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Challenge Match: Druid42 vs RisingAgainst: Hollywood-Movies have had an overall negative influence.

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posted on Dec, 2 2012 @ 10:40 PM
Hollywood, Tinsel Town, an obvious indication of success, wealth, and prosperity.

We all want success, to be famous, and Hollywood offers that, and so much more. With a price.

I'd like to thank Rising Against for seeking this debate, and to the members for reading our positions on this topic. My position will be one that for all the glamor, all the prestige, the combined effect of popularity and status is characteristic of a debilitating role on the rest of society. The role models that Hollywood presents are unrealistic, scripted, and only offer an unattainable, for most, perspective of reality. In other words, Hollywood stardom is a dream for many, but a reality for few.

Hollywood promotes Violence.

It's the special effects that ooh and awe us while watching a movie produced by Hollywood. The overall tone is unrealism, but deep inside we see the effects. Mass destruction, death, and violence are the highlights we seek. Violence isn't an inherent desire in mankind, but rather one promoted by greed. People pay to watch violence. This particular aspect of Hollywood is rather perplexing, because wars are occurring all over the world as we speak, yet we need to turn our attention to the big screen to see the travesties invoked by a carefully edited script. Hollywood gives us a censored version of the real horrors of war, so we never really see the violence in the world around us. Our perceptions are swayed by what we deem to be real on the presentation of the "big screen".

Hollywood promotes Sex.

While love is alluded to in such depictions of Demi's and Patrick's movie "Ghost", it is far from reality. Such depictions do not further the wholesome values of marriage and monogamy, but rather, they seduce the audience into believing such fantastical notions of copulating with supernatural beings. The overall effect is to allow the audience to be convinced that love is always just out of reach, not something that is tangible, and draws away from the aspects of a "normal" relationship.

Second to the violent nature is the need for human sexuality, and Hollywood promotes it in every form imaginable. Such to the effect that an actor will do anything to promote their career.

People like Lindsey Lohan have especially experienced the debilitating effects of stardom first hand. The number of stars that suffer from the side-effects of stardom are too numerous to list in this debate post. The mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe is sure to grab your attention, and has, if I'm not mistaken. How many previous stars have found their careers go downhill, to oblivion, because of the demands that couldn't be met? Rhetoric. The stress, a negative entity, will take it's toll.

Hollywood spawns aberrant behavior.

People are influenced by the depictions of violence in film, and in recent times, create horrible scenarios of violence with ordinary citizens. James Holmes is one of those, a disturbed individual, but influenced by the melodramatic visions of a recent movie. I'll admit it may be a stretch, but we may always be one movie away from another horrendously violent act. We can never know, until it occurs. Does Hollywood spawn both unrealistic views of reality, as well as people who act upon them? Rhetoric.

Hollywood advocates high-profile divorces.

Katie and Suri surely know this. Tom, on the other hand, is a super-star whose movie sales will continue to improve, regardless of his marital status, but his divorce leads many fans to develop infatuations which spur more sales. Money is made on every aspect of a celebrity's life. There's literally no escape from the money machine once you are involved.

So, from the promotion of violence, the advocation of elicit sex, production of aberrant behavior, and celebrity divorces, is there anything positive that Hollywood produces? Rhetoric.

Violence, sex, and immoral behavior sells. A good old-fashioned family value film doesn't sell many tickets. Overall, Hollywood thrives on every aspect of the negative, and runs upon the feelings of human misfortune. Society latches onto this, because it makes them feel removed about their own misfortunes, and provides an escape from their reality. That is not a healthy basis for living life, because reality, as presented by Hollywood, is not realistic at all.

I'm sure my opponent will contrast my opinion, and for that, I will now yield the floor.

Over to you, Rising Against.

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 10:04 AM
Hello to all and welcome to what’s surely going to be a fascinating debate between myself and Druid42 on the topic of “Hollywood-Movies have had an overall negative influence”, my opponent taking on the pro position and myself taking on the con position. I'd just like to quickly say thank you to Druid, to all of you who shall take the time out to read and judge this debate and I hope you thoroughly enjoy it..

