plucked out of the air. MTV creates those images and therefore should take responsibility for them.

It's not a case of "lazy-ass parents wanting the whole world structured for five year olds". It's a case of hard-working parents wanting MTV structured for 13-year-olds.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Yes, and... (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by ucblockhead on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 10:56:13 AM EST

Yes, and the knife manufacturer created the knife with the full knowledge that it could injure or even kill another human being...


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
not analogous (none / 0) (#89)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 11:18:45 AM EST

you're comparing manufacture to manufacture-plus-delivery, and a cultural product to an inanimate object. And that's only the serious disanalogies that I came up with in the first minute of thinking about your point.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Ok, so... (none / 0) (#93)
by ucblockhead on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 01:04:03 PM EST

So you are saying that I should sue UPS for delivering the knife that my child injured herself with...

Again, no one forced MTV into your house. It isn't even a broadcast channel, so you first have to buy a TV and then have to pay a monthly fee just to get it into your house.

I find it incredibly selfish that someone would go to an effort to bring it into their house and then complain about its negative effects. If you don't like its effects on your children, then either get rid of the TV, disconnect the cable, or buy a TV that allows you to block channels.

Your whole argument is predicated on the idea that MTV is somehow something that just exists in your house, regardless of your own actions. That is NOT true, however much people seem to think cable TV is a necessity of life on the order of food, shelter and clothing.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Give me a break! (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by Volta on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 10:59:26 AM EST

MTV is a cable channel. It doesn't just arrive at your house as magic images plucked out of the air, you have to pay money to bring it in. You seem to want MTV to take responsibility for creating these images, but are exempting the parents from taking responsibility for bringing those images into the house. How can you justify that?



[ Parent ]
ten years ago .... (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 11:17:14 AM EST

MTV didn't show people trying to set themselves on fire. That's when people invited it into their homes. Now, it alternates pop videos that kids want to watch with stuff that they sholdn't be allowed to watch. That turns it from a fairly harmless source of entertainment into a full-time monitoring job. I'm not saying that parents have no responsibility; I am saying that MTV should not wilfully make their job harder and more risky. You, on the other hand, seem to be saying that MTV has no responsibility. MTV doesn't allow you to pick and choose the programs you buy; you have to take the whole bill of goods. They've played a game of bait and switch which forces parents to either a) deprive their kids of something they really want, b) spend every last minute of their increasingly scarce free time doing MTV's job for them, or c) take a risk with their children's safety. I don't believe that MTV should be allowed to renege on the implied contract like that.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
You forget... (4.33 / 3) (#95)
by ucblockhead on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 01:09:20 PM EST

Around ten years ago, MTV was sued by parents who claimed that their child burned their house down when imitating "Beavis and Butthead".

I'd also suggest that airing an adult show at 11 PM on a weeknight is hardly making a parent's job of controlling the viewing habits of their thirteen year old more difficult.

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
you get what you pay for (none / 0) (#108)
by mosch on Mon Feb 12, 2001 at 08:07:50 AM EST

You want MTV structured for 13-year-olds, but then you realize it has shows rated TV M. Doesn't take a genius to realize that it's not structured for 13-year-olds. As a responsible parent you should, at that point, either cancel your cable subscription, or read the manuals you have that tell you how the 'v-chip' works, and set it to restrict anything above TV-PG.

MTV creates the images for ADULTS, and really does have very clear warnings that state that the whole show is done by professional morons, under close supervision and should not be attempted. They even go so far as to note that they won't even view any submissions for the show, to discourage people from recreating the stunts in an attempt to get on MTV.

Think about this, in order for their child to view Jackass, the parents had to:

  1. own a television
  2. purchase a cable package which includes mature programming
  3. fail to use the parental controls on their cable box/satellite receiver/television to restrict viewing to acceptable programming
  4. fail to raise a child who obeys the words 'don't watch MTV'.
  5. fail to notice what their child was watching on Sunday at 9pm (not likely to be in the office at that hour)
  6. fail to raise a child who has the common sense to realize that when playing with fire, you have to respect the fire
It'll be a sad sad day when all content is filtered so it's viewable by small children. There's nothing at all wrong with the idea of adult entertainment, designed for people who are mature enough to know how to handle it.

[ Parent ]
Responsibility (5.00 / 3) (#81)
by Khedak on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:47:45 PM EST

If some neighbourhood adult, me for example, came round to your house while you were out and showed your kids how to play with gasoline, and told them it was really funny and cool, would you or would you not kick my ass when you found out what I'd done?

