Madison County Opinion...

 September 13, 2000

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
September 13, 2000

Frankly Speaking

Violence is big
business in America
Yet another report has been released about the effect of violence in movies, TV and video games. This report suggests that the producers of this kind of pornography actively target teenagers in their advertising.
Yes, violence in the media is just as pornographic as those containing sexual material. It is my opinion that sexual content is less damaging to our children than blatant violence.
The glorification of violence is widespread in our society. One of the most active purveyors of violence is TV "Rasslin." These TV programs feature men and women screaming insults and threats at each other, then entering the ring where they pretend to beat each other to a pulp. The greatest sin is that this vulgar display of violence is promoted as "family entertainment."
Far too many people go to hockey games to see the fights, or to stock car races to see the wrecks. When a local TV station shows a live high-speed police chase, their ratings jump out of the ceiling.
It is obvious why there is so much violence in our entertainment media. It pays! Producers put out violent video games because we buy it. Directors fill their moves with graphic violence because we buy tickets to see it. TV stations schedule violent programs like "TV Rasslin" because it delivers a big audience to their advertisers and advertisers sponsor the programs because it brings in customers.
All the talk in Washington, D.C., about controlling violence in the media is a waste of time. Violence means big profits. And as long as people pay big bucks for it, someone will produce and distribute violent programs. As long as parents view TV and video violence, their children will follow their example.
We do not need another "War" to finance. We spend far too much money now on the "drug war" when it is our spending on illegal drugs that drives the market. Another "war" against violence will be just as expensive and just as ineffective. In both cases, we need to use education, starting with the parents, to lower the demand for these sins. If the profit in drugs dries up, the illegal drug market will vanish. When we stop spending money on violent movies, video games and TV, we will see a dramatic decrease in the depictions of violence.
Congress cannot legislate morality, and the President cannot affect moral decisions by enforcing Congress's laws. Morality starts at home. The answer to the problem of violence in our society is a return to responsible parenting. Parents need to teach their children to avoid drugs, irresponsible sex and unmitigated violence. And the best way to teach these moral lessons is to set the example in their own lives.
We are a violent people. We teach our children that violence is the way to solve disputes. We show our businessmen that violence is the quickest way to big profits. This problem is driven at the grassroots level and only when we change our attitudes will the problem of violence be solved.
We are what we buy. Violence is big business in America because we spend so much money on it. When we quit spending the money, we will see an end to unmitigated violence.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at
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By Ben Munro
The Madison County Journal
September 13, 2000

In Other Words

Nightmare in Columbia
Yeah, it might have felt like 100 degrees Saturday in Columbia, but that sure didn't stop hell from freezing over.
While witnessing Georgia's 21-10 demoralizing, derailing flop against the South Carolina Gamecocks, I kept assuring myself that at any moment I would awake in the comfort of my own bed in a cold sweat - the whole thing that I was watching would be just some elaborate nightmare. Oh, but it was real - too real in what was finally supposed to be the year of the Dawg.
The same 2000 squad that was supposed to finally end Bulldog fans' constant dwelling on Herschel and the gang's dominant teams of yesteryear, fell flat on its face, getting upended by the most unacceptable of opponents.
Folks, this was South Carolina. Yeah, the same team that lost 21 games in a row, the team that was the only in one SEC history to go 0-11, the team with only one bowl win in 109 years of football, the team that has recently made Vanderbilt look like a powerhouse. Carolina had become the epitome of ineptitude on the football field.
In fact, the Gamecocks might have even been on Madison County High School's short list of opponents that they wanted to include on their 2000 non-region schedule. They couldn't be more intimidating than Oconee, could they?
But seriously, what on God's green earth went wrong Saturday?
Who knows? But somewhere, Ray Goff is laughing.
Georgia has had a recent legacy of this disappearing act in contests where they should be up by five touchdowns by halftime and be putting in the water boy as quarterback in the fourth quarter. The Carolina game should have fit this template, but the 2000 team, who Donnan claimed he had waited 55 years to coach a team like them, gave giddy South Carolina fans another reason to tear down some more goal posts.
Georgia strutted into the contest in a hostile environment, put up seven points and thought it would be enough to get the job done.
Reality can be cruel sometimes.
I hate to toast the enemy, but Carolina played with something that has been absent from the Georgia program for well over a decade - heart. Georgia has the talent, but where is that lifeblood going to come from?
Georgia has become the "Tin Man" of the SEC - if only they had a heart. I really don't want to dwell on the past, but something should be said of the vintage years of Georgia.
Everytime I pop in an old video showing the classic Dawgs of the 70s and 80s I am envious of how things used to be.
Those guys hit, scratched, clawed and fought their way to bowl games and SEC titles. The ghosts of Dawg glory past flicker across the screen as the old Junkyard Dawgs dominated the SEC wars.
A red sea rocked, fight songs blared and Georgia rolled over the SEC patsies with smash-mouth football - none of this shotgun, five wide-out, "Quincy throw it long," new age offense. Those guys played with some heart.
But these days, the majority of the Georgia teams have so-called blue chip players who drive $40,000 SUVs, clutter up the NFL draft projections and manage to get humiliated by a third-world college football program.
The life has been sucked out of Georgia football - crowds are quiet, players seem to be indifferent and all the fans do is ponder beating Florida and Tennessee.
There actually are nine other games the Dawgs play, something Georgia fans and the players obviously forgot this weekend.
Ben Munro is a reporter for The Madison County Journal.
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