Now, to begin..


Inside the mind of a creative

Hollywod, what does it promote, really. Is it constant violence, is it sex, is it any other number of horrible thing’s one can think up with an agenda in mind? No, not at all. And over the course of this debate I shall appreciate the opportunity to explain why in some detail... but I digress on that issue for now and I’ll come to that when time kindly allows.

For now I ask, what does Hollywood primarily promote more so than anything at all? Creativity. Think Steven Spielberg for example, think Eric Bress, think the Wachowski brothers, think Peter Jackson and the countless other great creative thinkers too. Hollywood allows us to continue our natural progression from simple story telling, from reading a book even, to seeing the pictures literally come alive right in front of our very eyes.


It allows creativity to blossom and to expand into our consciousness. Without this wonderful tool at our disposal we would never really see the true horror of life in the trenches during WW2, as shown so brilliantly in Saving Private Ryan, sheer emotion and realism that even a documentary of which just could not achieve, we would never see the true beauty of Avatar, we would never have been forced to think so deeply as was the case with The Butterfly effect or Children of Men perhaps.

With Hollywood bring's opportunity for the mind to show what it can really do, it allows the creative juices to flow and it provides the opportunity to take a mere story and bring it to life like never before. Without Hollywood story telling and film making would just not be where it is today. And without Hollywood creative thinkers would be continually restricted.

The Downside - How far does it really go..

Hollywood, is it the all-great thing some believe it to be? Well no, of course it isn't. That's just a fact of life, nothing is all perfect and all good. Sad but an unfortunate truth. But, with this debate we're not here to prove, or indeed disprove such a thing. No - and I feel as though my opponent has forgotten this thus allowing me to make this next point, but instead he's chosen to focus on any aspect which can be viewed in a negative light. But, our task in this debate is not to find just any negative aspect of Hollywood and bring it up for discussion, it is to look at the bigger picture and then come to a conclusion about what is largely negative, in other words finding the balance between the two opposites.


The fact remains that yes, there is negative aspects but we're here to find the over all balance between the two. So, bearing this in mind, I do ask, does it go to the sheer extent that my opponent thus far would have you believe? No, I honestly do not believe so nor should anyone else. The inclusion of Mr Holmes for example, and something that has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Despite bringing it up, my opponent has even highlighted his doubt in his own argument:

James Holmes is one of those, a disturbed individual, but influenced by the melodramatic visions of a recent movie. I'll admit it may be a stretch, but we may always be one movie away from another horrendously violent act.

I challenge that we stick only to facts and leave the suspicion, the theories out of this where they simply do not belong. Otherwise a false picture is being painted in the name of honesty and fair debate. I'd also like to point out that even if there is an influence from Hollywood somewhere, what about the millions of others who don't commit the crimes? Why should we focus on the minority when our chosen task is to find the over all influence? I do certainly cast doubt on my opponents argument here.

And for now, I've said everything I've needed to say in my opening. Over the course of this debate I look forward to further expanding on my points made. Prior to making my next post, I do ask my opponent a couple of important questions..


- Do you not agree that Hollywood does greatly help one with expressing themselves, particularly creatively?

- Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that James Holmes committed his crimes largely because of a Hollywood influence?

- Is Hollywood to blame for ones failures, or is it instead Celebrity life?

I thank you Druid and I look forward to reading your reply..

The floor is yours.

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 09:56 PM
I thank my opponent, Rising Against, for the interesting position he took on the issue at hand:

For now I ask, what does Hollywood primarily promote more so than anything at all? Creativity.

With that I will disagree. I will attempt to show that Hollywood primarily promotes ticket sales, and that creativity is merely a developed mechanism which allows ordinary individuals to occasionally succeed in what is actually a money oriented business. It's not the writer's that make mega salaries, but the actors and actresses that fill the roles, do the voice overs, and that sell the movie tickets. The production team as well, tasked with handling the CGI, also make moderate salaries, but Hollywood needs a face, and charisma, not creativity, to sell tickets. I pause my position to deposit answers to my opponent's Socratic Questions:

- Do you not agree that Hollywood does greatly help one with expressing themselves, particularly creatively?

