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It's not any fun until someone loses an eye...

By communista in Media
Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 05:51:55 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

In the beginning this article cites one unfortunate occurrence, but is intended to place its emphasis on how popularity and tragedy make a lovely pair in the media.


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comments (24)
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18 people are dead after a deadly plane crash in Colorado. The aircraft, traveling from California to Colorado, was attempting to land in inclement weather on Thursday at 9pm when it crashed into a hill about 500 yards west of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

The plane was owned by Andrew Vajna, a well known Hollywood producer. The plane operator, Avjet Corp. was well known for accomodating the transportation needs of celebrities did not release the names of the 18 victims to the public.

One police officer on the scene assured the public by saying: "I didn't recognize any of the names as celebrities,"

So rest easy kids...Bruce Willis will still star in Armageddon 12, and Martha Stewart will continue entertaining your wives and disgusting your husbands.

After hearing about this article (and in particular hearing the officer ease the fantasy infatuated minds of the stalkers and addicts who seem to follow and cherish the lives of celebrities more than their own) it really made me think about how much emphasis we (society as a whole) place on the lives of other people...including the "pretty people". The adoration of the rich and famous has devalued our own lives to the point that we're callous when an every day Joe 6-pack dies in a plane crash. It's front page news when the pretty people die, get married, or come out of rehab because of their heroic triumph over the "hardships" that come with being in the spotlight. It becomes more an more apparent that the nightly news resembles a ratings whore rather than a provider of current events.

And we just keep sucking it all up...

The newspapers and television make attempts at teaching us valuable lessons in life by showing us horrible scenes of violence and brief us on what's corrupting the kids this week. They prey on those people in society not quick enough to think for themselves. It's a lot easier to blame tragic occurrences like Columbine on Marilyn Manson or the latest computer game than to realize the truth, that most people don't really give a damn. They go to work, they let their computers and televisions babysit their kids...and wonder why their children slowly become withdrawn and hostile.

Remember saying "Man...All that's on the news nowadays is death and chaos..."? How much worse does it have to get before we drift back to reality...realizing that we've got our own lives to live? Have we dropped to the "It's not any fun until someone loses an eye" mentality? People die every day..and unless you've got a Grammy or two it doesn't seem to matter. Either that or you wake up in the morning and your local news anchor tells you how to parent your child. "Eminem is bad, mmhkay? We found this CD in the backpack of the 17 year old who killed 3 people yesterday..." (Parent goes and confiscates every 'offensive' CD/poster/game in their child's room while they're at school). This is not effective guidance...This is avoidance of the inevitable. We as a society give credit to others for our accomplishments (God, etc...) and are quick to blame the actions of their unruly children on the things around them (Music, games, videos, etc...).

We're so wrapped up in each other's lives that we sometimes fail to see the value and importance in our own. We lose sight of the part we play in what happens to ourselves and those around us because we're on Oprah's new diet, or we're sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see who's kicked off the island next on this week's episode of Survivor.

When I was little (I'm only 23 now) there was still violence in movies, there was bad language on television, and contraversial things still happened in the world of glitz and glam that we call Hollywood. I think the difference in my life was that my parents were real about it, and explained that something was bad, or that something was just fantasy/pretend. I think that people rarely do this anymore with their children. If you say to a child "No Tommy...don't watch that, it's baaaad...." - That would only provoke the child's curiosity to watch the forbidden show/video/whatever, out of the eyes of the person who forbode it rather than provided an explanation...To simply avoid an uncomfortable explanation they're not ready or educated enough to explain.

I don't know if this is as much of an issue in other countries, but I'd be curious to hear your opinions. The poll is very concentric on the school shootings, but will hopefully shed some light on K5's perspective of the what influences our society.

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Poll
Who's to blame for the rise in school violence?
o The media 5%
o Parenting skills (or lack thereof) 27%
o A blurred line between reality/fantasy 2%
o Allowing the TV to be a babysitter 3%
o Neglect (by teachers/parents) 15%
o Depends on the individual 25%
o Other (Please specify in comments) 21%

Votes: 98
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by communista


Display: Sort:
It's not any fun until someone loses an eye... | 63 comments (54 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
What rise? (5.00 / 11) (#1)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:09:31 PM EST

I voted "other" for the poll. If I could write-in, I would put "WHAT rise in school violence?" There is obviously a rise in the reporting. There's also a rise in sensitivity (i.e. "zero tolerance" policies throwing out nail-clipper-wielding 7 years-olds). But I have yet to see any stats that indicate that the violence itself is increasing.

Keep in mind that "schools" includes the inner-city, largely-minority schools where the violence was well-known back when Blackboard Jungle was filmed. My guess is that we are, at most, seeing a small shift towards suburban school violence.

Play 囲碁
Good point (3.00 / 1) (#6)
by communista on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:22:45 PM EST

Then a question to rise is why is it more prevalent now? Yes we have more media accessibility, but is it the only reason? Are we more obsessed with tragedy than we were?
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
Cocktail party syndrome (3.75 / 4) (#11)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:46:15 PM EST

When we had our first baby, we suddenly started seeing newborns everywhere. Every trip the store, library or park resulted in a conversation with other "new parents". Within 12 months that stopped happening. Did we happen to have a child during a baby boom? Unlikely. We just were sensitized to it because of our experience.

3 years ago, Drugs In School was all the rage. Remember the girl that was suspended (expelled?) for having Midol? Then Columbine happened (actually, didn't Kip Kinkle happen first?) and suddenly school shootings are all the rage. The "zero tolerance" idiots have stopped targetting over-the-counter medication and have started targetting water pistols and GI Joe. Or maybe the are now targetting both.