Probably, but if you just walked into my house while I wasn't home, then I was pretty stupid for leaving my kids there in an unlocked house unsupervised. If you broke into my house that would be another story, but the cable companies don't exactly barge in. If you're concerned about your kids watching weirdos, it's real easy to keep them out of your house: keep the TV out of your house, or out of the kids' reach, or don't buy cable. You're paying for their service, and if you don't think your kids are safe in the same house with it, then maybe you need to get rid of it.

[ Parent ]
It was China, not MTV! (3.58 / 12) (#24)
by Seumas on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 04:09:50 AM EST

This is just stupid. Blaming it on MTV?

Just days before the story about the idiot who set himself on fire, five people set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in China. Why not blame that and the news media that carried the story?

This kid doesn't need a lawsuit or for MTV to pay him millions and stop airing questionable shows just to safegaurd against people like him who are obviously incapable of intelligent thought (c'mon, I don't care how young the kid is, none of us torched ourselves when we were young, no matter what we saw on television). Just put this kid on the Darwin Awards website as an entry for 2001 and leave it be.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

sue the ass off them (2.80 / 10) (#29)
by axxeman on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 07:15:08 AM EST

Yes, award them $100 million, for clearly, MTV is responsable for creating & nurturing sheer stupidity among these "people", which violates patents held by the Patent Office.

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest

show (4.50 / 18) (#31)
by phuqwit on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 07:35:52 AM EST

I watched that particular episode of Jackass. As far as I can recall, Johnny Knoxville was pretty good at making the audience aware of 1) that he is a retard, 2) that is is a VERY dangerous thing that should not be done by people other than professionals and retards, and 3) that he had people EVERYWHERE around him to make sure that he was safe.

It seems like some people want to point blame before they even consider examining the object in question.

I have some pretty strong views on lawsuits like this, especially after having studied some law. People are stupid and want money. People don't want to be responsible for their own actions ("I'm gonna sue because I smoked for 30 years and somehow got cancer!"). People are very happy to get paid to have NO responsibility for their actions.

This lawsuit is completely frivolous and a waste of the time of any decent court of law. Luckily (for him) daddy got an ambulance chaser's phone call and thought that he could make a quick buck. That father should be ashamed of his own actions and be ashamed of raising a retard son.

As an aside, that episode was on at 11 pm on a sunday. What was his kid doing awake?
=== You may or may not need to reboot in order to use this feature of Windows.
about parents... (none / 0) (#58)
by chopper on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:44:49 PM EST

well, i think a big problem is that a lot of parents don't like to admit that they don't have a clue as to how to be a good parent. nobody wants to admit that they raised a kid who thinks that "hey, lighting myself on fire, that would be pretty rad"

so, parents lay the blame elsewhere. <generalization>maybe if you spent more than 5 minutes a day with your kids, they might learn certain things, like "glue is not food", or "you are not a human torch". this is what happens when you let TV raise your kids.</generalization>

Okay. I have just destroyed authority--R.P.Feynman

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

I. Hate. Jackass. (3.00 / 7) (#32)
by Crashnbur on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:11:31 AM EST

As someone who absolutely hates Jackass, I am biased when I say this:

MTV has gone too far and Jackass should be taken off the air.

Tom Green was bad enough. Jackass is just stupid.

crash.neotope.com


Definitely A Candidate for The Darwin Awards (3.50 / 6) (#34)
by ignatiusst on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:40:24 AM EST

Jason Lind, 13, was in critical but stable condition at Shriner's Hospital for Children in Boston with second-and third-degree burns after Friday night's incident in which the youth's feet and legs were doused with gasoline and then set on fire in the neighborhood.

youths told police they were mimicking the MTV show "Jackass."

I hope no one can see the big, silly grin spreading across my face right now... I mean, really.. Do we need people of this calliber in our collective gene pool?

Here are two totally tasteless Onion Links that (I think) are rather pertinent: Fun Toy Banned and Laughing So Hard

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

Darwin (4.33 / 3) (#48)
by Devil Ducky on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:34:41 AM EST

I believe they only give Honorable Mentions to the living.

Now if he had died he could really be in contention. I bet he's kicking himself over that one right now. No, he's probably not considering his legs and all...

BTW, if any one doesn't know, these are the Darwin Awards.

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
Just nitpicking (picking nits?) (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by j on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:02:34 PM EST

Jason Lind, 13, was in critical but stable condition at Shriner's Hospital for Children in Boston with second-and third-degree burns after Friday night's incident in which the youth's feet and legs were doused with gasoline and then set on fire in the neighborhood.
When I was young, being in stable condition and being in critical condition were mutually exclusive.
Guess that's changed by now.