Not at all. I have a fine time expressing my creativity right here on ATS, without the need for Hollywood. Creativity is something innate, not something related to Hollywood, and creative individuals present themselves throughout society. In truth, screenplays are derived from already successful authors, and rarely are from an unknown writer.

- Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that James Holmes committed his crimes largely because of a Hollywood influence?

Of course not, I am not on the jury, and the verdict is not yet in. However, evidence purports a diary planning the attack, a booby-trapped apartment, and a radical hair color akin to the villain in the Batman franchise. Booby-traps are a staple of Hollywood action flicks, and cosmetic alteration is another prevalent theme in most horror movies. The diary is sealed evidence, so any direct relation to Hollywood influence in Holmes's mind is speculation at best, but the inference of a relation is evident by themes in inherent in Hollywood productions.

- Is Hollywood to blame for ones failures, or is it instead Celebrity life?

I'll answer this by stating that money often leads to extravagant behavior, and celebrities lead extravagant lifestyles. Lindsey Lohan is just an example, but the list is endless, leading one to believe that the glamor and fame of the big screen, coupled with million dollar movie contracts, is the direct influence of Hollywood, creating a desire in celebrities to stay within Hollywood's good graces for the next favorable movie role. How many top ten films has Lindsey starred in? Exactly.

With which I'll continue my position:

Hollywood is all about selling tickets, and making money. True, that is the goal of any business, so we can't fault Hollywood there. What we can fault is the fact the while most business are selling a legitimate product, Hollywood is selling violence, sex, fantasy, and whatever else the audience buys. There are key tells in the history of Hollywood.

Let's examine the all-time USA Box Office results. I've captured the top ten, but for the sake of simplicity, let's stick to the top five in the list. (Please scroll right when required.)

1. Fantasy Film, lots of violence and death.
2. Love story, promiscuity.
3. Fantasy Film, Alien invasion, violence.
4. Fantasy Film, more violence.
5. Fantasy Film, violence.

I'll note that Saving Private Ryan is not on the top ten list.

Next, let's look at opening day grosses.

1. Fantasy Film. Witchcraft and Magic.
2. See point 3 above. It's the same film.
3. Fantasy Film. A recurring theme of wanton violence.
4. Fantasy Film. Now we have people drinking blood.
5. Fantasy Film. Blood drinking is popular.

Where are the wholesome films like Saving Private Ryan in this list? Why does Hollywood serve us Fantasy? Do we want it, or is it being force-fed to us?

Let's take a look at the current week's standings on Hollywood. Will there be anything wholesome? Anything close to family values?

1. Fantasy again. More blood sucking, sexual innuendos.
2. Action. Guns, espionage, violence.
3. CGI. All the fairy tales wrapped into one movie.
4. Historical Drama. What? An anomaly? A good movie, but rare.
5. Adventure Drama. Unrealistic, the tiger would've eaten him after 227 days.

Overall, vampires are trending in Hollywood. Sexy guys and girls, with supernatural abilities are what the audience wants. Really?

Yes, and adamantly so. People pay their hard earned money to watch these films, and the ticket sales show a trend with what is popular. Hollywood watches the statistics, and grinds out more of the same, continuously addressing what sells, regardless of the content. Anything goes.

If it sells, Hollywood is interested. Unfortunately, films like Lincoln, grossing 13 million, are not a priority.

Hollywood is only interested in your money, and will produce anything to get it.

posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 08:22 AM
Is Hollywood to blame, or celebrity life?

My opponents last opening argument on the topic takes a look at Divorce, and adding this to his reply to my question asking who is to blame, Hollywood or general celebrity life in general, I'm brought rather nicely onto my next point. See, celebrity life in general, I do ask, is it to blame, or shall we put the blame squarely on the lap of Hollywood itself? Well, I for one do find it hard to go for the latter. Cruise and Holmes are the examples chosen by my opponent and yes, he’s right, they have received a rather well known, public divorce. That's a fact. But, that’s not something we can place just on Hollywood alone.

