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Author Topic:   Does Censoring Increase Violence?
Rand Al'Thor
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 14 (184509)
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


Recently, I was roaming a forum on a site that is dedicated to showing various pics and videos of murder, death, gore, etc. In one of the topics about all the horrible stuff coming out of Iraq, Africa, and even the US. A poster suggested that one of the reasons that shootings and crime are rather common in the US (compared to other developed countries) and that the American public doesn't care to much about Iraq is the fact that many people don't realize how horrible the effects of violence really are.
The idea is that because so many people see the news and hear of shootings and violence but never see the true horror and the effects they don't realize how much of an impact violence has. A similar idea was discussed about Iraq, when you watch the uncensored videos of the bombings and executions you realize just how bad it is in some of these places. But, if you ask your average Joe about Iraq he just sees it as events far away and not very important as long as no one he knows gets killed.
So the question is, would there be less violence and more protest against war if the public were allowed to see some of the raw footage that is coming in from Iraq, Africa, and the US? It certainly seems to be working in Driver Ed with videos like "Red Asphalt" showing kids the real life consequences of being drunk and crashing at the wheel.
(I decided that it would be unwise to post a link to the site because I figured it might disturb the more... sensitive posters)

Replies to this message:
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 Message 5 by jar, posted 02-13-2005 11:41 AM Rand Al'Thor has not replied
 Message 8 by crashfrog, posted 02-14-2005 3:08 PM Rand Al'Thor has replied
 Message 11 by ktmkirk, posted 02-22-2005 7:05 PM Rand Al'Thor has not replied
 Message 14 by Cthulhu, posted 02-23-2005 11:30 AM Rand Al'Thor has not replied

  
AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 14 (184543)
02-11-2005 10:06 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 825
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 3 of 14 (184558)
02-11-2005 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


(I decided that it would be unwise to post a link to the site because I figured it might disturb the more... sensitive posters)
You mean you're (gasp!) censoring the violence out of your post?!
Actually the networks are "cleaning up" the content they provide, but the internet gives one direct access (at least videowise) to much "raw" footage. I think that while video images can be powerful, cold hard printed facts can be even more damming. The problem we have today is everybody just wants a 30 second update, nothing deep.
Anyhow, to answer your question, I don't think that lack of raw video footage increases violence, I think the lack of hard content in news coverage (just where are those pesky WMDs?) that causes people to be less critical of their government.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 02-11-2005 1:57 AM Rand Al'Thor has not replied

  
Trae
Member (Idle past 4394 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 4 of 14 (184801)
02-13-2005 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


No, I don't think so.
There used to be a greater attempt to teach people to consider how their actions impacted others. Americans now live in a society where they're taught that the other people around them are obstacles. Where business has no obligation to anyone other than to its shareholders. Where family matters and everyone else doesn’t.
Look at some of the terms we use as a society. Keeping it Real and I’m not PC. Can you imagine the culture as a whole in the 60’s priding themselves as Inconsiderate Jerks?
Throughout history, man has been pretty dismissive of damage done to those they can class as ‘others’.

This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34064
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 5 of 14 (184872)
02-13-2005 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


Many years ago one of the insurance company (I believe it was Kemper IIRC) published a series of glossy books with pictures from some of their covered claims. There was one designed for churches (many, many churches are uninsured under the old will of GOD concept) which showed churches that had burned down. Another showed first responder pictures from auto accidents including very graphic pictures of the victims. In it the only concession to modesty or pivacy was the ubiquitous black bar over eyes or license plates. I thought they were a great idea and tried to get them distributed to every church and each school.
I got almost no feedback anywhere initially. Then one day I got a call from one of the principals at a local school. One of the kids had been killed in a car accident. The principal told me that after looking through the booklet he had decided they were way too graphic to give to the kids and frankly, thrown them away. But after the tragic accident he had been haunted by the question of whether seeing just how bad accidents really are might have influenced the outcome. He asked if I could get another set of the books and maybe even a speaker to talk about the horror of car accidents in reality.
So I think this is a vaid and important thread.
Should we expose youngsters to the actual, real carnage that violence does? Should youngsters be exposed to the real results of violence instead of the cleaned up images presented in tv, movies and video games?

