Originally created 03/14/03

Protest this!

If our gentle friends overflowing with wisdom in Hollywood are so against violence, why is it that they excrete so much of it into our living rooms and theaters?

While essentially offering themselves up as human shields for Saddam Hussein in the name of nonviolence, studies show they're teaching our children to be violent.

Any halfway observant parent can tell you that much; kids are little recording devices almost from the moment they are born, and they mimic many of the behaviors around them. Still, study after study has scientifically confirmed the link between entertainment violence and violent tendencies in kids.

But now, one of the most damning reports comes in a recent study indicating that children raised on violent entertainment carry those tendencies into adulthood.

The 15-year study spotted more prevalent aggressive behaviors in both men and women who were exposed to frequent violent images as children, without regard to education, income, social level or family background - behaviors such as pushing, shoving, hitting, criminal acts and even traffic violations.

The study by University of Michigan researchers is published in this month's American Psychological Association publication, Developmental Psychology.

Certainly parents will always be the primary filter for their children, as they must be. But filters can be overwhelmed, and not even the best filters can catch everything. Even if you restrict your children to what you think are safe shows, many of the networks' promos for their programs are wholly unsuitable.

It must be said that many children's shows today are actually more wholesome than they used to be. Today's cartoons rely more on smart and sophisticated humor than the hit-'em-on-the-head-with-a-frying-pan slapstick that the old cartoons were stuck on.

But there are too few children's programs and movies. And the rest of our entertainment fare - including television, movies and video and computer games - is entirely too violent.

When are Janeane Garafalo and Martin Sheen going to protest that?


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