Hollywood is one aspect that one can find celebrity status, but that's all it is. There's also many other ways in which someone can achieve this status, and to blame just Hollywood is not fair. As I've pointed out already, we're here to find the over-all influence, not a minor one, and in this example is where the minor influence is found.

Hollywood is not the only place celebrity status can be achieved, it is but one way in which it can be. For that simple, honest reason alone, It’s not fair to lay the blame squarely on them alone. It’s but one aspect of a larger picture and it alone is not the fault of high profile cases such as this. Paul Mccartney and Heather Mills are a great example of this having no connection with it, as is Rupert Murdoch and Anna Murdoch, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, and of course others yet. Hollywood is not to blame. Celebrity status is the why we hear about them, not because of Hollywood and as we know, Hollywood is not the only way in which this status can be achieved, nor is it the only thing that can be blamed when it all goes wrong.

I also challenge my opponents reasoning in his reply concerning Lindsey Lohan. You see no, It's not a Hollywood thing. It's a professional thing. Hollywood actors are professionals in their field, just as sportsmen are for example, and as we know they both have their extravagant lifestyles. To do something negative in the public eye would see any professional in the public eye receive their fair share of negative press. I repeat - To blame Hollywood and Hollywood alone is incorrect.

# Money, Money, Money #

Money - It's where all arguments are born and It's where all arguments eventually arrive. This debate appears no different and I'd like to address it. And to do so, I shall address my opponents claim in reply to me at the same time:

Where are the wholesome films like Saving Private Ryan in this list? Why does Hollywood serve us Fantasy? Do we want it, or is it being force-fed to us?

First off it must be pointed out that everyone loves fantasy. Why? Because we love good stories, we love thinking about the vast possibilities it presents. It may not be everybody's favourite genre, some prefer comedy for example, but It's not something people just cannot stand.

My next point is this - Why does it matter that Saving Private Ryan is not on the list? I was using it as a mere example to back up what I was highlighting in my previous post. And the fact that it does not lant itself on a list of money making films takes nothing away from what I said. It's still providing quite possibly the greatest ever insight into the true situation which was taking place during WW2.

It’s still a fantastic piece of work, and many out there regard this as a must see piece of story telling genius - dare I say art. It simply doesn’t have to be on the list to make this untrue. How much was made is completely and utterly irrelevant to this debate.

We must also remember the reason why a trailer exists.. it's to make something look as good as possible in a short amount of easily digestible time. The fact that people have gone to see it does not make it particularly good. A film that stands the test of time however..

Follow the money?

Let's instead look at a list of the most popular films voted for by fans.


The top film didn't even do well financially - yet It's still regarded as the best ever thanks to a truly great story. I rest my case. Other greats present in just the top 20 are Star Wars, The Matrix, Forrest Gump, Lord of the rings, Schindlers list, Inception, 12 angry men etc. All great stories. Some are incredibly thought-provoking. Sure, some promote violence, but without the story, It's still simply worthless.

Hollywood does not just promote the negative aspects of our world, it promotes creativity, story telling on a larger scale, it promotes thought, and it also promotes entertainment.

I ask my opponent:

- Do you believe money made gives a more accurate picture of what is a good film, or does an actual vote from fans mean more?

- Would you not say that Hollywood does a good job of helping us think outside the box

The floor is yours.

posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 10:22 PM
I will excuse my opponent for veering off the topic of this debate, which is "Movies have had an overall negative influence."

Hollywood is not the only place celebrity status can be achieved, it is but one way in which it can be. For that simple, honest reason alone, It’s not fair to lay the blame squarely on them alone.

