Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

The Sports Double Standard in the "Violent Media" Debate

Sunday, February 10, 2013

this entry brought to you by jimi hendrix, "manic depression"

Here's something I don't understand.

At times throughout the past thirty years, whenever there is a horrible gun massacre, whether it was dumb teenagers and their suicide pacts in the eighties, or the "Trenchcoat Mafia" during Columbine, or this most recent one in Newtown, politicians and particularly the NRA, blame "media". Rock music in the eighties. There was Congressional hearings on violent movies at the time Pulp Fiction came out, and that movie in particular was sited by Bob Dole as being a prime example of the sadism of Hollywood. Of course there was DOOM during the Columbine, and now, after Newtown, it's become popular again to go on and on about the evils of video games and "media". The President has asked for yet another study looking at any connection between video game violence and real life violence, even though there have been dozens of such studies, all of which came to the same conclusion: that there is none.

Last week the Super Bowl happened. The San Francisco 49ers were in that game. The San Francisco Giants were in the last World Series, and there were riots after those games. The mayor had to come out before the Super Bowl and say that he will not tolerate these riots after this Super Bowl. He said that he will have an increased police presence, and will prosecute those that get arrested for the maximum sentences.

There are certain cities across the country-- in fact, across the world, where if the local team plays, win or lose, there will be riots. There are cities across the country where, if the local team is playing a home game, there will be a heavy police force on the street that night. There are certain stadiums the locals know to not go to unless you want to get into a fight, especially if you support the other team. But let me just go back to that first point. Riots. Win or lose. The Mayor had to tell San Francisco to please not riot, because the city is still paying for the damage from the previous time the city rioted from a sporting event.

Can I ask you, when was the last time a Mayor had to increase security across the city because the new Call of Duty came out? When the Avengers came out, did anyone have to tell their friend not to wear their Batman shirt at the local theater? Is there a music store anywhere in the country where it's known to be "Led Zeppelin" territory, and if you go around talking about Aerosmith, you're pretty much asking for a fight?

Listen, I'm not saying we ban football, or that football is evil. I'm not a fan, but, as much as I hate this fact, lots of very, very smart people love football. I don't understand how that's possible, but I understand that it is possible, and therefore there's just something about it that I don't get. It's just beyond me. And I'm fine with that. Just like a certain generation of people doesn't "get" video games, or why movies have to have all those people dying in them.

I just don't understand the double standard.

We have had, for as long as high school football has been around, children getting concussed-- and not just every now and again, this happens all the time-- and other serious injuries. We've found a college that seems to have systematically covered up child rape because the child rapist was an assistant coach-- not even the actual coach!! We hear about students getting passing scores despite doing terribly in school because they're in football. Recently a girl in Texas was repeatedly raped at a school party by the entire team, and we're learning that the school and local authorities seem to have been covering it up, because, you know, football. And this, as anyone who's ever paid attention to this sort of thing, is not an isolated incident; what makes this different is all the video taped evidence that keeps getting unearthed that was covered up. And then there is, of course, the juicing, which is so prevalent you actually have people writing op-eds wondering why we don't just let everybody juice, since everybody does it anyway, and those that don't have no way of keeping up.

But no one suggests that maybe we shouldn't expose our children to football. Nobody says that you should be 18 and over to buy a football helmet, nobody says that only a minor with a parent can buy a t-shirt with their favorite team on it. We don't have the head of the NRA calling the NFL a "callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people through vicious, violent games". Senators don't criticize the "lust for violence and NFL’s lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about the NFL's self-interest."

I'm not a fan, but I'm not suggesting that football is somehow responsible for all the horrible things that are associated with it. Every time there's a riot, there are millions of football lovers in the very town the riots are happening, watching it all on TV, shaking their heads. For every rapist or murderer who somehow gets away with it in sports, there are hundreds of guys who just play because they love the game and are really good at it. And, just like there are guys who watch the most horribly violent movies specifically the horrible ways the characters in it are dismembered, there are those fans who wish the rules in football were more lax, just because they really, really want to see guys hurt one another. But just as with movies, there are many more guys who just watch the game because they love it. I get that.

I just don't understand how movies and music and games, entertainment based almost entirely off of imagination where all the things being portrayed didn't actually happen, are somehow the worst things for our children, but a physical game that takes place in physical space and real things actually happen, real people get hurt, real people actually riot because of them, and real people get raped and those rapes are covered up because these pathetic people in these pathetic towns have nothing better to do with their lives and oh god, not football, these things are not only off the table in our culture debates, and somehow they aren't just encouraged for our children, but they are wholesome. Somehow, they make you a better person.

I don't get the double standard.

with love from CRS @ 3:05 PM 


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