reply to post by torqpoc
That I simply don't know, it's a chicken and egg situation. The media glamourises what is in existence today, and that is .. well do I need to repeat
myself? If it wasn't there, would it still be glamourised?
I think there is a bit of disconnect that occurs when dealing with a cultural exchange like this. People on the recieving end tend to believe it
represent the producing culture more than it does.
Americans are just as guilty of doing this. Before BBC America the biggest dose of English culture we recieved came from PBS reruns of Keeping Up
Appearances and Comedy Central marathons of Monty Python. They both reinforced this idea that English people were unatractive deviants with a weird
sense of humor and false air of superiority. I mean we knew that wasn't what all British people were, but it seemed like that must be a large part of
society or it wouldn't be so popular.
The thing you have to remember about violence in American media is that it does not represent the majority of the culture. The average American lives
their life in peace and quite and will never visit violence on another. The violence in movies represents a two different dynamics. The first is
The world of crips and bloods is completely lost on many people. They never see it in real life. Seeing it in a movie is like visiting the zoo. You
can get real close and look. You can pretend you're in a real dangerous place staring down a dangerous beast. Then you go home and live your normal
life. In America it is called "seeing how the other half live."
The second is that it speaks to the insecurities of people in the midst of a changing and challenging world. In a time when America is losing it's
world dominance, and the middle class is disapearing, people are scared and feel powerless. So, they turn to movies where the good guy rages back and
destroys evil. They live vicariously through the hero attacking a defined enemy. They spend their days raging against politicians and buisnessmen and
bosses that they can not effect. It makes them feel powerless in a way. So, when the hero can strike against these things and win it lifts them up.
They feel like they rode along for the adventure. Then they can leave the theatre, turn off the game, or put the book down and go back to normal life.
Violent entertainment is actually our release valve. I would dare say that our ability to express unexpressable emotions through our entertainment
sources keeps us sane. Our violent entertainment contains more guns because guns are a large part of our country's mythos. A lone wanderer carving out
an existence in the wild with his musket. The "minute men" holding back the British with their muskets and sneak attacks. The lone cow boy riding in
to the sunset with his Colt Single Action Army on his side and a Winchester repeating rifle. They are our myths much like the myths of the Greeks and
Romans. Just like thos ancient civilizations they find their way in to our entertainment on a regular basis.
I don't think you can lay that blame on gun owners or our gun laws. I don't think banning guns would change it either. The images are too much a part
of the American fabric to disappear. They aren't meant to change people in other countries. They are meant to comfort and sooth Americans by reasuring
them that some one out there is still strong. Some how we will return to the "good ole days."
As far as gangsta rap. To some extent it is potraying a reality for certain groups of people in certain neighborhoods. However, it represents a tiny
majority of the overall population. Unfortunately it became hugely successful because white kids bought in to it as a way to rebel. The more modern
version by guys like Gucci Man gets out their because they have drug dealers willing to put money behind them. That is a whole other discussion.
Suffice it to say that it represents a tiny minority of Americans and is actually losing popularity in the market place.
I do kind of apologize for foisting a lot of that stuff on the world.
To address your earlier post. I do believe that it can give wayward boys a false sense of what it means to be a man. The images without context tend
to blur reality and understanding. However, I believe that is more of a case for the parent than the legislature. I do understand your concern though
and wish I could address it more fully I just need time to wrap my thoughts on it together coherently.
Just one thing I want to add on that particular subject. A lot of those documentaries and such sell to a very niche audience in America. They actually
sell much better over seas in many cases. When robbed of proper context it seems to feed a mythological idea people have of America. Unfortunately it
isn't a good one. It is one that doesn't represent us clearly. For the rest of the world it feeds this idea of a macho America that is still stuck in
the wild west. Unfortunately that isn't true and most people's perceptions of the old west are untrue.
I understand your feelings on guns. You see them as a scary extension of the violence and hatred that is taking over the UK. You haven't been able to
hold them, handle them, or experience them. A lot of Americans grew up with them and they are as naturual to us as breathing and eating. They have
served many purposes and too us are an extension of responsibilty, independence, and self reliance.
Just different views from different experiences.
edit on 20-5-2011 by MikeNice81 because: word out of place. moved it to fix sentence