Violence permeates our entertainment

How many times must our nation be plunged into despair over the latest school shooting before we all look in the mirror and take responsibility for our own individual role? To anyone who thinks he has nothing to do with it, I would ask these questions: Have you ever watched a graphically violent television show or movie? Have you ever played or purchased a similar video game? It is a rare few who can say “no” to both.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the media; they’re just giving us what we seem to want. My frustration comes from the fact that each of us plays a role in defining what Hollywood feeds us from an entertainment perspective. If collectively, we stopped watching “CSI,” “NCIS” or any number of other graphic programming, they would go away. The same can be said for movies and video games.

Something is fundamentally wrong with death and murder as the central theme in so much of our entertainment. The problem is that Hollywood has gotten so good at realistically showing it to us, that we lap it up at their trough like gluttonous pigs who can’t get enough. When this kind of violence permeates our entertainment to the extent that it does, should we be surprised when the lunatics among us take it to the next level and open fire on our children? The crazies think, “Since it looks cool on TV, it must look really cool in real life, right?”

Wrong. The far-reaching permanence of these acts affects families through generations. It does not neatly end at the top of the hour with no ramifications. What will it take to make us all finally look away and say, enough is enough? It starts with each of us. It has to.

Peter Holdsworth

West Seneca