Pretty soon some kids will overdose on peach fuzz or some damn thing and we'll be passing legislation to confiscate the homes of known "peach dealers" in Atlanta.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Gotta kill 'em all... (3.50 / 2) (#13)
by communista on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:54:55 PM EST

Kinda like Beanie Babies and Pokemon, eh? Trendy. Only difference I suppose is that with school violence, people get killed. With Beanie Babies and Pokemon, 40 year old women only suffer small bruises and abrasions. ;)
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
you brain good (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by gunner800 on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 10:58:47 AM EST

Near as I can tell, it's actually decreasing. The latest study I've checked was through most of 2000 or so, and the results were pretty clear.

If anybody cares, I can dig up the URL...

---Ignore poorly-chosen handle for purpose of gun-control discussions.
[ Parent ]

Yes please (none / 0) (#50)
by DesiredUsername on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 09:08:31 PM EST

Yes, post the URL. To source data, if possible.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Poor poll options (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by jordanb on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:18:59 PM EST

Who's to blame for the rise in school violence?

I was forced to choose other because the real option was not present. Which is, of course, Canada!

As the song goes things were much better before Canada came along.


Jordan Bettis
Poll Options (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by YelM3 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:28:18 PM EST

I voted for Lack of Parenting Skills because I think this is the primary cause of most of the problems in the US. But of course there is more than one thing to blam here. Especially something like a school shooting, where the kid obviously has trouble distinguishing reality from some sick fantasy (because of poor parenting?) and is also affected by our fucked up media - "I can get rid of some school bullies AND be famous for a few months!!" Likewise, the "TV instead of parents" option probably has some truth to it, but personally I would rather attack TV for it's total lack of quality and not for how much kids watch it.

Kliebold and Harris won our sick little media game (none / 0) (#52)
by DrKlip on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 12:18:04 AM EST

Can there be any doubt that Amerika is a "Winner Take All" society?
A great many of us have adopted the attitude of, "I'm going to win (become rich / popular / famous) even if it kills me."
As the marketoids say, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." As the ultimate anti-heros, in what is surely a (pseudo?)heroic age, the Columbine shooters gained the sort of immortality that many Americans would gladly die for, if only they had the balls.
Of course this is a completely immature and irrational belief, the mark of a society in decline, etc.
I am Not a Goth (on the surface) but I am in touch with the dark side of human nature. Very powerful forces are at work here -- forces we should try to understand, not deny.
My Solution: value the experience of living over externalities. We need to stop being human sacrifices to fame, wealth, and technology. In other words, live for each other rather than the elite which rules us.
In order to do that, we (the people) must regain control over our media, economy, and society. As far as I can see it needs to be in that order.
This is a tall order, and I'm still working on my Manifesto :-) But as mentioned above, greatly expanded Public Broadcasting, with the goal of *improving* peoples lives though educational, artistic, and generally inspirational programming, would go a long way. Restoring basic social and educational services at the community level wouldn't hurt either. And don't whine that we "can't afford them." Stock options or no, we are the richest society, and have access to the most advanced technology, on record. We can afford to lock up 2 million people, and arm another million or so and fly them all around the globe, but not provide food, shelter, and rehab to our less fortunate? I think not.
Educated people tend to make smarter consumer decision, smarter personal decisions, have more of a stake in the future, improvement rather than short-term personal gain.
In other words, they Choose Life over Fame and Spectacle.

[ Parent ]
I flew (2.33 / 3) (#10)
by tayknight on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:35:17 PM EST

I flew into Aspen in a little 10 passenger plane in perfect weather in June. Scared the crap out of me. That approach is messed up. Had to say it.
Pair up in threes - Yogi Berra
Yeah, that one's pretty crazy. (4.00 / 3) (#21)
by Zarniwoop on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:43:25 PM EST

Note: I'm a Colorado pilot. However, I don't go into the mountains based on inexperience on my part.

The Aspen approach is one of the hairiest approaches in the Rockies. If you're a good enough pilot and know enough about the area to handle any problems you might encounter, it's no problem. If not, you're taking a pretty big risk. I don't know what happened to the plane that went down, but there is a lot that can go wrong, especially if you're not extremely vigilant.

Technically, you end up circling at 14,000 ft, above the ceiling of many smaller aircraft, then descend down to the airport (8,000 ft.) in a matter of minutes. Then, as you set up for the landing, you're flying straight for a range of mountains. The approach is so intense that two VOR radio navaids are required so pilots don't end up spending too much time switching the settings if they have to go around and fly into a mountain. There are some good pictures of the approach here.

If you don't see the runway by the time you've descended to 2,400 feet above the ground, you can't make the approach. Not even the big jets. You have to go somewhere else. So, unless the ceiling is above 2,400 feet, you're pretty much screwed.

Just for comparison-- at Jefferson County Airport, where I fly out of, you can go down to 500 feet above the airport before you have to see the runway.

Generally, it's safe, but I wouldn't want try to fly myself into there. Not until I get a lot better at the whole aviation thing.

[ Parent ]

The problem is commercialised media. (4.60 / 5) (#15)
by Kiss the Blade on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:57:15 PM EST

The simple fact is that the way the media portrays news events is dependant upon money. The people have very basal tastes on a day-to-day basis, and so the media reflects this. The commercial media is just a mirror reflecting the values of the masses back at us. It is no surprise then that what it portrays is vacant, banal and tasteless.

There is another way.

In Britain, the BBC comprises the majority of the media. State controlled, it is founded on the Reithian ethos of improving its viewers through entertainment and informative news and Arts coverage. Given that the commercial media entities have to compete with this selfless organisation, it is no wonder that the British media is famed for being impartial, objective and improving.

I would like to see America adopt a similar policy - rather than being controlled by the corporations, only out to make a fast buck, the media could be a vehicle for fair and objective reporting.

Why not expand the capabilities of PBS? Give it vastly greater funds? As the greter population forms many of its opinions and habits through the media, and as our culture is intertwined in a complex relationship with the media, I think that American society would greatly improve in quality through such an act.

KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.
There is no contradiction.

