Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Media Violence (Or Violence in the Media)

For the past day or so, I have been thinking a lot about what someone presented to us about the ethics of Media violence. The place I'm stuck on in thinking about this issue is where the presenter made the comment that one of the ways we can take responsibility for our lives as people centered in Christ is to boycott films or TV shows that utilize violence as a part of their story. My reaction starts by thinking and asking myself is right to blind ourselves to images that, even if they are hyperbole, emanate from a violent world? To me, this in some ways is an attempt to insulate oneself from things that one does not like to see. Can we really just close our eyes and just say, "This isn't happening?" Then, the artist in me starts to speak up and say that violence can and is an artistic statement made by an "artist" or "artists," choosing not to see an (often) important aspect of the artistic message being delivered. For example, when director Quentin Tarantino uses gratuitous violence in his his movies, is he just painting with images of violence much the same way some of Monet's brush strokes are purple rather than red or green? Then the thought that comes into mind is that in my own personal experience, I have watched many violent images in TV, movies and video games, but doesn't the fictional aspect of media violence in effect just simply a way to explore violent feelings without actually committing real acts of violence? Can't I person who has a center that is Christ and still explore all of those feelings that are a part of my humanity?