[ Parent ]
I don't know abou tthe rest of you... (4.20 / 5) (#36)
by Armaphine on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:00:43 AM EST

...but if I had pulled this kind of a stunt, (IF I were actually able to pull it off, mind you!) I would have, to put it lightly, gotten my ass kicked. I know I was often told by my parents these now infamous words:
"You're not stupid. Don't act you are."
And also, what kind of parents are they, that, after their obviously none-too-bright offspring does this, then go and attempt to affix the blame on someone else!

"It's ok, little Timmy... I know you obviously were too stupid to figure out that fire and flesh don't mix. But you know what? Since you were just following what it said on TV, we're gonna be rich!"

And so, through the wonderful process that is American justice, we see that these people will most likely get a fat out-of-court settlement (assuming they are at least smart enough to accept it), vice what should probably be happening. Which is that Social Services should be taking a VERY close look at how these people are raising their child.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.

I don't know abou tthe rest of you... (4.50 / 4) (#37)
by Armaphine on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:00:43 AM EST

...but if I had pulled this kind of a stunt, (IF I were actually able to pull it off, mind you!) I would have, to put it lightly, gotten my ass kicked. I know I was often told by my parents these now infamous words:
"You're not stupid. Don't act you are."
And also, what kind of parents are they, that, after their obviously none-too-bright offspring does this, then go and attempt to affix the blame on someone else!

"It's ok, little Timmy... I know you obviously were too stupid to figure out that fire and flesh don't mix. But you know what? Since you were just following what it said on TV, we're gonna be rich!"

And so, through the wonderful process that is American justice, we see that these people will most likely get a fat out-of-court settlement (assuming they are at least smart enough to accept it), vice what should probably be happening. Which is that Social Services should be taking a VERY close look at how these people are raising their child.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.

Out on a limb... (4.40 / 5) (#38)
by ajschu on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:12:19 AM EST

This is probably a more extreme view than most have stated so far, but it's the genuine reaction that I had when I read the story:

It's too bad the kid's such an idiot. Not that he set himself on fire, but that he's an idiot.

I can, in good conscience, say that I have NO sympathy for this kid. I've watched Jackass (and laughed my ass off, to boot. I'll never forget the BMX Joust!) and the warnings and statements that the activities on the show are STUPID and NOT TO BE ATTEMPTED are inescapable. Disclaimers before, after, and during the show state REPEATEDLY that the people on the show are morons.

I have less sympathy (is that possible?) for the kid's father. When your kid sets himself on fire to try to be like a tv show...well, apparently his father is not really a parent. When your child doesn't know enough not to douse himself in gasoline and light a match, what does that say about your parenting abilities?

AJS



If you think it should be taken off the air... (4.36 / 11) (#40)
by avdi on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:45:15 AM EST

...why not get rid of your TV?

Or tell your kids not to watch MTV. If you think they'd disobey you, you have bigger problems than stupid TV programming.

I grew up without a TV. I'm raising my stepchildren without one. I never felt deprived. They are adjusting to it fine. They have videos, and books, and the computer, and the outdoors, etc. There is nothing vital they are missing by not having a TV.

I think this kid was a moron and should be held solely responsible for his actions. But people who honestly believe television could be responsible, and yet refuse to limit their children's viewing of TV, have only themselves to blame if their children pull this kind of stunt.

If you really want TV programming to change, stop watching it. When the advertisers realize they are losing eyeballs, the programming will change.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir

Out of curiousity... (4.50 / 2) (#49)
by lucid on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:45:43 AM EST

what do your children watch videos on? If I am not mistaken, or misunderstanding, these are generally watched on a TV.

[ Parent ]
one solution (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 11:34:49 AM EST

A video tape player with no receiver hooked up to a video monitor with no receiver.

The tape players, commonly known as VCPs are fairly common. The monitors have been less easy to find since the death of most home computers that use S video as the primary display output.



[ Parent ]
TELEvision requires an antenna (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by avdi on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:15:51 PM EST

I do have a television, actually. But it's not hooked to any kind of antenna. Which makes it useless for anything besides videos, for which I have a VCR. I also have a DVD player in my PC, enabling me to watch videos without any reciever whatsoever...

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]

WTF---> parenting comment getting modded down?? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by yankeehack on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 05:15:04 PM EST

You know, after reading all of the "parents should parent" comments in this story, one would have thought that the above comment of this would be getting universally modded up to a 5!

Especially that the above comment is giving a course of action that one parent is taking......or, wait, this course of action must not be the "approved one" that these not-yet-a-parent-themselves think is correct?!?!?

Just wondering.....


No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!
[ Parent ]

What has changed? (4.41 / 12) (#41)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:46:55 AM EST

What is the difference in kind between the guy on Jackass setting himself on fire and my childhood hero, Evil Kneivel?

