March 18, 2005



This is a pretty decent article on a subject close to my eyerolls. (I suggest using cookie trick, but I suppose if you feel immoral for not sitting through some sort of ad for non-subscriber access, you'll need to do the ad thing.) Nicely quotable throughout, which tends to be the point of such things.

One of my favorite bits:

Even in the theatrical United States Senate hearings convened a few days after the Columbine shootings in 1999, MIT professor Henry Jenkins observed that the idea that violent entertainment had consistent and predictable effects on viewers was "inadequate and simplistic," adding almost poetically that most young people don't absorb entertainment passively, but rather move "nomadically across the media landscape, cobbling together a personal mythology of symbols and stories taken from many different places.

The last bit's my favorite of it, though I'd strike the "young" out of it entirely. People all have their personal mythologies drawn from various narratives. Although come to think of it, a case can be made that older people tend to get less and less nomadic in their construction.

Overall, a nice read, with the expected bits here and there--the 50's horror-comics parallel, the repetition of the inconvenient fact that violent crime rates just keep getting lower and lower, etc. A nice bit pointing out that brutal public executions were up to fairly recently a staple of social entertainment, jolly little carnivals really. The conclusion reminds me again that Gerard Jones' book "Killing Monsters" has been on my to-read list for awhile now.

posted by Gar @ 6:30 AM
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