I want to have your children! (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:30:12 PM EST

This is the best idea I've ever heard (for improving media and culture). Where do I sign up?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Where to sign up (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by eann on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 03:39:46 PM EST

At your local PBS and NPR station(s).

If you're not a member, think about how much you can afford, then join. They're usually very accommodating about spreading out payments, etc., because they're almost always strapped for cash.

And if you can't afford to give them money, find a way to give them time. At most stations, all those people who answer the phones during pledge drives and auctions are volunteers. Not your ball of wax? The PBS station nearest me (WGBY, if anyone cares) is working on projects to improve local teachers' ability to use the Internet, and to get girls (especially from inner-city areas) interested in technology. Yours may have similar programs.

Contact your federal and state representatives and make sure they know you care about PBS. Some states don't even fund their PBS stations, and a few others are in process of withdrawing their support.

Government-run and government-controlled are vastly different from government-funded. There are, unfortunately, people who don't understand this distinction. So we keep trying.


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


[ Parent ]
government/corporate (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:21:54 PM EST

Personally, I'd rather have a corporate controlled media than a government controlled one.

I'd also like to simply have the news reported. I don't want opinions, insight or anything else. Tell me that a plane crashed and 18 people died. I don't need 12 hours of in-depth discussion about completely unsupported theories. I've heard news people say, far too many times (just to fill air time) things like "We obviously shouldn't speculate on this, but..." then they proceed to make absurd, uneducated, uninformed speculations that serve no purpose.

But again, if you gave me a choice between the hype of corporate-controlled news entities and the censorship of a government-controlled news entity, it's a no-brainer.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Sorry, must disagree (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by vrai on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:53:27 AM EST

I'd also like to simply have the news reported. I don't want opinions, insight or anything else. ... . I don't need 12 hours of in-depth discussion about completely unsupported theories. I've heard news people say, far too many times (just to fill air time) things like "We obviously shouldn't speculate on this, but..." then they proceed to make absurd, uneducated, uninformed speculations that serve no purpose.
I personally prefer indepth analysis. I know very little about plane construction or plane crashes (for example), as such I like listening to experts (as in real experts, not some pop-scientist moron) discuss events.

I think it depends on what you want from news. I see news as a chance to learn more about a variety of subjects, and find out what's happening in the world today. I think you just want the latter (very MTV generation ;). These need not be mutally exclusive goals: have brief headlines every half-hour and use the bit in between for in depth discussion.

But again, if you gave me a choice between the hype of corporate-controlled news entities and the censorship of a government-controlled news entity, it's a no-brainer.
Firstly government funded media does not necessary lead to government censorship (e.g. thr BBC).

Secondly its a rather slamming indictment of your government that you'd trust a corporation over it. A government (in the democratic sense) is accountable to the people, and ultimately put in power by the people. A corporation is accountable only to a (usually small) number of major shareholders, and will do anything it can get away with in order to increase their wealth - this includes very biased and misinforming news stories.

I mean, when was the last time the Sun (a RM owned tabloid) took a swipe at Sky Broadcasting (a RM owned television network)? It never happens, and with the growing scope of firms likes Time-Warner-AOL-Yahoo-CNN it is becoming increasing unclear about whether commercial news networks are producing news, or promote-our-sister-companies-products hour.

[ Parent ]

The Beeb (none / 0) (#53)
by vrai on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:31:32 AM EST

The BBC is not state controlled anymore - they have a government charter (which ensures they produce a certain amount of news, documentary, religous, etc, programming every week) but the state has no editorial control. Some programs like Newsnight have had quite vicious swipes at the goverment in the past.

Unfortunately in recent years the BBC have tried to compete for ratings against the commercial channels. This has resulted in main channel BBC News being "dumbed down" to the extent that I no longer learn anything from it and so don't bother to watch it: BBC News 24 is the one to see - they don't give a s**t about the ratings and will happily delve into the news that is otherwise deemed too boring or too "highbrow".

As for our transatlantic chums - perhaps some of the federal education budget could be spent on a BBC style news channel. As they'd have no need for advertisers (this is very important) they wouldn't have to chase ratings. They might even have indepth foreign news ... but one step at a time ...



[ Parent ]
Britain vs. United States (none / 0) (#61)
by eofpi on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 05:20:09 PM EST

While I agree with your ideas and think this is a noble idea, it would likely fail. Remember that Britain is basically the descendants of those people who (implicitly or explicitly) chose to stay in Britain and were not sent to a colony when the prisons were periodically emptied.

The vast majority of citizens of the United States prefer entertainment that is at best barbaric. Just look at what gets high ratings in the states: "survivor", wrestling, football, and other examples of gratuitously fabricated barbaricism. Most of the K5 readership from the states (as far as I can tell, with significant extrapolations from my own idiosyncracies and the Jargon File's Appendix A) would enjoy a network similar to what you described. Actually, this type of programming is found on the History Channel, TLC (The Learning Channel), and the Discovery Channel. In fact, TLC and Discovery show a number of programs codeveloped with the BBC.

[ Parent ]
Missing poll option (3.83 / 6) (#16)
by onyxruby on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:57:41 PM EST

The person who commited the violence.

People need to stop trying to keep other people from being responsible for themselves. If a drunk kills a family of 4 General Motors is no more responsible than Smith & Wesson is because some lunatic shot up a school. Until we get back to holding people responsible who actually did something, society will continue to accept such violence. If I commit murder than I should be held responsible, not wrestling, not tv, not movies, not video games, not the manufacture of the candlestick I whacked my victim with - me.

Want to stop school shootings? Stop school harrasment. Stop blaming the picked on victim who has no other way to lash out or defend themselves. The only thing surprising about this kind of thing is that it has taken this long to fester over to a boiling point in the first place. End the harrasment of the picked on kid in school and you likely won't have these kids exploding and doing anything they can to end things. Which is all quite unfortunate becuase in the end they will get it even worse in prison, and the kids that were shot, the bullies that made life so misreble become the victims. Guess who gets the sympathy?

