Wednesday, August 7, 2002
By MARTY OPPENHEIMER
Special to the News
Watch the evening news, see a hockey game, rent a movie, play a video game, or see Cops on TV. We are deluged with real and corporate staged violence. Some is war, some is entertainment, and some is even considered “sport.” It is all predatory. I’ve been saddened by the creeping preponderance of violence in movies, TV, and in games. Actually, this has been like our society’s vision going bad a tiny bit each day. In time, the accumulated affect is quite noticeable. It has eroded our morals and society.
We have too much violence in real life without glorifying it and numbing us with images that show that hurting people is okay, and often “cool.” Large corporations are profiting by selling violence to our families. And, although corporations who profit from selling violence say there is no correlation to our society’s growing violence and crowded courts and jails, what does your common sense tell you about this coincidence?
I recently had a vivid dream, where the skies were darkened and accompanied by guerilla war here. Our country was being physically assaulted and taken over by terrorists, and there was nowhere to escape. I thought, “we did this to ourselves by allowing the violence to creep up on us, day by day; year by year. We should have seen it coming.”
I liked/hated “Training Day.” It was a good movie, but it’s salted with gruesome violence. It caused me to rethink what movies I will watch from now on and what I can support. Let’s not support the violence industry any longer, and encourage others to follow suit. The only way to turn things around is one by one, for each of us to make a small contribution to the social good by taking a higher road. Don’t support violent movies. Switch your TV to non-violent shows. Or better yet, turn it off and talk with each other, plant some flowers, help someone who is less fortunate, or hike to a waterfall. Don’t buy your kids violent video or computer games. When corporations see their sales shrinking, they will change their products to something more acceptable.
We need some positive heroes. We haven’t had many real charismatic positive leaders in government or in society for decades. Start by leading your own family and friends to less violence, and be a hero.
Marty Oppenheimer lives in Hood River.