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 02-11-2005 1:57 AM Rand Al'Thor has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Arkansas Banana Boy, posted 02-14-2005 2:08 AM jar has not replied

  
Arkansas Banana Boy
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 14 (185019)
02-14-2005 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
02-13-2005 11:41 AM


War propaganda
Another example is that the Pentagon has refused to allow photos of flag draped coffins arriving at Dover airfield to be distributed. Combine this with the limited coverage of battlefield action to a few embedded reporters and you get censorship that is extensive compared to when I grew up watching the Vietnam War on TV during dinner.
My opinion is to show the harsh, unvarnished truth of all situations where humanity is so grossly affected. If the intellectual truth doesn't affect people, then perhaps the horror will.
ABB

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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TheLiteralist
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 14 (185029)
02-14-2005 4:25 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Arkansas Banana Boy
02-14-2005 2:08 AM


Re: War propaganda
Well, I would consider Congress, the President, and all mainstream media (including PBS) to be complicit in the crime-spree America has engaged upon under the name of "war on terror." PBS may have ACTED against the war in Iraq in some way (initially--possibly to give the appearance that there is no influence), but did ANY of the stations display horrible outrage that Congress and the President conspired (somehow) to override the Constitution. By this I mean that Congress did not officially declare war on Iraq (presumably because there was NO GOOD REASON), but somehow managed to "authorize" the President's criminal activities (you can bet MONEY is involved at many levels somehow--including the Congressional and media pockets).
Things like the Abu Ghraib scandal make me very concerned about what is taught in our military--but it is played off as some isolated incident of some few soldiers. Hah! And then the Commander-in-chief appoints pro-torture people to important posts--like Gonzalez and Chertoff.
When you've got a Congress and a President that apparently utterly despise the Constitution, something is wrong. It's not just Bush...it's not the just the republicans...it's leaders at all levels of BOTH parties. BOTH parties HATE the Constitution and lie constantly (and have for decades).
Look for these police-state propaganda messages common in many programs:
  • What the police need (for our safety, of course) is the ability to track anybody anytime (or more information on everybody)
  • Constitutional rights are "technicalities" that impede justice
  • the government has only your best interest at heart, but is sometimes inefficient at doing its job...it probably needs more power
  • To keep America safe, we need stricter gun control laws
  • It is good for police and military to work together
What's funny to me is that people believe that the government doesn't control the media in this country. There's this huge potential to influence hundreds of millions of people in minutes, hours, or days (in the case of movies in theaters), but the government doesn't control it--except maybe for the rating system. And the government doesn't control the schools it funds, either, which is only the second easiest way to influence the masses (start when they're young, too). I mean, sure, federally funded schools teach federally approved materials using federally approved teaching methods learned at similarly federally funded colleges to children some 40 hours per week, but there is no way that the government has mixed any propaganda in any of this to influence the public in any way.
The bad thing about good propaganda is it won't LOOK like propaganda at all.
--TheLit
This message has been edited by TheLiteralist, 02-14-2005 06:03 AM

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1555 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 8 of 14 (185176)
02-14-2005 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


It certainly seems to be working in Driver Ed with videos like "Red Asphalt" showing kids the real life consequences of being drunk and crashing at the wheel.
Just as a side note, does anyone else find things like this video very insulting? As though I'm not smart enough to think ahead an imagine consequences of risky behaviors? I realize that some may not be, of course.
My mind is a place where I have to live, though, and that means I'm judicious about what goes into it. Which may seem funny, if you know I like to watch movies like Kill Bill, but I understand the difference between fantasy and reality. In fact I depend on it.
I never watched the video of Nick Berg getting his head cut off. (a guy one watched it close enough to me that I could hear the audio, and that was... I can't even describe it.) I try not to look at pictures of dead bodies unless they're still in one piece. The clinical atmosphere of medical illustration is fine, but I try to keep images of real bodily trauma out of my mind.
So I would find it highly offensive to be expected to sit through this stuff. No one has the right. I would never demand that someone sit through images they considered pornographic; this stuff is just as bad to me. It's like somebody dumping a bag of dog shit in my living room. Dammit, dude, I have to live here.
Just my thoughts on the issue. Do we have a right to choose what images we're exposed to? I hope we do.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 02-11-2005 1:57 AM Rand Al'Thor has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 02-17-2005 2:49 AM crashfrog has not replied

