The over-arching media presumption is we are nation of drunk college students, happy to see deviancy normalized. Who notices the weak minds of youngsters destroyed in the process, or, as in the latest teen-child thrill killing story (not a pleasant read, take our word for it), the other lives they in turn destroy? What forces in our culture have made killing other human beings a game? Why are there no gate keepers?
People are either formed or deformed by what they let into their heads. Unfortunately, for many in the media business “money-love” is the only guiding star of programming suitability. Hardly a reliable moral or aesthetic compass.
Opt-In Far Better than Opt-Out To Limit Media Deviancy
A practical stop-gap suggestion: Why not require people to opt into all the deviancy out there, rather than forcing ordinary folks to find ways to circumvent this deluge with various cumbersome opt-out technologies? Opt-in rules work on the internet. Failure to observe them is the very definition of spam. Won’t they work for TV and other media?
The media manipulators of the American psyche know that they actually will work, and work so well they will cut into their programming profits. To rework an old phrase: Those who can, entertain, those who can’t, glorify the abnormal and the degrading. Sex, violence and deviancy are the true last refuge of media scoundrels. These are people ever ready to play on people’s weaknesses to make a buck.
Violence and Anger Prime By-Products of Media Toxicity
And what is the toxic by-product of all this deviancy? Here is an extended quote for Cormac McCarthy’s novel, “No Country for Old Men” that might shed some light on the real world violence generated by all this media irresponsibility (“spellin” is as in the original):
“No Country for Old Men” on Young Children at Risk
“I sent one boy to the gas chamber in Huntsville. One and only one. My arrest and my testimony. I went up there and visited him two or three times. Three times. The last time was the day of his execution. I didnt have to go but I did. I sure didnt want to. He killed a fourteen year old girl and I can tell you right now I never did have no great desire to visit with him let alone go to his execution but I done it. The paper said it was a crime of passion and he told me there wasnt no passion to it. He’d been datin this girl, young as she was. He was nineteen. And he told me that he had been plannin to kill somebody for about as long as he could remember. Said that if they turned him out he do it again. Said he knew he was goin to hell. Told it to me out of his own mouth. I dont know what to make of that. I surely don’t. I thought I’d never seen a person like that and it got me to wonderin if maybe he was some new kind. I watched them strapped him into the seat and shut the door. He might of looked a bit nervous about it but that was about all. I really believe that he knew he was goin to be in hell in fifteen minutes. I believe that. And I’ve thought about that a lot. He was not hard to talk to. He called me Sheriff. But I didnt know what to say to him. What do you say to a man that by his own admission has no soul? Why would you say anything? I thought about it a good deal. But it wasnt nothin compared to what was comin down the pike.
“They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I dont know what them eyes was the windows to and I guess I’d as soon not know. But there is another view of the world out there and other eyes to see it and that’s where this is goin. It is done and brought me to a place in my life I would not of thought I’d of come to. Somewhere out there is a true and living prophet of destruction and I don’t want to confront him. I know he’s real. I’ve seen his work. I walked in front of those eyes once. I won’t do it again. I wont push my chips forward and stand up and go out to meet him. It aint just being older. I wish that it was. I cant say that it’s even what you are willin to do. Because I always knew that you had to be willin to die even to do this job. That was always true. Not to sound glorious about it or nothin but you do. If you aint they’ll know it. They’ll see it in a heartbeat. I think is more like what you are willin to become. And I think a man would have to put his soul at hazard. And I won’t do that. I think now that maybe I never would.”