So, ever since the whole Sandy Hook tragedy, I’ve been delving back into my semi-fixation with keeping up with current events; I’m not hooked on following the odyssey of the tragedy itself or the history of the shooter (I ain’t sayin’ his name. Deal with it.) but I feel, once again, a need to understand what’s going on with the world in general.
But regarding the tragedy itself and the response to it….well, once again, the whole “it’s the violent movies and video games that are to blame! Not the MILITARY ASSAULT RIFLES WE LEGALLY SELL ON THE STREETS but it’s Hollywood! Really!” has come up again. And I am so damn sick of it.
We had this happen after Arizona; we had it after Aurora. Now we’re having it again. Aside from where I stand on the whole issue of censoring art in general (kind of against it, honestly), this particular high horse of blaming Hollywood violence–led by the NRA, a group that, as Sean O’Neal so brilliantly, cuttingly reminded us today, exists to sell weapons of violence to people–for tragedies like these is not only abhorrent and insulting to the victims of such tragedies, it is stupid. Just. Plain. STUPID.
While yes, it can be argued that entertainment–particularly television–has gotten far more darker and grimmer than it used to be, you have to remember that one of the functions of art is to be reflective of society. And if you hold that conceit to be true, then couldn’t it be extrapolated that our art has gotten darker because our WORLD has gotten darker as a result of decisions humanity has made?
In that regard, Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, etc. are products of the times in response to the times, just as the folk revival of the 1960s was a response to the warmongering of Vietnam. And yeah, while I will concede that more stringent measures need to be put in place so my now 2-year old cousin won’t have any access to Call of Duty: Shoot All Them Turrorists when he’s 8, I also realize that that is a VERY different thing from making games like that banned all together. I may not like the worldview that CoD and its ilk represent (a jingoistic, militaristic, paranoid, nationalistic one IMO) but I will adamantly defend their right to express it.
Because guys, that’s what democracy is all about in the end: protecting the guy next to you, even though he may disagree with you.