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.

Responsibility (none / 0) (#18)
by communista on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:11:26 PM EST

When you are dealing with children, I feel that it's a little different. While they are under your roof, as a parent you do have a hand in their development. Children who are teased, troubled, have ADD, have no love and guidance from their parents...High strung, misunderstood children with no outlet (Sports, Music, Art, etc...) These are all culprits. The music and the games aren't the cause, but it's likely that in a lot of instances, they're catalysts. The straw that breaks the camel's back. Granted however, that many should accept responsibility for violence committed, but in a lot of cases the child has been forced to be independent at a very young age and doesn't know how.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
Self-defense? (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by SlydeRule on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:48:34 PM EST

Stop blaming the picked on victim who has no other way to lash out or defend themselves.
Defend themselves? I don't recall any of the school shootings being done in self-defense. Nor does it seem that the "bullies" are the targets; the killers just start shooting anyone in sight.

Here are some quotes from an interview with Timothy McVeigh's psychiatrist:

The bullying, from childhood on -- that's one way to think about his motivation for the bombing. ... He had put up with bullies at school. He had always fantasized about monsters and he being the good guy who could bring down the bully or the monster.

I think that was a theme throughout his life, and it is similar to some of the school shootings, where the geeky kids, or the runt kids, are bullied by some of the stronger kids.

Often we identify with the aggressor, and at some level he became the bully. He would view it consciously as not being the bully, but the avenger who would bring down the bully. But, of course, he did not bring down the federal government. He killed a lot of innocent people.

I asked him, when I saw him, why he bombed the building that had things like Social Security offices and credit unions in it, and all he said then, was "Well, those are agencies of the federal government, and they intrude into our lives."

Tim has no regrets about the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.

I guess he was just defending himself from those kids in the daycare center.

Seriously: there is no excuse for violence except in actual self-defense. If anyone has a problem dealing with anger, they need help, not weapons.

[ Parent ]

responsibility (none / 0) (#41)
by Frigido on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 10:11:43 AM EST

I agreed completely with your first paragraph. I believe so much that people want to point the blame at others instead of having some balls about the situation and taking the blame for what they did. I don't think tobacco companies (except those that purposely hid the contents of their product) should be help responsible for the cancer of smokers. No one was forcing them to light up. I also like your analogies of general motors and smith & wesson.

However, your second paragraph threw me for a loop. You want people to take responsibility for their actions, but then you want to blame the kids who tease for the actions of the kids who kill. Seems like a logical contradiction to me. I'll tell you that I was teased in school, but I didn't go get a gun a kill my classmates. School harassment has always existed and always will. There is something deeper at work in the violence of youth. Perhaps its the inability to distinguish between what is right and wrong. Perhaps its the mindset that actions have no consequences in this post-modern, "everything is relative" world we live in. I do know that we MUST hold each individual responsible for their own actions. Then maybe, kids will think twice about taking a gun to school and blowing people away.



"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
-Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]

Second paragraph (none / 0) (#49)
by onyxruby on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 08:58:14 PM EST

You and Communista both have some good points/questions about the second paragraph. I did not describe this well and will be putting in a better explanation later tonight. At the moment I am on the way out the door and don't have time.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Other countries (4.42 / 7) (#19)
by Scrymarch on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:21:28 PM EST

A lot of posts about school shootings, across many weblogs and articles, are from people from outside the US, but even then I think people get caught up in the US culture. I suppose it's always a risk when you're an imperial power :).

I think we badly need to take a step back. What is different between the US and other rich nations? One or a combination of these factors must be it. Attempt at a list:

  • Gun culture.
  • Religious / Christian culture. Since neither of these are new I persoanally doubt this is the problem, but it is a difference.
  • Bullying within schools. (This happens all over the world, but is it worse in the US? Why? Lousy discipline in public schools? No school uniforms? American focus on a social aristocracy despite its democratic ideals?)
  • Lousy schools. US schools are some of the worst among the world's rich countries on educational metrics. Does this focus the otherworldy, Lord of the Flies nature of schools?
  • Habit. The US now almost has a tradition of the school loser blowing away the cheerleader when he gets pissed off. It really isn't even original any more, just another trend to follow or another role to play in those heavily, heavily formalised adolescent tribes.
I'm sure I haven't captured it all, but really America, it's not that hard. But you might have to be more like Europe or Japan to fix it.

more like Europe or Japan (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by _Quinn on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:38:03 PM EST

This ties in nicely with the "Defense of Pleasure" article. My overall impression of European culture is that it's more `mature'; certainly the view of Europe seems to be that America is a spoiled brat with too much money and too many guns. The problem is that there's a fairly large number of Americans who seem to think that European culture is decadent, immoral, and (using it as an insult) socialist/communist. My guess is that America will either grow out of this adolescent funk, or become (more of?) a police state.

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]

You say mature... (none / 0) (#46)
by physicsgod on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 03:27:05 PM EST

I say senile. Europe seems more interested in what happened 500 years ago then what's going to happen tomorrow.

I think the real problem is that american culture values idividualism, but doesn't let individuals get away from people. We're a culture of pioneers looking for a frontier, and some of us don't handle it all that well.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
More like Japan? Really? (4.00 / 2) (#33)
by SPrintF on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:03:21 PM EST

Bullying within schools. (This happens all over the world, but is it worse in the US? Why? Lousy discipline in public schools? No school uniforms? American focus on a social aristocracy despite its democratic ideals?)

Look, I love Japan, but let's face facts: Japan gets the gold medal in school bullying. And not just bullying by other students, mind you, but physical and verbal abuse by instructors.

Since Japan lacks the American gun culture, Japan has no Columbines or Santees. Instead it has teenagers hanging themselves to escape the abuse of their peers and supposed betters.