The topic is not at all about celebrity status, but the impact of movies on society, and I am defending the fact that the impact is not uplifting. The top five movies of this week are about violence, as an underlying theme. In fact, in my opponent's last post, he listed the top 20, none of which are devoid of violence. The titles themselves depict the contents therein. That fact is my proof that Hollywood influences a negative attitude, and promotes violence as an acceptable standard, and violence is not a positive influence. My opponent may like to counter at this point, but I challenge him to find a movie produced by Hollywood that doesn't have a violent reprise. Even if he does, it should remain as a little known movie, as for years Hollywood has promoted violence, and that is the standard. Violence sells. It sells lots of tickets. It makes Hollywood even richer. Hollywood doesn't care about morality, standards, or positive thinking. It just cares about more money. The trend is whatever sells.

Socratic answers:

- Do you believe money made gives a more accurate picture of what is a good film, or does an actual vote from fans mean more?

Honestly, money made is directly proportional to the number of movie goers. The percentage of people voting online on a website is not an accurate depiction of the total population of movie goers. I would say that gross sales are better indicative of a viable audience, the people that actually bought movie theater tickets. Does that make a better movie? No, it only shows that people who had payed to watch the movie had recommended it to their friends, and the sales are based on a cumulative basis by word of mouth propagation.

- Would you not say that Hollywood does a good job of helping us think outside the box?

By box, I hope you are referring to "normal life", and yes Hollywood does a great job of that. It helps us think about violence against our fellow man, the travesties of the past, bank robberies, illicit sex, alien invasions, killing, murders, illegal activities, war, psychotic behavior, and imaginary scenarios. Those themes are taken directly from your top twenty list, and none of those themes have a positive influence on society.

If Hollywood were to have a positive influence, they would produce movies about helping humankind, about how charity helps those less fortunate, how violence is wrong, and how humankind is destroying the environment. Of course, those movies wouldn't sell many tickets, and thus, the interest is non-existent.

In closing, I wish to thank Rising Against for a very thought provoking debate, and the readers for their time spent.

It's by closely examining topics such as this that we become more aware of the actual impressions on our lives, and learn to live within the box of normalcy, noticing the influences on our lives, and choosing to reside within wholesome values, setting an example for the rest of humankind. It's not an easy task, but one we must choose, lest we fall into the realm of merely accepting everything we see as fact, and letting other's thoughts influence our own thinking.

With that I, conclude my position in this debate. Thank you all for reading.

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:35 AM
Before there was Hollywood..

Hollywood might glamorize thugs like Bonnie and Clyde in part, but it played no role in the creation of the real monsters that were these two gangsters of a distant era.

Perhaps the real question is, "Why are we trying to shrug off our civic responsibilities and trying to pin our ills on the makers of movies and the actors who play the roles? Well, because it is easier than fixing an actual problem of course.

Before there was Hollywood there were crimes, there was both negativity and positivity in the world and there was also, believe it or not, people. Yep, there was. Hollywood has done a fantastic job of bringing to life those from history whom are no longer with us, Bonny and Clyde used in the example above and in more modern times J. Edgar Hoover another example.


Hollywood is there to entertain and tell a story, something it does well and that's something we know it as. If something wants nothing but facts, they watch a documentary. This in itself is a fact. With Hollywood however It's easy to blame when something doesn't go quite right, as I've shown earlier in this debate. But, is it really fair to continually do this? Why do we literally expect them to influence us so much? In actual fact the problem does not lie with the movie making business, it lies at home.

It is a parents job to bring up another human being. Not a director on a movie set. Not an actor or actress performing, and so on. Why do we blame Hollywood for our own failings as a society, why do we lay the blame when it goes wrong? In answering I echo my quoted material above - because it is easier than fixing an actual problem of course. There is problems in society, that we know, and If we want a better society we need to start taking responsibility, not throwing the blame where it does not belong.

James Holmes was brought up in this debate. Upon asking for proof beyond doubt an answer could not be given. Unless we can prove beyond doubt that someone committed an act as a direct result of Hollywood's influence, proof of which we do not have yet, we cannot assume it. To be sure is to have facts. To be unsure is where speculation lay. To this day no one has been able to prove that Hollywood has had an over all negative effect.

The world is but a nation of dreamers.

