13, Sept. 2000: One of today's big headlines is the showdown between Hollywood and Washington, as law-makers take movie, music, and game-makers to task for polluting young people's minds with sex and violence. Once again, this is a clear example of our elected leaders passing the buck and finding scapegoats for their own failings. Blaming Hollywood for the violence in our country is like blaming Mark Twain's Huckleberry Fin for racism.
As a parent, what should concern you more: that your five year old might turn on the TV and see a couple under the sheets having sex, or that a child molester might be living next door to you? Or, that your seven-year-old might see a shoot-out in a movie versus the fact that she might get caught in one on her way to school? To me, the answer is obvious: the real-world dangers are far more of a concern than the fanciful world of Hollywood. And who has the power to stop these threats…who has the power to make our streets safer and lock dangerous people in prison? Movie directors? Record producers? Video game creators? No, it's law-makers.
Our politicians get filthy rich by accepting blood-money from the three biggest peddlers of death in our country: the alcohol, tobacco, and firearm industries. Because their pockets are lined with cash, politicians look the other way while these industries make millions killing Americans. Grass-roots programs to try to protect kids from guns are voted down by NRA-cronies and anyone can still buy a gun at a gunshow. Cigarettes and alcohol kill millions of Americans each year. Why aren't our politicians doing something about that? It's ridiculous and hypocritical.
I think Hollywood should point their fingers right back at lawmakers and say "when you give us a safe, respectable society to live in, then we'll start making safe, happy movies and video games. Until then, SHUT UP!"
Of course, this rant ignores an important side of this issue, and that is that most teenagers are smart enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality. Kids who are stupid enough to lay down in the middle of a highway just because they saw it in a movie have a lot bigger problems in their lives than movies. Parents need to take responsibility now and then and actually RAISE their kids, too. But that's a whole other rant, and I'm tired of writing.