Is this about Moral Obligation
or is this about Money?
by Al Colombo
|Front page, USA Today: Gore, Bush Chide Entertainment Industry.
Inside the story it said, Clinton praised the report, even though Hollywood has been a strong financial supporter of his.|
It appears that the Federal Trade Commision issued a report recently that spoke harshly of Hollywood, as well as several other industries that cater to violence and smut. The report allegedly says that these concerns consciously target young people in their marketing efforts. Apparently the Senate is launching a committee hearing in which they will take up the issue, although the USA Today said that the Senate has no intentions of forcing anything other than voluntary code compliance.
Several concerns were quoted, among which were Hilary Rosen, Recording Industry Association, and Tom Sherak, chairman, 20th Century Fox, Domestic Film Group. Everyone carefully guarded and defended the actions of their particular segment of the industry. According to the USA Today, Sherak said, ...under no circumstances can we ever give up the opportunity to have free speech.
Now, let's get this straight,
Perhaps the following quote, from another story in U.S. News & World Report, entitled Hut, Two, Three, Four, Wireless Biz is at War, sums it up best:
- Projecting images of men and women having sex on our TV and movie screens is free speech?
- Images of men and women shooting to kill or injure while robbing a convenient store or conducting a drive-by shooting on our television sets is free speech?
- Video Games that project images of violence is considered free speech?
- Cussing, swearing, and making sordid sounds and statements on our tubes and movie screens is free speech?
|Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. --Article I, Bill of Rights, 1791|
I doubt very much that our Founding Fathers really intended that the first amendment of the Bill of Rights protect the right of any group of citizens to display nudity, violence, and other vulgarities in public. One indication of this is how our movie and game industries are out of sync with our present day laws.
For example, can any one of us legally perform even a fraction of the vulgar and violent acts witnessed on television and on movie screens? Why, isn't it a fact that not one of us can conduct ourselves in such a manner as this on our streets or within our own homes? How in the world can Hollywood or the electronic game industry call this Free Speech?
The free speech that these folks practice is more like the man in a movie house who jumps up and screams, FIRE!! FIRE!!. What they do is more like an adult who, in real life, teaches a juvenile how to kill with a gun, how to knife someone, how to rape a woman, how to cuss, how to hate, etc. Does society reward men such as this by bestowing riches upon them? No, we put them in jail where they belong because they are inciting children to kill and injure!
- Free Speech is what I'm doing here.
- Free Speech relates to the news and commentaries that appear regularly in your local and our national newspapers.
- Free Speech is the relevant and worthy programming that add to our moral and ethical fabric, not those that detract from it.
Why should it be any different where it involves Hollywood or the game industry? Are they not showing children how to take a gun or knife and use it to kill? Are they not inciting children to kill, to injure?
And please... don't tell me that our children have a mind of their own, that they can think for themselves, that they know better. I'm so tired of hearing that uninformed response.
When they see top actors on YOUR television screen or in the movie house using guns, knifes, and their sex organs to kill, injure, and rape... that lends the entire viewing experience a good deal of credibility, especially to children who see it day in and day out.
Stretching The Envelope
What some folks do with the phrase Free Speech reminds me of my 6-year-old grandson, Vincent. He likes to play games with his mummy when he's told what to do. He knows that if he stretches the envelope little bit here and a little bit there, his mummy won't notice and he'll bloody get away with more and more. He also knows that if he stretches that envelope about twice as far as he really wants that when his mummy compromises he'll get exactly what he wants, even if it's not in his own best interest.
With all of this said, the fact that President Clinton ordered the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Hollywood and the game industry, as the actions of both relate to violence, I can't help but wonder what the true, underlying motive for this action is. What I mean is that routinely the President has attacked the gun industry because of gun violence while he and so many others have said little concerning the adverse educational properties of Hollywood's and the game industry's worst.
Is this to be just another round of law suits, like the tobacco, gun, and now the tire industries? What I'm asking you to do is to stop and ask yourself is this about money or is it about the moral obligation society has to its youth?
What should we do if it's about money? I believe we should do absolutely nothing. If it's about money, then you and I should have nothing to do with it, even if we have millions to gain. After all, don't you think that life should be about more than just money?
- If it's about money, it's wrong; and two wrongs don't make a right.
- If it's about moral obligation, then it's right.
Copyright©2000, Allan B. Colombo, www.GiantKillers.Org
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