Over all Hollywood has not had an over all negative effect. I say the negative effects are primarily elsewhere. At home with the parents, the culmination of other media outlets tied in with Hollywood, each providing their own influence, but not one single one to blame. The celebrity lifestyle is what largely leads those in the public eye down a negative path, not the sole fact that they have made a movie.


Largely Hollywood has helped the world. It has entertained, It has told stories most couldn't dream of thinking up as shown in The Matrix and The Butterfly Effect, It's helped us think outside the box as my opponent agrees, It's shared tremendous beauty and emotion as seen in Avatar, it's expressed tremendous performing in the very name of entertainment as shown in The Conspirator, it's blossomed fantastic creativity and much more beyond this too.

It does not just promote violence or sex, just as it does not promote just anything at all, certainly not any single thing on a large scale. It tells stories of our past, it speculates on the future, it's story telling at It's very best. Sure it does have It's negative impacts, no doubt at all. But largely It's shared it's good, positive side. Largely It's helped the world as opposed to dampening it. It gives hope and it makes one feel good today as it has done for years upon years before.

The world is but a nation of dreamers, and with Hollywood the dreams come true.

As I come to an end of this debate I'd just like to thank Druid for a wonderful debate here, one I thoroughly enjoyed and I look forward to reading the outcome. Thank you to all of those who took the time to read I hope It was a truly enjoyable experience. Thank you all for your time..

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:07 AM
Judgments are in....thanks to the judges for taking their role seriously.

In the Hollywood debate, I felt that Druid42 made a strong opening, although I immediately questioned the relevance of celebrity divorce. Rising Against counters with a very effective opening, and his inclusion of Socratic questions allows him to undercut Druid's arguments regarding violence in film, though I thought his reliance on creativity left a big hole for Druid to come back with.

Round two opened with exactly what I anticipated -- a great argument by Druid42 that Hollywood holds no monopoly on creativity, and him pointing out that the creative types are actually some of the worst paid. I thought that he could have really slammed the door on the argument by pointing out that film adaptations of books are almost always inferior, but he still makes a great counter. The remainder of his counter, that the majority of popular films are rooted in violence and immoral behaviour, was good, though a bit of a stretch in places. For some reason, RA goes back to the divorce and bad celebrity behaviour of Druid's opening, and, while he scores points on his argument, as I said, it seemed odd in the first place, so I think his time would have been better spent in this round bolstering his previous points. His point about financial success not being indicative of quality is well taken.

In the last round, Druid42 pounces on the "quality" list, pointing out that it is hardly a scientific survey, and that the popularity of a film is more indicative of what Hollywood has taught the public to want. The continued bit about celebrity behaviour was distracting, but I think he made a good closing argument that if Hollywood wanted to make the world a better place, a charitable and moral message would be a more effective way to accomplish it. I really liked Rising Against's closing argument, but he once more wandered into the area of creativity which is also addressed in other mediums, so it had little effect.

I have to give this debate to Druid42.

Both participants did an incredible job of stating their positions, leaving a very tough to judge debate in their wake. Congratulations to both on a job very well done.

Druid42 began the debate with a stellar opening position that left RisingAgainst with little do do but rebut run for cover.

The middle posts, from both debaters, seemed to "lose the script". True to form for the very Hollywood movies they were debating, the "middle" film of the trilogy tended to be the hardest to follow and most emotional.

It is very difficult to judge, as morality and issues such as individual moral opinion and "quality over quantity" emerge.

Of the closing posts, Rising Against fared best, going out with a poetic and well considered summary of our love of, and need for, escapism and entertainment. Subtly reminding us that art and life are mutually influential upon each other.

Left with this first and third round split decision, I must revisit the middle round to decide a winner.

In the second round I find myself more naturally in agreement with RisingAgainst in his opinions, but must give the second round to Druid42. This sentence sold me:

"Hollywood watches the statistics, and grinds out more of the same, continuously addressing what sells, regardless of the content. Anything goes"

My judgement, though close, is for Druid42.

My thanks to both debaters for a compelling and interesting insight into the psychology of the entertainment business.

Druid wins this Debate.
edit on 10-12-2012 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)

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