Plenty of kids got plenty hurt mimicing Evil.

I'll never forget the evening I learned (in front of my peers no less) that landing a bicycle after a jump off of a ramp at significant speed is a very difficult task that requires a good deal of skill. I also learned why dare-devils wear padding and helmets and don't perform their stunts in gravel filled alleyways. My forearms bore foot long scars from my spectacular landing involving sliding for about fifteen feet on my face and arms for several years.

Any parent that doesn't teach their children a proper level of understanding of physics and the dangers inherant to handling certain substances (fire, toxic chemicals, etc.) will have to deal with stupidity like this. The good Lord knows my mother didn't teach me diddly-squat on these subjects and everything I know I learned the hard way.

So what is the uproar about again?



fun with grammar (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by avdi on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:10:03 PM EST

my spectacular landing involving sliding for about fifteen feet on my face and arms for several years
that has to smart!

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
More fun with grammar ... (4.66 / 3) (#66)
by thomp on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:06:29 PM EST

Actually, he's saying it took him several years to slide fifteen feet. That's only slightly faster than the average rate of tectonic plate movement. Therefore, the sheer boredom would have been the most painful part of that event. (Unless his dad ran him over with the car to get in and out of the driveway ...)

And, yes, I too discovered the intricacies of bike jumping in my youth. Got three stitches in my chin. Twice. In ten days. Off the same jump. Over the same ditch.

[ Parent ]
Parenting styles (4.27 / 11) (#44)
by jabber on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:11:01 AM EST

Most American parents tend to somehow penalize their kids for doing something wrong (after the fact), often by sending them to their room - where the kids have their own TV set. Even "good" American parents only tell their kids what they should and should not do. European parents seem to consistently take the time to explain WHY, and to reason through the consequences of 'bad' actions so their child understands and gains the ability to choose.

US parents expect their kids to obey - something that kids, especially teens - are wired to question and resent. Eurokids, who gain an understanding of right and wrong, are better equipped. They are able to choose based on expected/intended outcome, not as an exercise in rebellion against the parent's "outside" control. Also, European lifestyles are a bit different than American ones. European families tend to spend time together, more so than American families anyways. European children grow up seeing how their parents act in their 'down time', while American children don't.

There is a cultural difference between the two continents. Having anything to do with your parents is seen as 'uncool' in the US. The media seems to glorify this separation. Then we wonder why the media is blamed for warping kids minds? European kids rebel as well, but this aspect of adolescence is better moderated by the culture there. The difference between parenting styles of the US and Europe is about as profound as that between parenting in Europe and China.

I suspect that this difference comes from the degree of an individual's freedom from responsibility in each culture. In the US this lack of accountability is somehow twisted to mean "Freedom" and "Liberty" in the Constitutional sense, and so it is rabidly protected as a God-given Right.

The problem is that in the US, the economic (consumerist) pressure on parents to work and acquire things makes it all too convenient to let go of parental control of their children. The kids are willingly handed over to the institutionalized school system, the media and popular culture, and to their peers for up-bringing. Then the parents feel out of touch with their children, and blame these things when a kid self-destructs.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Sources? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by ODiV on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:11:48 PM EST

No offence or anything, but I don't know enough about European or US culture to just take what you're saying as fact. Are there any studies available on this? It seems very interesting and everything, but can you point us to somewhere that has more information?


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Good question (none / 0) (#64)
by kostya on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:36:12 PM EST

It did seem a little anecdotal, didn't? I have seen American parents act both ways. Being American, I have no experience with European parents (although the transplants I have interacted with seemed just like normal American parents). I'd be curious if there is some actual studies or papers about this.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Very good question (none / 0) (#69)
by jabber on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:52:50 PM EST

No studies that I know of, though I've not looked.
You've got to wonder who would fund such a study..

What I said comes from personal experience. I was born and raised in Europe, and transplanted to the US at age 10. I know several immigrant families here - from different parts of Europe, and what I said tracks pretty well.

It seems that US parents are either too busy to take an active role in their kids life or are too concerned with their children's self-esteem to demand that they take responsibility for their role in society. I'm no political scientist, but I suspect that there is a much more socialist attitude in Europe as opposed to here in the US. I'd be curious to see some formal sudies of parenting styles w.r.t. political systems myself.

I'm sure that there are people here on K5 who are well versed in political theory and are just itching to add value to this discussion.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Yeah, but MTV always pushes the line... (3.80 / 5) (#45)
by lucas on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:20:24 AM EST

When I was a teen in the early-mid 90's, it was Beavis and Butthead that were "making" teens burn down houses and do stupid stuff. Before that, when MTV actually played videos, hair bands inspired a lot of lameness as well.

