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Response to PUNISHER #1 Review

Another response to my PUNISHER #1 review:

>> you should note that the very conclusions that Grossman quotes from other sources are most often based on the testimony of one man, david grossman. <<

Are they? What do you base that assertion on? My impression was that Grossman summarized the findings of the Surgeon General's 1970s report on violence. While the Surgeon General is one man too, I suspect he used a huge government apparatus to generate his findings.

Anyway, the evidence goes beyond Grossman's claims. Here's something I wrote in my Indian Comics Irregular newsletter:

While it's simplistic to call the media the cause of violence, it's equally simplistic to ignore the media's influence. In an excellent analysis published 8/22/99, Kenneth Turan, the LA Times's movie critic, makes the connection:

Though people in the business like to treat the movies' role in this American malaise as an open question at best, that's not a particularly logical attitude or one that's shared by the rest of America. For one thing, so much of the way we do business is based on the premise that exposure to visual stimuli is influential in all kinds of ways, from buying products to voting for candidates to, yes, deciding what movies to see on a Saturday night, that it serves no one to pretend that movie violence is a situation apart, mysteriously having no influence on anyone.

For another, as the New York Times headlined over a devastating but little-noticed piece by Lawrie Mifflin just after Littleton, "Many Researchers Say Link Is Already Clear on Media and Youth Violence." While the article notes that "proving such links irrefutably is almost impossible," a spokesman for the American Psychological Assn. says "the evidence is overwhelming. To argue against it is like arguing against gravity."

To reiterate, Turan argues that both "many researchers" and the American Psychological Association believe the link is clear. That goes well beyond anything Grossman alone claims.

>> When congress finds links between media and violence based mainly on the testimony of one man, a supposed expert, and than that supposed expert uses those results to prove his point, dosen't that seem a little one sided. <<

Yes, but Grossman isn't the sole source for my arguments. Click here for more evidence.

>> If you dont like a comic, fine. But dont tell me that I shouldnt read it, or garth ennis shouldnt write it. <<

You shouldn't read it and Garth Ennis shouldn't write it. <g> Not only because it's violent, but because it's bad.

>> Dont blame garth if your kid reads it, blame youself for not paying attention when you gave him the 2.50 to buy it. <<

Parents usually give their kids money or an allowance without specifying how they spend it. Do you expect a parent to review each of the comics a child buys? Does the parent have to read the whole thing too, or is skimming it or sampling the first few pages enough?

You've suggested a standard that goes well beyond anything my parents, or any parents of their generation, did. Review every comic personally? Uh-huh, sure. Should they also read every book the kid gets from the bookstore or library? Every textbook the kid brings home from school?

Let me know when you find a parent who has that much time and energy. Meanwhile, it looks like all parents throughout history, not just this generation's parents, are the problem. Since no parent has taken, or ever will take, that much time to supervise a child, what do you propose as a solution instead?

>> Personal responseability. some people need to try it. <<

Sloganeering...some people need to avoid it. <g>

You haven't answered the question I asked the others. If personal or parental responsibility has somehow declined—a position less substantiated than Grossman's, let's note—why has it declined? Could it be because media violence has made parents, as well as children, tolerant of real violence?

Anyway, thanks for exposing yet another facet of this topic to analysis.


More on blaming parents
Why parents aren't fully responsible for how their kids turn out.
"Even Howard Stern would have totally approved."
The "responsibility lies with the parents of this nation."
"You're not addressing the real problem: parental apathy."
Are PUNISHER buyers "fools" who wasted their money?

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