This weeks DP Challenge asks if violence in movies leads to violence in real life. This came at a perfect time for me because, just yesterday, I was watching the movie, Hostel and thinking to myself, “Ewe, why do I watch this stuff?”
I believe the answer is simple; violence is embedded human nature and we must cope with that part of ourselves. Our nurturing determines our ability to do so.
Many healthy, well-developed people use scary movies or horror books as a way to face fear without getting our hands dirty. They are not to be considered sick for watching. They use these shocking images to show that things could always be worse, or that a hero can come out on top if they just keep trying. What else is The Walking Dead if not a metaphor for an America overtaken by brainless terrorist without negotiation ability?
The sad fact is, there are always going to be people who use these fearful images and story lines as a tool. They fulfill a deep-set need and may even get a few new ideas to spice up an old fantasy from these films. However, I believe violence on TV is only a small part of what motivates the evil within people and it would still be there even if there were no television, they would simply find another outlet.
Our very way of nurturing our children is what must be advocated. Abuse, neglect, and poverty continue to be a problem in our society. I think when you have all the ingredients to make a serial killer or a shooter cooking in one pot, adding violent movies is like adding a bay leaf. It’s not going to keep the contents from being a stew; it just heightens the bitter taste.
We have a responsibility to keep our children safely away from violent movies just as much as we do sharp glass and a hot stove. Put down the cell phone, turn off Dawn of the Dead, and go outside with our kids to play. Home environment will always have a bigger influence on us than the films we watched.
Violence in movies doesn’t force someone to commit violent acts. It’s a symptom not the cause.
In closing I would like to quote a totally non-violent movie. Clueless-“And so, until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there’s no point taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value.”
Thanks- Talyn Marie