“Why is No One Talking about the Violence of Popular Entertainment after Parkland?” Douglas Murray headlines his piece in “National Review” this March 2.
“A culture that encourages enjoyment of horrific violence alongside a sort of flippant approach to its consequences cannot be helping matters.”
Indeed not. And therein shouts our tell-tale heart.
The movie-going public and the macabre producing filmmakers don’t care.
Within six days of the December 14, 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, headlines promised changes in plans at movie and TV studies of the entertainment capital.
“Executives reviewed scripts,” and perused problematic portions of pending productions to reach what ‘poignant’ conclusion?
What does “reacting with compassion” by an industry that “capitalizes on violent and crude entertainment” – not to mention gore – actually mean?
Any more than it did for Lucy who compassionately visited Charlie Brown in the hospital promising that next time she held the football the outcome would be different.
‘Good Grief’ according to one definition found in “The Urban Dictionary” refers to that which is “unbelievable, shocking, something that is hard to imagine (and yet) seems to happen on a recurring basis”.
Good grief, that describes the movie industry which ‘sensitively’ – sarcasm intended – removed the word ‘massacre’ from “Texas Chainsaw 3-D”, a fright-flick that took top spot at the box office when the blood and gore splattered the silver screen in its first weekend.
Even as Newtown crews began to remove memorials, restore sidewalks and traffic again begin flow, so the surge of grief and outrage across the nation subsided, what with long lines overflowing the ticket booth beyond which booth blood and horror and flesh and bone and guts and carnage showered – as if that were possible – down upon movie goers – gore-seekers – giddy and gladly paying to be entertained by masked killer Leatherface who’s on the loose again in the horror sequel, picking up his chainsaw from where he left it in the 1974 version when “massacre” was still part of the promotion.
Second in sales, not far behind “Chainsaw,” was “Django Unchained,” a “bloody period tale of an ex-slave in the Deep South”, another bucket-of-blood spilling out across the country.
So, what was Hollywood’s horror-stricken response to events in Connecticut and Colorado as it agonized over its responsibility to the public?
Besides shortening the “Chainsaw” title, compassion-driven (read ‘cash-flow directed’) Hollywood execs scaled back its red-carpet spectacle for “Unchained” producer Quentin Tarantino.
From America’s blood-stained hallways to the red carpet of Hollywood, the soul-searching – even agonized soul-searching – that purportedly and painfully took place, was then, and is now, only as good as there was/is a soul to search.
For all this spilling of our guts it’s more than apparent we don’t have any.
As long as the “gloomy-as-hell craft of movie making” is as gloomy as hell but can turn a handsome profit – good grief they’re not in it for peanuts – and we, the paying public keep going back for more, soul-searching promises of ‘never-again’ will be as empty as that of Lucy who left Charlie, painfully, on his back once more.
What about some of the leading TV Programs;
Can’t hardly watch TV without cringing.
Well said, Mr. Anderson. Holding the entertainment industry accountable is long overdue. The people who create movies are the worst hypocrites on the planet. Virtually every movie advertisement on television contains shootings, explosions, and destruction. Television shows routinely show gun violence. And yet, they denounce it at every opportunity. They blame anyone and everyone (other than themselves, of course) for contributing to the gun violence we see much too often in this country. When a brain dead actor promotes his/her upcoming movie on one of the stupid talk shows, they’re never asked why they acted in a movie in which they carried a gun and shot someone. Were they asked, the response would be it’s not reality, it’s just a movie. Enough ranting. Thanks for writing this piece. Hopefully, it will help move the needle.
I would also add video games to the desensitization of America. Young children spend hours in front of a screen killing imaginary enemies in the most horrific ways. The bloodiest games seem to be the best sellers. Our collective gun violence problem has many contributing factors and “entertainment” is certainly one of those causes.
David Wilson says
Another intelligent reply from Mr. Wilson. How are you able to do that on a consistent basis? Amazing.