I don't think there is any line to be crossed and, were there a line, I don't think there would be much we could do about it.... well, except laugh.

Our obsession with reality television will inevitably lead to material that even 10 years ago would seem outlandish and farfetched. I'm waiting for the gladiator fights, myself.... or the Running Man. :-)

Just another brick in the wall. (4.77 / 9) (#46)
by CheSera on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:22:25 AM EST

Ok, so we all agree that this young man would be a great nominee for the Darwin Awards, right? HE SET HIMSELF ON FIRE. I don't care if the TV actually came right out and told him "Hey Billy, go set your legs on fire, it'll be fun!" He's STILL a moron. And as to the violence on TV, I consider Jackass considerably less offensive than Power Rangers. All Jackass is doing is beating the crap out of themselves. Power Rangers advocates violence as a solution to day to day problems. Give me Jackass any day. Its sometimes not so funny, but hell, a lot of TV today isn't worth crap. I'd much rather see Tom Green get hit by a Bus than get rid of Jackass. All Tom Green does is piss other people off.


============
**TATDOMAW**
============

Darwin awards (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by delmoi on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:13:58 PM EST

You can't get a darwin award if you are still alive, as this kid is.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Not true (2.50 / 2) (#79)
by QuoteMstr on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:33:09 PM EST

You can received an award if you are rendered sterile, as this kid may be.

[ Parent ]
Was he raised by a TV? (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by Phaser777 on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 12:21:59 PM EST

I'd bet his parents are one of those types who think the TV and school can raise kids. Then when they find out TV is for entertainment and not teaching, they sue because their TV raised offspring didn't have much common sense (or any, in this case. What sane person would light themselves on fire?!). Something has to be done to reverse this idea that kids can just be set infront of a tube and they'll learn everything they need to know to live life.

I have observed this attitude becoming more prevalent where I live (suburban Minnesota, USA), and frankly, it scares me. A lot of my friends' younger siblings are more bullyish than most kids I knew when I was that age, just a few years ago. If this trend of slowly decreasing empathy continues, I shudder to think what the world will be like when they're running it. Hopefully someone will notice that it takes more than a TV and a babysitter to raise a kid.

Note: I don't think violence on TV is a problem unless you are raised watching it from day 1. Teach your kid some morals before you let them watch examples of violence and verbal abusing/teasing solving all problems.
---
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
Repeat.
[ Parent ]
Pro Wrestling (4.40 / 5) (#51)
by antizeus on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 11:04:55 AM EST

This sort of thing happens all the time in connection to professional wrestling. Some stupid kid watches Mick Foley jump off the top of a cage into a pile of flaming steel chairs with a tooth shoved up his nose, then gets together with his buddies in his backyard, jumps off a rooftop, and ends up dying or being seriously injured. Then the parents sue the WWF or WCW, and I read articles about it on the Pro Wrestling Torch.

This happens every six months or so. Usually the wrestling promotions are found to be not responsible for the injury/death, but they typically film some spots with the wrestlers saying "I'm a trained professional, don't try this at home kids" which play for a couple months.
-- $SIGNATURE

Thin out the numbers! (4.42 / 7) (#60)
by inpHilltr8r on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:00:15 PM EST

Am I alone in thinking that television that actively encouraged it's viewers to maim, dismember, kill, and generally harm themselves, would be a good idea?

Similarly, heavy metal bands should be encouraged to write songs extolling the virtues of suicide.

I think this would only be a good thing for america, and indeed, for the rest of the world.

Come *on*... (4.75 / 4) (#68)
by WWWWolf on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:34:10 PM EST

So another accident that's blamed on stuff that happens in TV...

I recently read about kids who, according to their parents, had (unsuccessfully) tried to fly after watching Pokemon. Whoa. Deja vu. Didn't they say the same thing about Batman?

Kids: You really, really, really can't fly, even when the guy in TV seems to be able to do that. It's done with mirrors.

So, all I can say is that this has happened before, and will probably still happen. Forever and ever, from the beginning to the end, for all eternity, amen.

Seriously: In local TV, there's a show where people do stunt tricks and get rewards for that (based on Australian program, I forgot the name). And the guy who tells what's happening really stresses the point that this is pretty dangerous and how close call each scene was. So far, I don't think anyone has blamed them for anything.

How do you solve the problem? Tell the dumb kids that people can't fly (or survive near-impossible tasks without getting hurt). Or, alternatively, let them be ignorant of these things and ban everything in TV and media that could potentially be dangerous.

Guess which is easier.

The problem is not in the TV, believe me. One game show host said here that if TV is responsible for increased violence, then (by correlation) the Finland must have many, many, many geniuses too, because we have so many TV quiz shows here...

