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On the Media
beer, meetmeme, Backyard
I was listening to MPR - On the Media on my drive down today. This is before I got out of range and switched to podcasts and music courtesy of my iPod. I should say that I have not had any issues with my iPod and I have had it for quite a while. Early on I had to complete one hard reset, but since then it was been working like a champ.

Back to the news. First up, Comcast buying NBC. Oh, Comcastic! Wait, except they suck. The guy interviewed by On the Media has doubts about it passing the "Public Good" portion of whatever token hearings the FCC sets up. Well, he did not say it like that... But he did say some things with which I did agree:
Comcast has to answer the same things all media / cable conglomerates are expected to answer - what happened to a la carte, and why do distribution costs keep going up?
Then he finished with, "Cable-bashing is a non-partisan sport."

Next story is the same story we have seen for decades. On what do we blame violence?
D&D - too small a crowd
TV - it has been overplayed and no one buys it anymore, since no studies bear it out
Video Games - the current whipping boy. DING DING DING
Hugo Chavez and his administration are now banning toy guns and video games to help reign in violence. I wonder if that douche-face Jack Thompson went down there and convinced them that video games are bad, m-kay?
Studies might show an increase in aggression, but have failed to show an increase in violence. The interviewee indicated that it is likely this will soon go the way of the TV argument, as more people that have grown up with video games start to gain influence. His other comments included, "When politicians start blaming video games (or TV), it shows they are out of real ideas, and this is the last card they have." His last point was also interesting - What will they start blaming next?

From Comic Books to Music to TV to Video Games, none if it has shown any causality with violence. Interestingly, I recall that Michael Moore searched for the same thing in his movie, Bowling for Columbine. I really did not like the way he ambushed Charlton Heston, but most of the movie was pretty decent. Japan, UK - much tighter gun laws, less gun violence. Canada - much less restrictive gun laws, less gun violence. What is it about America that gives us such a high level of violent crime?

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Friend of mine had an interesting theory...

In most of the "old" countries (Europe, Asia, etc.), power was gained through marriage -- i.e., sex. That's why sex is more tolerated in TV and other media across the ocean, but not violence.

America got its power (revolutions) through violence. That's why violence is more acceptable in our media, but not sex.

I agree - that is really interesting, and something to think about.

I've sort of assumed that it's probably because the more densely people live, the more that they just accept that sex is a part of life because it's a difficult thing to avoid when you're constantly confronted with other people, whereas our spread out population tends to assume that nobody else does anything vulgar, therefore vulgar behaviour must be discouraged - especially in ourselves.

I always though it was our puritan roots. Plus the genetic basis of being the ones willing to take of into the unknown. We are less settled, genetically. I like the crowding theory though we have had periods like that in out history too. Most of it up till the 20's.

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