The Madison County Journal
September 13, 2000
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 www.mcga.net. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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
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.