2007 - Most Philosophical 7th Grader
Nick Brant, Minnesota.
compassion has an impact on society as strong as a comet plummeting
into earth, if true then consider violence an entire asteroid.
Violence has become a cornerstone of everyday life, and has entered
every aspect of our lives. Even the simple act of saying hello
nowadays means punching your friend in the arm.
Where does this explosion
and acceptance of violence originate from? I believe a key element
of it comes from within our living rooms; it comes from within
this terrible box where violence seems to ooze from every one
or its corners. If you think this is Pandora's Box then you're
wrong, no, no, this is much simpler
it is our televisions.
You don't have to believe
me, you can believe the numbers. Such as 44.5 the average number
of hours per week children age 8 to 18 watch television. How about,
200,000 the acts of violence, and 40,000 the number of murders,
a child will see on television by their 18th birthday. Or, 1,000
the number of studies that have been done since the 1950's, which
document the effects of violence in television and movies. Most
of those studies concluded that children watch a lot of television
show aggressive behavior, attitudes and values.
Shows like Sopranos and C.S.I allow kids to witness gruesome,
grisly, and horrid acts of violence just by picking up the remote.
They are regular staples on our television.
It's not only television shows;
it is also the explosion of video games which entice kids to become
active participants in violence. Games like Grand Theft Auto put
players in the role of a serial killer where they can kill whomever
they choose. This both teaches violence and empowers players to
commit violent acts.
Violence flows from television
sets into our daily lives. A one day sample of headlines from
the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE highlight the violent messages in
our society: "Two men charged with murder in cabdriver's
death," "Sjodin's killer headed to death row",
"Police seek man who robbed Crystal Bank", "Woman
guilty of using teens as sex slaves", "Teen suspect
held in northeast Minneapolis rape."
It is doubtful that Vladimir
Zworykin, father of the modern television, saw himself as a present
day Pandora; however, the similarities are remarkable. Greek Mythology
says out of curiosity Pandora opened the lid of a box Zeus had
given her, and out flew hate, anger, sickness, poverty, and every
bad thing in the world. By the time she closed the lid only hopelessness
remained in the box. Think of the television set at today's Pandora's
Box, and the violence showcased on television as all the evils
of the world. The question remains, are we doomed to always live
with violence because we chose to turn on the box and invite it
into our living rooms, bedrooms and lives? Do we have the power
and courage to turn the box off? And if we do, what remains of
the violence we've already released into society?
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