[ Parent ]
I totally disagree with your list (4.00 / 4) (#37)
by FlightTest on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 01:30:15 AM EST

Gun Culture: Hasn't changed in >100 years. My parents grew up in the 30's and 40's with guns in plentiful supply. My mother learned to shoot before she could ride a bike. Everyone in her town owned a gun. The only murder when she was growing up was commited with a pitchfork.

Religion: Also hasn't changed in >100 years. See the Puritans, Salem witch trials, etc.

Bullying: Also hasn't changed in >100 years. Read Little House on the Prarie. Notice the bullying that went on the school house and in the school yard.

Lousy schools: Which one caused which? Did bad schools cause violent kids, or did violent kids cause the good teachers to give up and find a safer profession?

Habit: This is a fairly recent phenomena, and far too uncommon to be called habit.

There are so many other difference between Europe, Japan, and the U.S., I really don't think it's helpful to compare the U.S. to them. I think that U.S. culture today is closer to U.S. culture in the 1950's than to any other culture in the world today. I'm not suggesting a return to the 1950's, I'm saying that should be our benchmark to what's "wrong" with U.S. society today. The level of violence that exists today didn't exist in the U.S. in the 1950's, but all the factors you listed did exist then. It seems to me that the changes in U.S. society since the 1950's need to be examined to try to determine a causative link to the violence today.

Myself, I think it's a focusing on the self, to the exclusion of others, especailly your own children. Parents became so self-aborbed they forgot to love their children. U.S. society sees a sexual predator every time an adult male hugs a female child so adults stop showing affection towards children. Schools forbid "touching" between students. Children grow up with no love from their parents or society. No wonder it doesn't bother them to kill a bunch of people. It's not like any of them ever showed any semblence of caring.



Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.
[ Parent ]
And again, disagreement (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by Scrymarch on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 08:50:11 AM EST

Gun Culture: Hasn't changed in >100 years. My parents grew up in the 30's and 40's with guns in plentiful supply. My mother learned to shoot before she could ride a bike. Everyone in her town owned a gun. The only murder when she was growing up was commited with a pitchfork.

Religion: Also hasn't changed in >100 years. See the Puritans, Salem witch trials, etc.

Bullying: Also hasn't changed in >100 years. Read Little House on the Prarie. Notice the bullying that went on the school house and in the school yard.

Ah, but here you are comparing with another foreign nation again - The Ghost of US Past. I believe you that they didn't have this problem then. The world, but particularly the US, has changed in that time, becoming richer, more populated and more urban. It is worthwhile comparing these two nations, but a lot of people seem to be doing that already. Another perspective seems worthwhile.

Lousy schools: Which one caused which? Did bad schools cause violent kids, or did violent kids cause the good teachers to give up and find a safer profession?

Good question, but it's not rhetorical. I suspect they are related in a self-reinforcing way, and that improving one factor will improve the other.

Habit: This is a fairly recent phenomena, and far too uncommon to be called habit.

Of course it is - someone else called it a fad. Either word is a cruel way to characterise it. But it does seem to me to be following a stereotype. From afar, (if you haven't guessed I am not from or in the US) these people who lose it and blow they're classmates away are so intensely caught up in the nutty loser social role they carry it to its TV news bulletin conclusion.

There are so many other difference between Europe, Japan, and the U.S., I really don't think it's helpful to compare the U.S. to them. I think that U.S. culture today is closer to U.S. culture in the 1950's than to any other culture in the world today. I'm not suggesting a return to the 1950's, I'm saying that should be our benchmark to what's "wrong" with U.S. society today. The level of violence that exists today didn't exist in the U.S. in the 1950's, but all the factors you listed did exist then. It seems to me that the changes in U.S. society since the 1950's need to be examined to try to determine a causative link to the violence today.

Nothing new under the sun? Maybe, but likewise bullying, bad schools and social stereotypes exist elsewhere in the world, particularly rich countries not really that unlike the US. What about Canada? They even have a wacky North American accent :)

Myself, I think it's a focusing on the self, to the exclusion of others, especailly your own children. Parents became so self-aborbed they forgot to love their children. U.S. society sees a sexual predator every time an adult male hugs a female child so adults stop showing affection towards children. Schools forbid "touching" between students. Children grow up with no love from their parents or society. No wonder it doesn't bother them to kill a bunch of people. It's not like any of them ever showed any semblence of caring.

Well, in case the list above didn't give a hint, I doubt it's any one factor, though changing one factor might slow it down or stop it. I can't imagine a self-absorbed society such as you described helping though. Are people in the US, on average, more self-absorbed than those in other nations (or the US Past?) I don't know. But combine it with extroversion and you get obnoxiousness, and the obnoxious American is an international stereotype.

I don't think confusion about touching and sexuality is US specific, though. Many countries are grappling with it.

I do wonder if anyone is studying the similarity between the schools this happens in. A lot of (media) attention has focused on the individuals involved. Don't mistake me here - the attackers were maniacs and they are absolutely responsible for their actions. But aren't the schools they come from also starting to sound terribly familiar? It can't all be the bad media coverage ...

[ Parent ]

Take a closer look at Gun Culture (4.50 / 2) (#55)
by 0xA on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:18:47 AM EST

Gun Culture: Hasn't changed in >100 years. My parents grew up in the 30's and 40's with guns in plentiful supply. My mother learned to shoot before she could ride a bike. Everyone in her town owned a gun. The only murder when she was growing up was committed with a pitchfork.

I disagree with you on this one. I think "Gun Culture" has changed massively in the last 20 years. I grew up in a rural setting during the 80s, I learned to shoot when I was about 12 and was taught that guns are a tool to respected because they are dangerous.

I think that recent history has changed the way people look at firearms and it comes partly from entertainment. When you look at so called action movies especially you get to see situations where violence = entertainment. A big part of this violence stems from guns.

