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Essay/Term paper: Societies scapegoat

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Culture

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Societies Scapegoat

Youth crimes are on a continual rise. It seems that everyday violent
offenders keep getting younger and more aggressive. We turn on the news only to
hear that a ten year old mugged,shot,stabbed,beat or blew up one of his peers.
With crimes on the rise involving children, people begin to look for a cause.
Society, when looking for a scapegoat, becomes worse than a blood thirsty lynch
mob at a witch trial. Usually the most obvious source of violence within a home
is the television. However, in most cases it is not the true cause. With the TV
in the forefront of virtually every home in the civilized world, it's no wonder
that it's the easiest target for criticism. It's elementary to blame the tube
for a child's behavior; it's a quick and easily identified source of violence
within a youths confined world. The TV many times is identified as the cause of
aggressive acts to avoid dealing with other underlying issues. Society today
has an entire array of different afflictions that plague us from day to day.
The television is of very little significance alongside the landfill of troubles
that influence children today. Besides, trying to get networks to cut out
violence and aggression entirely would be like trying to get Jesus Christ to
write a top ten list of reasons why Christianity sucks. (It's not going to

TV is not the reason that our youth courts are filled to capacity with
court dockets so hideous you would swear that you were looking at the start of
the apocalypse. Television programs are not the reason for the apparent
increase in adolescent crime. If you find yourself picking up your kids from
the police station all the time, it's not the TV's fault!!! There are no
significant consequences for youth crime in our justice system. Maybe we should
impose stiffer penalties on violent offenders, instead of more censorship on TV.
Kids would not have such a tendency to mug, beat, strangle or shoot their peers
if there were tougher consequences for doing so.

The Japanese are responsible for some of the most violent cartoons ever
created to date. I mean these things make our R rated movies look like a walk in
the park. Japanese cartoons display bloodshed and drug induced murdering sprees
as if they were nothing. Even with all this vicious behavior on Japanese
televisions, the youth crime and aggressive behavior is one tenth of ours. How
can this be? Because the Japanese have adopted a zero tolerance policy for
criminal behavior and reprimand criminals with a vengeance. Japanese society
realized that blaming things like TV for violent behavior is unacceptable.
Instead, the Japanese have taught their public that aggression in reality and on
TV do not go hand in hand. (Or as I would say, "it's not the TV's fault!!!")

A healthy amount of violence within children's programs in my mind is
perfectly acceptable and necessary. Violence in moderation teaches children
about situations that may be encountered outside of their home, and helps them
to deal with such incidents. Kids are aggressive in nature, and a child who
grows up on Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, and Mary Poppins is likely to have a
difficult time dealing with other kids. Face it, children need a certain amount
of bellicosity to balance out all the bubbly behavior that some of these idiotic
child role models portray: like Barney, who should be committed to an asylum.
(I know if I was forced to watch Barney at an early age I probably would have
blown up the house.) You may ask, "why do children need a balance of violence
and aggression at all, why don't we just program happy shows all the time?"
Because human kind has always been an aggressive species and probably will
continue to be. By not preparing your children for acts of rabidity you are
preparing them to be future victims. And if your child is beat up at school,
it's not the TV's fault!!! (Maybe it's time to let little Jack or Jill watch
the Power Rangers, or a Rocky episode or two.)

I do, however, agree with one of the points people are trying to
make against children viewing violence. A five year old child should not be
witnessing Freddy hack off human extremities with chain saws and axes. This is
where the parents should be stepping in to filter out what their little bambino
is taking in. Certain programs are oriented to different age groups and viewing
should be controlled, not removed through censorship. Parents want strict
censorship because they don't think it's possible for them to control what their
children watch. After all there are TV's at friends houses and probably at
least two within your own. So what's the point? Even if you forbid your child
to view certain material they can watch it somewhere else. The point is, once
you have told the child not to watch something it becomes taboo or wrong to
watch it in their minds. Sure it will probably prompt him/her into viewing it
some time or another; but now watching the program is, "wrong" and they know it.
As a result little Jr. will be less likely to chase his sister around the house
with an axe and blame it on Freddy Crouger. After all, blaming Freddy would get
him busted for watching Mr. Crouger in the first place. And if your child does
turn into Freddy later in life, it's not the TV's fault!!! (It's probably
because of all the times they fell on their heads.)

It's ridiculous that cartoons like the Road Runner were taken off the
tube in certain parts of north America, because of their vile illustrations.
This is preposterous. Wily Coyote illustrated to children that dropping anvils
off cliffs, using explosives, guns, and running things over with trucks didn't
help him catch that annoying Road Runner. As a matter of fact Wily Coyote
showed kids that his aggressive manner never paid off. Everything Wily Coyote
tried literally backfired in his face. And in Bugs Bunny, I don't believe Elmer
Fudd ever managed to blow away, "that waskily wabbit". But I guarantee that
some parent with an over active imagination saw the Bugs Bunny show as a
promotion for their kids to join the N.R.A.. Or how about Bambi, another
violent film. Bambi's mother is shot by a gun toting maniac, and is forced to
live with his dysfunctional father. (Let me guess, this is a subliminal message
to shoot wildlife or your mother) Films like this in my mind can act as a
buffer for the detection of warped children. If your offspring expresses any
interest in wanting to be Wily Coyote, Elmer Fudd or the hunter that killed
Bambie's mother, you should have himher committed to a mental hospital. If
your child does however pick up a gun and proceeds to blast the family rabbit or
kill a deer in the backyard, it's not the TV's fault!!! Fault lays in your lap
again for not keeping your firearm locked up.

Guns in children's programming is a big issue today. Society is so
upset over the surge of gun related incidents among our youth. Once again some
individuals blame it on the TV for instigating these ideas within a child's mind.
This is not true. Maybe one in every million kids that watch violence on the
television will actually use a gun because of the program. In these isolated
incidents people would probably find that the child had easy access to a firearm
and no education as to what could happen if misused. Children that do pick up
guns and massacre family members usually do so with complete ignorance of the
consequences. And of course when confronted the youngster will probably say he
saw someone on TV do the same thing. In fact the correct response should have
been: My parents were idiots for leaving a shiny and loaded Smith and Wesson
hand gun on the coffee table for me to play with. In these incidents firearm
education and proper storage is the real underlying issue. Because it's not the
TV's fault people can be so stupid.

In certain cases there have been instances where children have re-
enacted scenes from programs they have seen, and been badly injured. Without
sounding sadistic, I believe in these few isolated incidents it probably worked
out best for the child. Having a bad incident occur at an early age opens up
parents eyes to whatever field they have neglected to teach the child about; at
the same time it also gives the youth an eye opening experience to their own
stupidity. After all children learn best from trial and error, and it's better
for them to figure out what not to do early in life. And if Jr. jumps off the
roof of the family home to be like a super hero, it's not the TV's fault!!!
(Your kid probably has less common sense than a lemming.)

Violence on TV is both unavoidable and necessary for children to learn
about their ever changing hostile world. The only question to be asked is,
"when is a child mature enough to watch certain programs?" A change in
children's programming is not likely to occur any time soon. It's up to the
parents to regulate and censor what they deem appropriate. Through better
education of violence, children will be better equipped to realize what is
intended for entertainment and what actions are not acceptable in day to day
life. Censorship is not the answer. It's way too easy to blame TV for dirty
deeds that may have been caused by other unseen sources. What it all comes down
to is, if your little Jack or Jill wants to be Wily Coyote or Elmer Fudd,
chances are they have a real problem that has to be addressed because, IT'S NOT


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