October 01, 2007

Sex or Violence

Mona Charen thinks Hollywood is wrong to worry about sex more than violence in films. Thinking about my own emotional reaction, and I can't speak either for kids or for others, its violence in films that really provokes an emotional response in me. I can't speak for others- but I have this tendency to empathise with the victim, especially if its a character that I've grown across the film to know. That's why the most shocking scene of a film I have ever seen is the end of Casino where Joe Pesci is bludgeoned to death and then buried alive. I'm not sure how I would have reacted as a child to seeing that scene, but I'm pretty sure it would have deeply upset me. I'm not sure about Charen's overall point either, I think we are exposed as kids to a lot more violence than sex, through the news if nothing else. A child today who saw the news- on a 24 hour news channel- could expect to hear and see images of Burmese monks being beaten today. Violent video games as well are marketed to a teenage audience. I'm not sure if you see as much sex as you see violence. But I'd accept contradiction. It would be really interesting to look at the way that a generation reared on images of extremity are psychologically different to generations before as well and how the images effect the consciousness.

As I hope the tone of this post demonstrates I'm not dogmatic or even convinced about this- so any discussion would add to my stock of knowledge.


edmund said...

a difficutl one

i think the fact you sympathise with the victims is arguablly an indicaion that it's less erious than sex- or less corrupting/ de inhibiting

Charen's point is narrowly about PG ceritficiao ie that when delaing wiht a 10 year old or even a 13 year old violne they don't understand can be less bad and more menanginess than sex they don't - and less embarassing for the parent. Ie all but the worst vion is familar to the young if they've seen tom and jerry the same is not true for sexually expliciyt scenes This seems to me a separate debate than adults

My understandin (which is not based on much knowledge)

El Dave. said...

It is perhaps an indication of how pervasive sex (and violence and 'language') are that one of the links to your post that has appeared is to http://love-britney-spears-wwe.blogspot.com/2007/10/google-alert-sex_7209.html

As well as the general certificate levels, there are now descriptions such as 'contains mild peril' or 'contains strong bloody violence' on suitability advisories. I do wonder who those are aimed at, and whether it's people who have a particular moral position who don't want their children to be exposed to it.

Lord Nazh© said...

Just a nit to pick, but how can you both be bludgeoned to death and afterward buried alive :)

Sex on tv (other than 'late-night') is usually only sex if you understand it as such, violence is shown as it is.