Thomas H English 1a 10/31/2010 Media Portrays Violence In the world today with technology advancing so fast it’s hard to keep up with it all; but with the advancement of technology comes the extensive media exposure to viewers. Pretty much everyone is exposed to the media today whether it is television or internet the news can be accessed within moments. And the entertainment industry is no different furthering making options of media accessible with a push of a button whether it is cell phones or other handheld devices to laptops and so on and so forth.
This also brings us to the main question. What exactly do the media portray for the viewer and what do we learn from it? Television tries to become more real and real as movies push for 3d and television screens try to push for the clearest picture possible trying to bring the screen to life. Television shows have been pushing more and more to reality shows giving a so called perception of what life would be like in said situations. And even gaming tries to push the lines making things more and more realistic such as call of duty and grand theft auto.
Which are great and all but what is all this stuff doing for us really what is it teaching us? In Michael Moore’s Movie Bowling for Columbine, he addresses how the United States of America is clouded with fear and driven with violence and this essay is to prove that. The movie opens to this event: One of the deadliest massacres in the Unites States of America happened in a High school in Columbine, Colorado. April 20th 1999 the massacre caused by two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed twelve students as well as one teacher only to kill themselves after. 1Moore) The event had pushed the media to question the abuse of firearms availability and the troubles of youth. Apparently though the guns that Harris and Klebold had used were legally purchased at stores and gun shows. The bullets were purchased at a local K-mart in Littleton. This example shows how the media portrayals today affect the minds of youth giving them violent solutions to ideas that should not be solved in such manners. They think, well it’s in video games we see it all over television it must be okay right? And only after realizing the situation they were truly in did they feel the guilt and attempted suicides.
Personally I would not be able to live a trouble free life with the fact that someone died because of me running through my conscious. 3 weeks ago a fight broke out in Hayward high school which involved two local gangs and police enforcement to be involved. The principal stated that the two gangs were fighting with each other and when the police stepped in to control the situation. “As the officer stepped in to stop that fight, a male student tried to punch the officer. Several smaller altercations ensued, prompting the officer to ask for assistance from other officers. (ABC) Eventually 6 students were arrested in suspect to causing and leading the whole altercation. (1Kurhi) this event is proof enough that the issues expressed in the movie and in this essay is close enough to hit the state even the city we live in today. Medias’ portrayal of how things should be in the so called “real world” such as MTV; this no longer really being a music television channel, is still driven into the younger generation and very much is strongly influencing them to condone violence as a means to solve things regardless if the issue at hand is even logical to be at arms about.
And who in their right mind would hit an officer? So how is this related to the media? Entertainment to people is always something somewhat close or related to real life. Whether it is a drama or action, some form of violence is expressed in almost everything we watch or play. Moore hits one of the most famed shows that are still being run on television today, Cops. A show very stereotypically profiling blacks and Hispanics. (2Moore) although the show is supposedly supposed to portray what police officers go through on a daily basis; it is far from what the average American sees every single day.
How often do you see an officer running around town guns blazing? And how often do you see a white man being arrested in the show. This shows portrayal of Blacks and Hispanics give the general population a common racial profiling fear of them although this should not be the case. Once again another media has driven fear due to the critics mainly wanting a boost in ratings. Another prime example of what people see in the media and how they portray it in real life is in our text book when Zimbardo conducted an experiment on how people portray what life is like in prison. “Male college students needed for psychological study of prison life. 15 per day for 1-2 weeks beginning Aug 14. For further information & applications come to room 248…” (233 Behrens) The ad attracted many students but only 21 were selected throughout the experiment the students began to get more and more into the role playing where it finally got out of hand that Zimbardo had to stop the experiment. “Everyone and everything in the prison was defined by power. To be a guard who did not take advantage of this institutionally sanctioned use of power was to appear “weak/out of it/wired up by the prisoners” or simply a deviant from the norm of established guard behavior. (239 Behrens) now I know that guards must have some level of aggressive enforcement, but this experiment was a leading example of how we literally do what we believe is right and we believe what’s on television is right because rarely any of us take the time to find out what the truth really is. Now with all the examples provided, it is pretty much a given that America society is driven with fear and violence by the media but what about other countries?
Moore lets us look at a neighboring country, Canada; where guns are available in fact are also endorsed in the country seeing it is a hunting community in most if not all parts. So what could it be? Looking at their news the politicians speak in a much different aspect compared to American news reporters. Instead of scaring the population with the most recent corruption in the community, the news reporters and politicians only speak of the continuing improvements in the community today.
What kind of community isn’t scared to keep their doors locked? It sure as hell isn’t America that’s for sure. But Moore proves this theory by walking around a neighborhood in Canada briefly interviewing neighbors why they leave their doors open. All the neighbors know each other within the community interviewed and none were really scared of anything. (3 Moore) America is so caught up in the next biggest scare on television rarely anyone in their neighborhood really knows their neighbors like family; and the media is living proof of this.
Our television screens are filled with nothing but violence and no resolve the Entertainment industry keeps pushing for more and more closer to life gaming and viewing that people have it in their minds that this is possible and that is why our country is the way it is today. Maybe The Unites states of America should stop boasting with its egocentric powers and start focusing on the problems at home. Is driving the people of our country with fear and violence really the best way to go? Maybe America should look at our neighboring country and sk them for a few pointers on how to have a community full of friendly neighbors; and maybe one day we’ll be able to feel comfortable leaving our doors unlocked just like Canada, or maybe not. Works cited * Bowling for columbine, Michael Moore, Video, United Artist/Dog eat dogs, October 9th 2002 * Six arrested after brawls at Hayward high, Erik Kurhi, Oakland Tribune, October 5, 2010 * Behrens Rosen, Writing and reading across the curriculum third edition, Pearson Longman copyright 2009 * 6 students arrested after series of fights, Unknown, ABC Bay City News, October 5, 2010