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Europe and Violence (4.00 / 4) (#71)
by MrAcheson on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 03:08:42 PM EST

IIRC Europe in general is very tough on violence and lax about sexuality. A lot of European countries see American television and can't figure out why we are the opposite.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


Europe vs. U.S. - porno, hate speech, violence (4.33 / 9) (#74)
by mami on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 04:47:35 PM EST

OK, I can't speak to Jackass, I haven't seen it. I can speak though of the different attitude of Europeans and Americans towards pornography and violence on TV.

The usual publicly viewable porn on TV in Europe is very harmless and never violent. It's so harmless that I wouldn't get upset if my kids happen to catch glimpses of it. It's boring or amusing or ridiculous and not ugly, mostly pleasant to look at, but nothing more. Parents are not paranoid about that.

Difference is attitude to pervers pornography (which is NOT shown) where sexuality is directly combined with violence and the promotion of a "pervers joy of hurting or getting hurt during a sexual act". I doubt that you would find any "generosity" among adults in Europe towards broadcasting freely that sort of porn under the umbrella of first amendment rights of the broadcaster.

The same is true for hate speech in lyrics of music. MTV can be seen all over in Europe, but the difference is that it is has not that much dominance over other TV broadcasts. Anything related to any hate speech with racial content is absolutely "out of the question " for any parent to accept on TV or the web (aside from documentaries).

Parents of today are the children of parents who were adults when WWII was in full swing. Nobody dares to poke fun on that and if one does, it's considered a dangerous sign of revival of right-wing extremism.

It's something which goes nicely under our skin and one of the most dispised movies among the after WWII generation used to be "comic" Hollywood movies about the Nazis. That's just a subject we can't find anything comic about - whereas a lot of Americans are grown up with them.

Contrary, we feel left alone and somewhat cheated and would think that the U.S. in that respect does us a disservice with their "free speech" defense arguments.

As with regards of studies proving a link between violence on TV or videos or music's lyrics and teens or children acting out on what they see and listen to, I would say that it depends solely on the mental state of the teen or kid.

There are a lot of very angry, very lonely and very desperate teens out there and continuous immersion in hate and violence promoting music/video/porn/games/web can very well have an impact.

When it comes to comparing here US and Europe again, I would say that kids are much, much lonelier in the US than in Europe at large. But that's converging. The other difference of course is that guns are available to any teenager if he really wants them in the US. That's very different in Europe and I am glad it is.

Nevertheless living in a "nice suburban" neighborhood in the U.S. is dreaded among Europeans (nothing more sterile, dead, boring, impractical and isolating than that) who come to the US for the first time. It's an infrastructure difference. Communities are not naturally grown in the US but prefabricated by huge development companies who try to immitate "coziness" and "neighborhood feeling" in their architecture. The problem is that it is fake and is not created by the people themselves.

You don't have that in Europe. Villages and cities are older, natually grown and people really build and construct their homes by themselves most of the time. They tend to live in one place much longer and grow more attached to their homes and neighborhoods. In the US people move around from job to job and have to change homes often. Combine that with a lot of divorces, family members like uncles, cousins, grandparents torn apart between far away states, parents who need both to work long hours, often several jobs, that's what is different between Europe and US, and that's what makes US kids and teens the loneliest I have ever seen.

For that reason I believe they are the most vulnerable too with regards becoming brainwashed by the wrong media messages consumed daily for hours.

Add to that a different approach of parenting vis a vis religion and morals. Contrary to the US, religious believes and activities are considered absolutely a private affair of each and every person in Europa. (For your geeks out there, even Linus was very amazed about this aspect in the US - if you have read his interviews in the past carefully).

Teleevangelism almost doesn't exist and is considered "fake". We have only a couple large churches, not hundreds of different ones. Sekts are swapping over to Europe big time and it is much feared. Parents usually don't put any pressure on their kids to adhere to religious "rules" when they are young and let them choose to join the church when they are teens. No moral religious pressure or active teachings in the homes most of the time. On the whole run you won't find parents being "puritanistic" or preaching "ethics" and "morals" so much as parents do here. U.S. parents are much stricter. The idea of "tough love" is not as known among Eurpean parents as it is in America.

People in Europe have a hard time to understand the American's moral index finger and the paranoia about anything faintest sexually. Mostly we want to keep it private and personal and leave the media out of that, the urge to "come out of the closet and feeling victimized" for homosexuals and lesbians is not that dominant. Of course all that is also changing.

My 0.02 cents of cultural country hopping comparisons. Do with it whatever you want. I have lived in a lot of countries, but of course it's a personal experience and nothing more.