  
Rand Al'Thor
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 14 (186091)
02-17-2005 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by crashfrog
02-14-2005 3:08 PM


crashfrog writes:
So I would find it highly offensive to be expected to sit through this stuff. No one has the right. I would never demand that someone sit through images they considered pornographic; this stuff is just as bad to me. It's like somebody dumping a bag of dog shit in my living room. Dammit, dude, I have to live here.
Of course. I'm not saying that people should be forced to watch graphic material, but I think that as things are right now, with the government only allowing the mildest of footage to be shown by the media, it seems that most people just don't seem to realize that there is horror in the world unless they are shown some of the raw footage.
Personally I would blame the News for this, by making every unimportant story seem earth shattering they are removing our sensitivity to spoken reports of disasters, killings, etc. And making us dependant on videos and pictures to realize the seriousness of a situation
Perhaps a better solution is to try and restore some of the honesty to the "higher ups" because when you have Bush saying that Iraq is in perfect condition but the news showing 3-5 soldiers dying every day you usually have to go to some third party to get real idea about what is going on. If Bush and the rest of the Admin. started talking realistically about the war people would start to wake up from the fantasy land they have been living in and there would be no need for them to see this stuff.
crashfrog writes:
I never watched the video of Nick Berg getting his head cut off. (a guy one watched it close enough to me that I could hear the audio, and that was... I can't even describe it.)
The Nick Berg video isn't nearly as bad as you might think. Some of the other beheadings (like Armstrong and Nepalese) were much much worse than Nick Berg IMO.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by ktmkirk, posted 02-22-2005 7:04 PM Rand Al'Thor has replied

  
ktmkirk
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 14 (187576)
02-22-2005 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Rand Al'Thor
02-17-2005 2:49 AM


Web site!
Hello. I like what you have written and highly agree with what you say. I was wondering, could you give me the web site where you found all of your information because I need it to get statistics for a debate that will happen next week. PLEASE!! If you dont want to post it here, can you email it to me at 1958ktmgoth@sbcglobal.net OR at matorres510@yahoo.com ? Thanks you soo much.
Warmly,
Marco.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 02-17-2005 2:49 AM Rand Al'Thor has replied

Replies to this message:
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ktmkirk
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 14 (187577)
02-22-2005 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


Web site info.
Hello. I like what you have written and highly agree with what you say. I was wondering, could you give me the web site where you found all of your information because I need it to get statistics for a debate that will happen next week. PLEASE!! If you dont want to post it here, can you email it to me at 1958ktmgoth@sbcglobal.net OR at matorres510@yahoo.com ? Thanks you soo much.
Warmly,
Marco.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 02-11-2005 1:57 AM Rand Al'Thor has not replied

  
Rand Al'Thor
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 14 (187608)
02-22-2005 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by ktmkirk
02-22-2005 7:04 PM


Re: Web site!
Well, there wasn't really a website that I got my information off of, but the website that inspired the idea was (Not for the weak of heart.) ItemFix - Social Video Factory

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contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 14 (187713)
02-23-2005 8:22 AM


I kind of assumed that things like 'Red Asphalt' were pretty standard in American schools, given the young age at which you can get a drivers licence. Certainly when I was in highschool in the 1980s in South Africa we were shown such American movies dating to the 60's or 70's perhaps. Or maybe that IS 'Red Asphalt' and its still in circulation?
I have to say that I too find images of dead bodies and so on rather distressing and don't like it one bit. But I strongly disaprove of the common media trope that violence is fun, and nobody really gets hurt. Xena and Hercules throw people around, knock them over, and they drag themselves off, beaten. Or Perry Mason finds a body with bullethole but no blood, no bowels loosened, no smell.
Movies of course are less culpable in this regard than TV. I do think there is a role for a direct discussion of violence and its consequences given thew prevalence of clean violence on TV. Most people who grow up in aboriginal societies were exposed directly to violence, bith against human and animals. This does not, of course, make them anything like pacifists - but I do think it lends a ceertain more practical approach to violence than the moralistic tone so often seen in the modern west.
All this said, the drivers education film I did see did not prevent my friends and I from driving drunk and being involved in a very nasty smash (no fatalities though, luckily enough). People, especially young adults, are still going to need space to make their own mistakes. But I still think that some form of this is necessary is a counterpoint to the sanitisation of violence in mainstream culture.
This message has been edited by contracycle, 02-23-2005 08:25 AM

  
Cthulhu
Member (Idle past 5940 days)
Posts: 273
From: Roe Dyelin
Joined: 09-09-2003


Message 14 of 14 (187759)
02-23-2005 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rand Al'Thor
02-11-2005 1:57 AM


I have to side with you. People simply do not understand death. Look at most TV, and see what happens when a guy gets shot in the head at point-blank range. There's a small hole, and some blood comes out. Now look at the Zapruder film, where JFK is shot in the head at what is most definitely not point-blank range. One second his head is there, the other second half of it is gone, just gone.
America does not expose you to violence. They expose you to a glamorized, saccharinized version of violence. This gives people a distorted idea of violence. They don't realize how much blood is in the human body.
I forgot my point.

Proudly attempting to Google-Bomb Kent "The Lying Dumbass" Hovind's website
Lying Dumbass

This message is a reply to:
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