First I would like to start this posting by reminding people that the entertainment media tells us that their movies, music, video games, etc. has no ill effect on humanity. We've heard the stories about someone who goes on a murder spree because they watched a music video and heard God talking to them through it. The entertainment industry says, "Don't blame us.", when dragged into court.
The Association for Psychological Science has an article titled, "Research Report Provides 'Unequivocal Evidence' that Media Violence Has Significant Negative Impact on Children and Youth" which states:
In the short-term, media violence can increase aggression by priming aggressive thoughts and decision processes, increasing physiological arousal, and triggering a tendency to imitate observed behaviors. In the long-term, repeated exposure can produce lasting increases in aggressive thought patterns and aggression-supporting beliefs about social behavior, and can reduce individuals' normal negative emotional responses to violence.
Hat Tip to Science Blog
There. That gets the public service announcement out of the way for this week.
Now! On to Jack Bauer, 24 and the Stanford University Editorial Board
The Stanford Daily - Opinions Page - 23 Jan 07 by the Editorial Board published, "Editorial: What can Jack Bauer do for you?"
Yet despite the show's enormous entertainment value - and we admit that it is addictive - whether you are a devoted longtime fan, or just getting into the series, it is important to pause and consider how the show may influence the way audiences think about current events.
On the positive side, the show constantly raises issues like civil liberties and national security, and portrays political debates with obvious allusions to real politicians. These plot points bring important issues to the attention of viewers who may not regularly follow current events, making fans of "24" more likely to show interest when similar issues appear in the news.
But at the same time, there is the possibility that "24" could replace news altogether for some viewers, and the over-dramatized events it presents to keep the adrenaline flowing could pervert the public's sense of reality by creating a constant sense or paranoia that is good for ratings, but not necessarily for the general interest.
Though most Stanford students are able to separate the entertainment value of the series from its factual content, not taking many of the over-the-top plot twists as credible depictions of the current political atmosphere, next time you watch "24," it is worth considering exactly how these elements play into the excitement. We are confidant that our peers can make the distinction between a fictional show and real life, and we hope the rest of the 33 million viewers will be equally discerning.
What happened to the "Burn Baby Burn" attitude of the 60's? What a bunch of touchy feely wimps on the editorial board of the Stanford Daily. Why! By Cracky! back in my day.... But I digress.
I won't mention the use of 'confidant' instead of 'confident' nor the misplacement of the comma at their last use of "24," because these kids are still in school. A place of learning and I'm certain an adult that supervises and grades them has brought it to their attention already.
I hope too that an adult has corrected their 'opinion' that the peers of Stanford are so much better than and smarter than 33 million couch potatoes. Especially the couch potatoes that are Stanford Alumni. After all that would be showing prejudice and these darlings of the future have had that taught out of them haven't they?
Please don't laugh at these college students. Cry for them.
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