By Tom Quiner

Should we blame Hollywood?

Peter Bogdanovich

Is the pornography of violence they’ve lavished on our culture for the past generation responsible for the spike in public mass murder?

I suggested there’s more to it than that in my post last week, “The corrosion of humanity.”

Pornographic, violent entertainment that targets young men is epidemic. But does that really make some folks snap?

Yes, suggests iconic Hollywood director, Peter Bogdanovich:

“People go to a movie to have a good time, and they get killed. It’s a horrible, horrible event. It makes me sick that I made a movie about it.”

Mr. Bogdanovich refers to a film he made in the 60s called “Targets,” starring Boris Karloff:

“It was based on something that happened in Texas, when that guy Charles Whitman shot a bunch of people after killing his mother and his wife. Paramount bought it, but then was terrified by it when Martin Luther King was killed and Bobby Kennedy was killed. The studio didn’t want to release the film at all. So they released it with a pro-gun-control campaign, but that made the picture seem like a documentary to people, and it didn’t do too well.”

Charles Whitman was the first public mass murderer that I was aware of, since it happened when I was about to enter Junior High School. I found the whole idea of random, mass violence unsettling. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to randomly kill a whole bunch of strangers. Bogdanovich said Targets was meant as a cautionary fable:

“It was a way of saying the Boris Karloff kind of violence, the Victorian violence of the past, wasn’t as scary as the kind of random violence that we associate with a sniper — or what happened last weekend. That’s modern horror. At first, some of the people [at The Dark Knight Rises] thought it was part of the movie. That’s very telling.”

Bogdanovich admits Hollywood violence has gotten out of hand:

“Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It’s almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It’s all out of control. I can see where it would drive somebody crazy.”

In this land of free speech, what do we do about this kind of entertainment?

I propose self-censorship. Liberal elites impose censorship on the rest of the country via political correctness. I suggest the time has come to turn their focus on their buddies in Hollywood who are polluting the minds of our kids.

If they don’t, what in the world does that say about them?

No Comments

  1. Tom Maly on July 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Alas, i think 2 other considerations trump issues of the effects on the culture. The primary one is, i believe obvious i.e. $$$$$. The second is the adulation/approval of fellow “artists”. And since that segment of our culture values non conformity and pushing limits, we have what we have coming our way in terms of media/gaming/etc.

  2. juwannadoright on July 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    We are products of our genetics and our environment – and with the exception of a small number who might have been born with a birth defect, we all pretty much start out the same way.

    It is patently disregardful of the facts if we ignore how observing a constant flow of violent behavior does not beget violent behavior. I choose not to patronize it, but others obviously do or it wouldn’t be made and sell so well.

    I have been blessed with the company of dogs all my life. They were each of them exceptionally loving animals – but that may in part, not only be due to their makeup, but that they were raised and shown love every day we were together. But if I had beaten these gentle creatures every day or tortured them, I have no doubt they would have had very different personalities.

    The analogy is obvious to those who have eyes to see.

  3. Bob Vance on July 26, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Violence has always been a big part of our cullture. Hollywood just gives people what they want. I am not sure the connection with pornography.

    • quinersdiner on July 26, 2012 at 7:11 am

      Bob, one of the definitions of pornography is “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.” Pornography doesn’t have to be sexually-oriented to do that, it can be violence-oriented, too. Hollywood has dispensed this kind of “entertainment” by the bucket loads. You are correct that violence has always been a part of our culture and Hollywood entertainment. It seems that in the 70s or 80s, they ratcheted up the quantity and graphicness of violent depictions in a way that wouldn’t have bee tolerated a generation earlier. We have moved along the slippery slope to the point that pornographic violence is mainstream, young men lap it up, and a few snap and go out and mimic what they’ve watched at the movies on on their video games.

  4. Lori on July 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I don’t understand how such violence has gotten to be so accepted by society. Today’s movies are so horribly violent, that even when the television commercials for the movies appear in public, I tell my kids to close their eyes (TVs seem to be popping up everywhere nowadays, as though conversation with the people you cared enough to sit down with at a restaurant isn’t entertaining enough).
    Parents these days may not buy their kids games which train for mass murder, but that doesn’t matter, because the neighbor kid’s parents do.
    Is it time for government to censor these movies and games? No, but it’s time for society to say no. And that starts with one person, and one family, at a time.

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