Europe vs US (none / 0) (#109)
by pornking on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 01:58:31 PM EST

It's something which goes nicely under our skin and one of the most dispised movies among the after WWII generation used to be "comic" Hollywood movies about the Nazis. That's just a subject we can't find anything comic about - whereas a lot of Americans are grown up with them.

I don't know where this fits into your argument, but i seem to recall a fair amount of European humor based on Nazis and WWII.

  • Benny Hill has done some
  • Monty Python had the funniest joke in the world as well as Mr. Hilter and friends on a hiking tour with a map of Stalingrad.
  • More recently, there is Allo, Allo, which is horrible and I'm sorry for even seeing one episode
  • Don't forget Life is Beautiful
  • I can't think of any names, but I have seen a few German movies with obviously humourous parodies of Naziis.

    Obviously I don't know the whole story, but while they may not be common, they are obviously not the taboo that you are making them out to be.


    pornking
    [ Parent ]

Natural Selection in action (4.40 / 5) (#83)
by Daemin on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:56:06 PM EST

Come on... evena 13 year old should be able to grasp that dosnig yourself in gasoline and lighting yourself on fire is a Bad Thing.

One has to wonder where he got the gasoline as well. Did daddy have laying around the house?

If the parent is so upset, why did they allow him to watch the show in the first place? If you dont want your kid to see bad stuff on a tv, dont get a tv! wow what a concept... not having one instead of deamandnig it conform to your expectations...

Its not like anyone is forcing them to have a TV in their house.

(Another) contrary view (3.50 / 2) (#90)
by theR on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 12:04:20 PM EST

I would have to agree with the majority of what streetlawyer had to say in the thread he started. I also would like to add something else.

When MTV chooses to put something like this on the air, they are effectively endorsing this kind of behavior. No amount of disclaimers will change that. How do most people think the people on Jackass got their jobs on the show? Do you think MTV went out and hired professional stuntpeople to act like idiots and do crazy stunts? Of course not!

These people on the show are just some guys that found a way to make money by living up to the label of jackass. I would guess that their antics took place before MTV ever was aware of them, just like, for instance, Tom Green. He had a local cable show before he was brought on at MTV. The people on Jackass have their idiocy to thank for what are probably well paying jobs that most certainly will lead to exposure and more job opportunities. And even if I am wrong about these assumptions, it doesn't matter because that is my perception and the perception of many others.

MTV, and any network, is responsible for what they put on the air. That does not remove the parents' responsibility for the well being of their child, but the parents' responsibility does not remove that of MTV, either. When kids see Jackass, I am sure some of them think, 'Wow, if I act like those people then I can get on MTV!' Whether MTV realizes that kind of thinking takes place or not, they still have a responsiblity for the programs they air.



Aw bullshit. (3.50 / 2) (#96)
by regeya on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 01:16:35 PM EST

Do you think MTV went out and hired professional stuntpeople to act like idiots and do crazy stunts? Of course not!

I take it you have copies of their personnel records.

MTV, and any network, is responsible for what they put on the air. That does not remove the parents' responsibility for the well being of their child, but the parents' responsibility does not remove that of MTV, either. When kids see Jackass, I am sure some of them think, 'Wow, if I act like those people then I can get on MTV!' Whether MTV realizes that kind of thinking takes place or not, they still have a responsiblity for the programs they air.

You're right, parents are still responsible. I'm not sure why you still think MTV is to blame for some kid with lousy parents setting himself on fire after seeing someone do it on TV. And hell, it gets back to an old argument (really, for all the k5 readership who leave editorial comments about "this would only promote flamewars, -1", I don't understand why this story made it) of what influenced people to do crazy things before TV and computer games. Did Vlad the Impaler play Quake? No. Did Benjamin Franklin tie a key to a kite and fly the kite in a storm after watching Jackass? No. There's an interesting question. As a kid I was almost tempted to do that, but knew my parents would have "killed" me for doing it in a storm. I wonder how many kids have died of electrocution trying to repeat the experiment they heard about in history class?

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Not bullshit (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by theR on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 02:53:38 PM EST

I take it you have copies of their personnel records.

As I pointed out in my first comment, it doesn't matter whether they actually hired professional stuntpeople for Jackass. All that matters is the perception of who they hired. If I and others think they hired guys who are just idiots and not professionals, that is what matters. Also, at no time that I am aware of has the disclaimer for the show or MTV stated that these people are professional stuntpeople or professionally trained.