I think what you get from movies and rap lyrics and notable celebrity law beakers (Barry Switzer, Puff Daddy) is a more comfortable, even glamorous attitude towards firearms. Maybe this isn't a "gun culture" thing, but its' not good.

I watched a segment on one of those news magazine type show a while ago where they hid some handguns and arranged to have teenagers come across them. Most of the kids reactions were unsettling, they had no respect for how dangerous firearms are. I can remember an occasion when I found a rifle on a shelf in my uncle's basement. The last thing I was going to do was pick it up and play with it. On the other hand, I also remember being about 17 and having a friend point a loaded .38 at me he got from his father's bedroom (who was a police officer). He was just dicking around, being a moron but it was still scary and very dangerous.

I don't think that until we can find an effective way to educate children about guns we'll ever be able to predict how they're going behave when they get their hands on them. Frankly I think we should just get rid of all of them and call it a day.

[ Parent ]
What culture? (none / 0) (#57)
by cenotaph on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:07:08 PM EST

I think this depends on what you consider "gun culture". If you mean the "culture" of the people who own and use guns, then I don't think that it has changed all that much in at least decades. One thing that has changed, I think, is the scale. There are now more people that are a part of this culture, so you are more likely to find some one who realy shouldn't own a gun because they don't realize how dangerous they can be.

On the other hand, if by "gun culture" you mean how the US as a whole views guns, then this has changed recently.

--
"He knows not how to know who knows not also how to unknow."
-- Sir. Richard Burton
[ Parent ]

Gun culture is America's biggest problem. (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by your_desired_username on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:39:02 AM EST

Speaking as a lifetime citizen of the US, I agree with you 100% - especially with your decision to list 'Gun culture' first, as that is clearly our biggest problem. My last gun had a rancid odor and a foul taste. Nearly everyone I know has had the misfortune of eating a similarily rotten gun. Clearly, there is something terribly wrong with the strain of bacteria we age our guns with. C'mon America - it's time to change our gun culture!

[ Parent ]
You should really drop the guns, but if you cant.. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by Bigs on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:07:28 PM EST

I think the gun culture is a bad thing. Indeed guns should be forbidden like in most other countries, but that's quite a hard thing to accomplish (especially with Bush as a president).
But if you _have_ to keep the guns, at least educate kids about them. Teach them that guns are not a joke, cause that's the only reason why a little kid shoot's his brother, not because he is evil or because of the violence on tv..
He just saw somebody shooting another on TV, so he thinks he can do it too, he doesn't know that his brother will die or anything like that. Guns are not a toy.

People that want to kill someone will always have little trouble finding a gun, no matter if they're legal or not.

[ Parent ]
Guns (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by knightphall on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 04:53:14 PM EST

People that want to kill someone will always have little trouble finding a gun, no matter if they're legal or not.

This is precisely why guns should be legal. Gun laws only keep the law-abiding citizens from keeping defenses. Having lived in both rural Texas (where everybody keeps guns of all shapes and sizes) and in larger cities (Denver and Houston) I've seen the difference that an armed society has on criminals. In the city, where most of the people I knew were not armed, it was not uncommon to learn that someone I knew was robbed. In rural Texas, though, stealing was rare because the crooks knew that everyone owns guns and were quite willing to use them. Gun laws only help the criminals, as they dont follow them anyways.


-- To most people solutions mean finding the answers.
But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

[ Parent ]

Gun culture could save us. (none / 0) (#62)
by John Milton on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 08:00:19 PM EST

I have a novel idea. Wouldn't it be better if everyone was required to carry guns? Then we could train everyone in gun safety at school. Who would attempt to rob a 7-11 if they knew that everyone inside had a gun. We could protect not only ourselves but our neighbors. Our children would realize first hand what guns can do. The reason Hollywood can get away portraying guns as fun is because most people don't understand them.

If you don't believe in community policing, then tell me why sites like kuro5hin and slashdot have moderation systems. Isn't it better to join together as community to solve problems instead of hiring someone to do it?


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Not other countries, other people (none / 0) (#58)
by Bigs on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:41:43 AM EST

I don't think the difference between the USA and other countries lies in facts like that, but in the mentality of the people who live there.
Without willing to insult anyone, Americans are just a bunch of hypocrits.
We've had some sexual child abuse incidents here in the Netherlands, but we just think: 'That one teacher was a freak.. I do trust the rest of the teachers'. But what you see in America is that teachers aren't even allowed to hug children when e.g. something happened to him (see another post in this thread).
When a child brings a weapon (and I mean a knife, not a nail clipper), his teacher talks to him about that, tells him why he shouldn't and porably call his parents to inform him of that. In most cases this is effective. Just expelling someone for a month doesn't help at all, but I think that's just the way you do.
I saw something on a talkshow the other day about how American boys have to be 'men'; strong and not showing emotions, I think that too is one of the causes of all this (altough the show was a bit exaggerated and hypocrite, in true American fashion ;)

[ Parent ]
Could you post the source for your story... (none / 0) (#22)
by SIGFPE on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:51:03 PM EST

...I used to work for one of Andy Vajna's companies...
SIGFPE
The horse is the source.... (none / 0) (#23)
by communista on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:00:15 PM EST

It's been just about everywhere, but I found out most of the information from cnn.com.

Hope this helps!
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
Aha! (none / 0) (#43)
by SIGFPE on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:45:27 AM EST

Most of the news sites didn't mention Vajna's name so my searches fail. I should have just looked at the front page - doh!
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Vajna? (none / 0) (#35)
by MeanGene on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:19:51 PM EST

Wasn't he a famous Polish movie director back in the 1970's? Also, wasn't he the man who directed the "Angel Heart"?

Well, of course, he didn't have big boobs, so no wonder Joe Officer doesn't know his name...

