With all that's been happening in the news in politics lately, it's been a while since this blog hosted a true culture article. In the spirit of both this and advancing the blogosphere, I present you a guest post from the esteemed Jamie B Musings of "Culture Shock: Everything Pop Culture 5 Days a Week." The above blogger image is authorized for use on this blog only.
Back in college, I was listening to the radio when I heard a story that disgusted and irritated me. It was about two boys, ages 15 and 13, who were molesting their 8-year-old half sister. The mother had left the girl in her brothers’ care while she was at work, and the child reported it to a teacher at her school. The boys claim they got the idea from watching Jerry Springer. It wasn’t just the molestation of a child that bothered me. It was also the fact that, once again, someone is blaming their own actions on media and this case would more then likely stir yet another debate on the effects of media of small children.
This is not the first time this has happened. Different forms of media have been blamed for everything from rape to armed robbery. Different songs by artists such as Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne have been blamed for suicides. Not only that, but the artists have been sued because of it as well. Then there was "The Catcher in the Rye", which has been linked to several celebrity stalkings, including the death of John Lennon and the attempted assassination of former President Ronald Reagan. Once, Christopher Pike, an author of young adult horror novels was asked if he felt responsible for the suicide of a kid who had read some of his books, even though he never promoted suicide in his work. In fact, he portrayed negative consequences for the act in his "Remember Me" Trilogy. What is even worse, many conservative groups use these cases as ammunition to censor certain materials which is not the answer and one step towards creating the world Ray Bradbury wrote about of Fahrenheit 451. What it all comes down to is too many people are trying to use the media to make excuses for the crimes they commit.I find it hard to believe any sane and rational person would commit a crime just because they saw it in the media. It is time for people to stop searching for the easy answer. Let's face it... there are no easy answers in life. The human mind is a complex machine and I believe when someone commits violent acts, we need to look much deeper than the media to understand them. We also need to be more aware of what's going on around us and act accordingly instead of burying our heads in the sand. Look at the Virginia Tech shooting, for example. The shooter was known to be a problem on campus and had scared more than a couple of students and teachers and that wasn't the first time something that that had happened somewhere. Nothing will ever stop all violence, but I really do believe that we can only make it better if we're willing to look deeper than media to solve the problem.