As for your second argument, it misses the point. I did not said MTV is to blame. But MTV is responsible for what they put on the air and television can influence people's actions, especially actions of younger people. Do you think that numerous people started wearing jeans that hang off their ass and are sizes too big because of independent thought? Granted, setting yourself on fire is an extreme, but there are many factors that play a part in every decision made by every person, and something like this can play a part.

I won't go on to make arguments that have already been made. Instead, I'll point you to streetlawyer's comments here, here, here, and here.

As a kid I was almost tempted to do that, but knew my parents would have "killed" me for doing it in a storm.

So, you were influenced to want to do what Ben Franklin did, even if you didn't actually do it? That proves my point. Media, environment, culture, et cetera will all influence people. How can MTV have no responsibility in something like this if a 200+ year old story could have made you want to go out in a lightning storm when you were younger?



[ Parent ]
some bullshit (none / 0) (#107)
by deacon on Tue Feb 06, 2001 at 10:20:40 AM EST

Actually, the mtv disclaimer states that all stunts are performed either by professionals or by total idiots. The problem I see with this is that mtv defines "professional" within the context of their own show. In other words, they have a bunch of professional idiots, a group of people who's job it is to do things that are blatently dangerous and inherently stupid. Is mtv responsible for what they put on the air? Of course. I don't think anyone would dispute that. I think the question is should they (or can they) be held responsible for the way their programming affects viewers?

By calling the people on Jackass "professionals," mtv is in effect saying "look, you can do these dumb and self-abusive things for a living and be famous for it! You can be a complete shithead and make lots of money and get on the cover of Rolling Stone!" But thats where parents need to step in and provide a reality check. I tend to agree with the idea that if kids are being raised in a healthy way, they are going to have the common sense to NOT set themselves on fire.




"How do men act on a sinking ship? Do they hold each other? Do they pass around the whiskey? Do they cry?"
[ Parent ]
How STUPID (4.00 / 3) (#99)
by {ice}blueplazma on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 05:09:52 PM EST

It makes me wonder what would motivate someone to do something that is so obviously dangerous. Why would someone want to do that? MTV has multiple disclaimers saying that people should not try this at home. Why would someone do this then. Aren't kids being taught that fire will burn you and that gasoline is flammible? Shouldn't the parents be responsible for this?

If so many neighbors saw this happening, why didn' they call 911 or the fire department when the say a GIANT FIREBALL erupt in someone else's backyard? Gasoline would obviously cause an explosion when lit on fire. Do these people have no commone sense? Do they not know that fire burns?

I have to side with MTV in this. They said many times that people should not do this at home. I'm sure that they say how dangerous this is and that if anything doesn't work right the guy doing this will be barbecued. Also, what about freedom of the press. MTV is allowed to show whatever it wants and that right is garunteed in the Constituion.

"Denise, I've been begging you for the kind of love that Donny and Smitty have, but you won't let me do it, not even once!"
--Jimmy Fallon
Playing with fire. (4.50 / 2) (#101)
by Mr Tom on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 09:28:33 AM EST

I used to play with fire. And get paid for it.

I used to be a fire-breather/eater/juggler &c.

And it's a real adrenaline buzz.

Mainly because it is dangerous, and there really is no secret hidden magic trick. When you breate fire, you fill your mouth with paraffin, and spray it out onto a burning thing. It's that simple. And if you get it wrong, you burn yourself.

But /anything/ involving petrol (or gasoline, for American persons), is just stupid. Full stop. Petrol gets /really/ hot when it burns, and has an explosive effect too.

So play with fire all you like, because it's cool. But petrol's bad, mmmmkay...

(Disclaimer: If you do decide to play with fire because of this msg, and you hurt yourself, tough shit. I got burnt a lot too - you live and learn.)


-- Mr_Tom<at>gmx.co.uk

I am a consultant. My job is to make your job redundant.

Duh (4.33 / 3) (#104)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 09:29:34 PM EST

Does anyone really think that this kid didn't get what he deserved? I mean come on: dousing yourself with gasoline is stupid.

I watched Warner Bros. cartoons when I was a kid. Did that mean that I thought that I could take a couple of springs, tie them to the bottoms of my shoes and jump off a cliff? Of course not! If the child doesn't know the difference between reality and fantasy, or know that you need safety equipment when trying a stunt such as this (especially at age 13), then the kid is a danger to himself and others -- he's too stupid to be let out of the house. And don't even get me started about a lack of parental supervision.

In summary, blaming MTV for this is admitting that you're a piss-poor parent.

MTV should be praised... (2.00 / 1) (#110)
by decaf_dude on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 03:27:13 AM EST

...for encouraging evolution. Really, people, someone who would set themselves on fire to re-enact a TV show deserves to be purged from the DNA pool.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


Crossing the Fine Line | 110 comments (102 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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