[ Parent ]
Hungarian (none / 0) (#44)
by SIGFPE on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:50:03 AM EST

And a producer rather than director.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
On the air (4.00 / 6) (#24)
by stormwave on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:01:10 PM EST

One police officer on the scene assured the public by saying: "I didn't recognize any of the names as celebrities."

I was shocked and a little sickened when I was listening to the national "news" this morning on the radio and heard that audio clip from the police officer. I found the implication that the newsfeed organization (CBS, I think) thought that this was an appropriate sound bite for this story quite disgusting. Why anyone would choose to put such a comment in a tragic story such as this is beyond me.

"Plenty of hamsters but no wheel." - Hektor
Re: (none / 0) (#25)
by communista on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:03:22 PM EST

Just about the same way I felt. I was on my way to work when I heard it, and I have been stewing about it for about 8-9 hours now. We were in a slump at work and out came this article. I thought, what...nobody cares that 18 human beings died?? I was disgusted.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
Doesn't anyone care? (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by Armaphine on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:38:58 PM EST

I thought, what...nobody cares that 18 human beings died??
In all honesty... many do not. In most cases, the life or death of those eighteen people will never touch them in any kind of personal way. They hear the sound bite, they process the information, but unless they knew one or more of the 18 people before the crash, what reason do they have to care about their fate after the crash? None, because they can go about their lives without these people, and nothing is different. It may be cruel, it may be cold-hearted in principle, but honestly... they don't care.

To take it a step further, why are these eighteen people any more special than the hundreds of other nameless and faceless people that die every single day. Old folks that simply pass away in their sleep, babies that were born just too early, kids that starved to death, because they had the misfortune of being born in the middle of a drought, some middle-aged divorced man that blew his head off... you get the idea.

The simple fact of the matter is that often times, the number of people that die every day is so overwhelming that most of us will never actually get our heads around it. So we basically narrow the parameters. If we knew them, or they affected our lives in some way, we'll care. If not, then we won't.

The whole thing with the celebrities is that we, as a general whole, know them, or at least know of them. We've seen them, and have heard them. And therefore, we care as to whether they live or die. It may sound cruel and cold-hearted, but it seems to be the way things are....

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

why? (5.00 / 4) (#26)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:15:19 PM EST

I'm not sure why it would make you sick. Aren't you relieved that it was maybe just some cookie-cutter human being (parents, children, brothers and sisters, etc) and not someone really valuable like Christina Aguilara or Jane Fonda? I mean, celebrities tell us how to think and vote and help us feel emotions through their art, unlike everyday human beings!

On a serious point, I'm not surprised that people are excited and interested in tragedies. It's human nature. In this day and age when there is almost zero sense of community and belonging among people, massive tragedies may help us find that (although temporary) sense that we all share something. For a few days, everyone is thinking and talking about the same thing. On busses, in cubicles, at the water-cooler, on television, on the radio, waiting in line at a theater -- everywhere.

It's like the feeling when there is tons of snow coming down on a city and everyone is in that mad rush to prepare. It's on everyone's mind and there is this perverse commonality for a short time that charges the air and seems to close the distance between randomly passing persons who have never known each other.

Sure, it's perverse and a little unsettling that tragedies and the pimping media encourages this, but perhaps not any more so than a young person from a horrible family home seeking out a relationship when she's older, when a man who resembles her father in some ways yet provides some emotional needs that her family and environment never provided. The way the needs are provided are usually damaging, but human nature causes the young person to seek it nonetheless, just as most of society is drawn to tragedies.

However, the 'celebrity' thing is pretty disgusting. Just because Hollywood thinks they are the center of the universe doesn't mean that they are or that anyone else in the world suffers less of a loss when their family member isn't on television.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Re: why? (none / 0) (#27)
by stormwave on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:19:19 PM EST

I think that that is a very interesting point that you raise, i.e., lack of community and "groupedness" amongst neighbors or the people one comes in contact with on a daily or frequent basis.

My question is, what is causing or perpetuating this isolation? Or is it just more noticeable now?

"Plenty of hamsters but no wheel." - Hektor
[ Parent ]
population (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:26:50 PM EST

In a city with over a million people, you can't possibly spend your day acknolwedging everyone and feeling like you're part of a community. You ignore 99.9% of the people you pass or come in contact with every day, otherwise you wouldn't make it out of the 7-11 with your morning coffee. You'd be stuck greeting and tipping your hat to everyone. So we try to build groups that may lie within different boundaries (for instance, people online in different regions who have a lot in common) rather than geographical boundaries.

A century ago, you would have had a small village with a couple hundred people who all knew each other and interacted. Ten centuries ago, you would have had small tribes which were more like very close families. Today, you have millions of people crammed together, all forced by necessity to ignore each other (really, what are the odds you'd run into the same person twice anyway?). So as populations of risen, it seems people have continued to seek out replacement tribes. Biker gangs, amateur sports teams, book clubs, cooking groups, and so on.

I just don't think the replacements can fill the same internal needs of whatever "human spirit" there is that we've grown to depend on for tens of thousands of years.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Methinks your time scale is a bit off. (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by vectro on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 01:55:10 PM EST

A hundred years ago we were experiencing the Industrial revolution in the US. The cities, which already existed, were burgeoning.

Ten centuries ago would be the year 1001, which was during the middle ages. In Europe, that means castles, knights, monarchs, and the Church. Of course, if you're talking about Africa or America, then your statement is spot on.

To get to tribes in Europe, you have to go back much further than 1000 years.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
as recent as possible (none / 0) (#48)
by Seumas on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 06:11:32 PM EST

My intent was to bring to light the wide existance of these communities in as recent a timeframe as possible, to show that they did still exist. Your mention of industrialized nations by around 1900 is right on in making the point -- that is, industrialization (think Henry Ford here) impacted communities in both size and relation exponentially. Other regions of the world where industrialization had not hit retained the villiage or even the tribal similarities much longer, despite population growth (more tribes and more villages).

Today, we don't know a tenth of the people in our neighborhoods let alone all the people in our town or city. Hell, I live in an apartment complex with about 30 apartments and I don't know a single soul. Nobody particularly wants to know each other either. And why should they these days? The only thing people have in common now is their geophraphy in the city. Whereas a tribe or a village would have generally held on to certain beliefs, customs and ways of living which tied them all together in addition to their geography, every person within a single block could have completely unique sets of morals, ethics, religions, upgringings, political views, traditions, customs, family structures, etc. Absolutely nothing ties or interests one human and another any longer and the sense of "belonging" and "banding together" as a town or city or community no longer applies unless it's for the superfluous substitution of highschool, college or professional sports teams.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

A quick comment... (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by Zeram on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:14:42 PM EST

There are many people (this espically applies to the US, but pretty much is universal) that have sad pathetic little lives. I don't mean that to sound as rough as it does, really. Anyway people who's lives aren't everything they want need some kind of outlet. An easy outlet is living vicariously through others, and the most visable "others" for people to live vicarously through are stars.
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
What a coincidence! (4.50 / 4) (#36)
by FlightTest on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 12:55:39 AM EST

I just got through posting this comment in the Right to Pleasure story. It's not the "gun culture" or lousy schools, or bulling. It's a total disaffection from society. Kids can't get a hug from a neighbor or teacher, and now the idiots want to keep the kids from hugging each other! Don't you think it's a hell of lot better for kids to hug each other than kill each other?

The juxtaposition of the two stories couldn't be better. Pleasure is forbidden. Violence is up. Anyone else see a connection, or am I just crazy?



Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.
I don't care about people I don't know (4.25 / 4) (#39)
by NotZen on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 08:40:07 AM EST

Obviously this is an overstatement. I care in a generic way about 'people', but I don't care in a specific 'it makes a difference to my life' way.

If a plane crashed with a bunch of people I didn't know in it, then "Hey, it happens. I hope they work out why it happened and try to regulate it so it doesn't happen again."

If a plane crashed with a bunch of people I liked in it, I'd be really upset.

If a plane crashed with some people I knew vaguely, I'd be interested.

Our attachment to famous people is mostly along the lines of 'people we know vaguely' (unless you're a raving fan).

So a plane crashing with Bruce Willis in it would be more news to me than a plane crashing with nobody I'd even heard of in it.

Newspapers have to appeal to the maximum number of people possible, so they can't specialise in telling me what the people I care about are up to, they have to tell me about the people that most people care a little bit about.

Withdrawn society.... (4.00 / 3) (#40)
by Frigido on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 09:55:07 AM EST

It's so true. Why do we as a society care so much about people who we don't know...yet are famous...but when we see a poor man on the side of the road cold and hungry, we drive on by with out a thought. What happened to all the compassion that was once so prevelent in our society. What happened to neighbors helping each other out when things got bad? What happened to the simple "hello" as we pass people on the sidewalk? I agree, I think the only time people care about other outisde their faimilie is unless they're on TV or in movies or play a professional sport. America has lost something, something big and if we don't find it again, we will only see things get worse.



"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
-Albert Einstein

From a teens perspective... (none / 0) (#63)
by Dissention on Thu May 03, 2001 at 11:17:17 PM EST

I'm going to start off by saying that I am probably as messed up as any other teen (if not more so), but I'm not in any hurry to totally screw my life by shooting up my school, then again I really don't look forward to it either.

Anyways, the problem (at least mine is) that society is so completely concerned about finding the problem that once it is found they don't know how or are unwilling to solve it.

The mass media (a term I hate describing something I hate even more) is hell bent on convincing parents that it is not THEIR fault their child does drugs and brought a gun to school, rather the fault lies on Half-Life and their heavy metal CDs. This is what I consider the greatest irony, these 2 things are 2 of my greatest and most important releases, in fact without such tools to release stress I would have just given up.

Another quick blame system is "It's the parents' fault, they just didn't care enough" or some similar line. In my not so humble opinion, THIS IS WORST THAN THE VIOLENCE ON TV LINE! By the time kids hit 14 their parents play such a minor part of their kids metal health its sad.

Rather than the parents, it is the schools and workplaces we send our children off to everyday trusting that everything will be all right. The tormenting of fellow students (even in the higher grades) is far FAR past simple kidding.

Another very disturbing thing about these recent school shootings, nearly ALL the blame is placed either on the actual perpetrator and/or their friends/family. People do NOT just decide to attempt to kill others and then end their own lives. The blame should be placed on the classmates (more specificly, and sadly, those who were targeted).

There is more than 1 way to destroy a life, being the one with the gun just happens to be the easiest to identify and place the blame on. Any person who adds to the declining mental health of someone is just as much to blame for what that person does as the perpetrator is.

People as always like to look for the easy way out or easy thing to blame. It is much easier to blame things people can identify easily such as their kid's KoRn CD, the drugs in their car, or the clothes they wear than the spoken words of their classmates.

In all honesty, our society is a dark ugly disgusting thing with pretty wrapping paper such as pop music and movie stars. We ignore our problems until some woman with a bad hair do tells us we should care, or some guy wearing a mic says what is to blame.

Just to add yet another layer of brutal irony to this, it is the do-gooders who would prefer total censorship who are doing the damage, kids can handle violence, and swearing, and sex (anyone who thinks their child is sheltered is a flaming idiot). The only way to prevent problems is education about the problem, not finding the blame for it, not disguising it, not ignoring it, directly confronting the problem and finding a solution is the only way to ensure the health of our children.

*note* This is totally all my beliefs, however strong they may be. I realize much of what I stated I stated as though it is fact (for me it is) but it is just my beliefs typed out in 15 minutes :)

It's not any fun until someone loses an eye... | 63 comments (54 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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