Parents who are predisposed to limit children's exposure to violence will do so as a matter of course. Parents who don't feel that way, will not. Therefore, if parents can't be relied upon to police their children, then society must- because what social order wants to have violence-overloaded children heaving their criminal behavior upon it?
In the mid-1950's a Senate sub-committee began to investigate the "sources of the moral rot at the core of an otherwise flourishing postwar America," (Knox, 4). This committee looked at the comic book industry, movies, and particularly at television. While these efforts did little to nothing to curb interest in subjects considered to be anti-American, or "immoral," it does show the depth of time and effort that has been spent on this issue - at every level. However, over the course of time, television has become more liberal rather than less. So, in response, the television industry, governmental, and citizen bodies banded together again in the mid-1980's to begin the process of looking into alternative ways to actually keep children from watching violent acts in a society that maintains that freedom of expression is a critical part of our social order (Hornaday N01). One of the methods that is now commonplace is the television rating scale. Seen at the beginning of shows and upon returning from advertising breaks, broadcast networks have begun to voluntarily participate in the program of flashing a rating such as G, TV-MA, etc. On the screen indicating the content in the program.
Ratings, however, are simply not an effective deterrent. The determined child can simply keep his eyes open and watch as people kill each other on the screen. Ratings do not prevent actual viewing and it is viewing violence that creates violence. Therefore, the only course of action remaining, apparently, is to actually prevent children from watching particularly violent television shows. There are two basic ways to accomplish this that the broadcasting industry has agreed to participate in. First there is the "windowing" of television. During certain hours of the day, the television industry has agreed not to broadcast particular kinds of movies and television shows. This, in part, explains why children do not come home to seeing network broadcasts of Boys n the Hood, or Saving Private Ryan. The second method of approach is to actually physically prevent viewing - thus the birth of the vchip.
Technically, the V-Chip sounds like a very simple concept. The chip is imbedded into...
Imbedded in the data transmission of the program is information relating to the ratings. The v-chip, then, receives those signals and, depending upon the level of "security" given to it, will simply render the screen unviewable by blocking it out with a color wash (such as all blue or all black) and turns off the audio of the broadcast. For a person to then watch the show, a code must be entered into v-chip via the television remote which then immediately unlocks the screen and allows for viewing.
On the surface, this sounds very good - a highly effective method of actually preventing the viewing of violence. This technology was embraced by both the television industry (looking to cooperate as much as was financially feasible) and the government. The v-chip, to be effective, must be turned on and programmed. The ease of accomplishing this is dependent wholly upon the way that the manufacturer set up the television controls and menus.
But, ultimately, it requires that the parents of the children take an active role in turning on the chip whenever a child is likely to watch TV. This is why the chip has not been very successful: parental effort must be exerted and that, put starkly, is just too much to ask of many people. The v-chip only succeeds in households that use it (Puzzanghera, 2007).
If the v-chip doesn't work, and we can't compel television studios to stop producing shows that display the kind of violence that is plaguing our nation, then what course of action do we have? Legislated censorship, perhaps, is the next logical step. But that is a very hard row to hoe. The problem is that our constitution allows for freedom of expression - and that has been expanded to include television shows, music, and movies. While we can slap warning labels and ratings on our entertainment, we can't actually prevent people from making fictional murder appear on TV.
So, are we stuck? Perhaps we are. Unless a v-chip can be made that operates on some sort of personal or biometric recognition system, our nation is going to continue to see children acting out what they have seen on television on each other and on us - to all of our detriment. Personal policing is the only reliable course of action we have.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2007). Children and TV Violence. Online. Internet. Avail:
http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_and_tv_violence.Acc: 12 Oct, 2007.
Duncan, P. (2006). Attractions to Violence and the Limits of Education. The Journal of Aesthetic Education. 40:4; 21-38.
Hornaday, a. (Aug 6, 2006) Parents Fret About Children's Entertainment. The Washington Post. Sunday Arts, N01.
Puzzanghera, J. (Jan 20, 2007). Parents Report More Clout in TV Oversight Los Angeles Times. Business Section. Part C. Pg 2.
Knox, S.L. (2000). A World Made of Glass: Crime Culture and…
Fahrenheit 451' vs. '1984' Several conflicting frames of mind have played defining roles in shaping humanity throughout the twentieth century. Philosophical optimism of a bright future held by humanity in general was taken advantage of by the promise of a better life through sacrifice of individuality to the state. In the books 1984, by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury have clear opposition to these subtle entrapments that was
The second crucial element missing from society, in Faber's explanation, is the leisure time among citizens to critically analyze or even think at all about any meaningful information they should come across in their lives. Because the government has become so successful at capturing their attention in simple forms of entertainment, people lack the necessary motivation to take time away from those enjoyable pursuits to learn about any quality information
1984 & Fahrenheit 451 The Pessimism of 1984 vs. The Optimism of Fahrenheit 451 Both 1984 by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury are futuristic depictions of totalitarian societies that value conformity over individualism. The two novels present systems of institutionalized control. There are strict laws and rules governing behavior and thoughts, and both societies are based on a hierarchy. The protagonists in the novels, Winston Smith and Guy Montag,
Granger helps him reconsider the importance of his hands when he tells him it does not matter what you do "long a you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away" (170). This scene proves noteworthy for Montag because he realizes it is true. He even notes change will "come from our hands and our
Philosophy: Enlightenment and Fahrenheit 451 We are a society defined by technology and machines. At the speed of light, we gain knowledge via the Internet, our lives are made more convenient and the globe becomes a smaller place to live. As a result of machines and technology, we are a 24/7 society where time is scarce and a high commodity. Even with machines to make our lives and jobs easier, we
Inside he is changing but he continues with his life as much as he can. Beatty accuses Montag of being a hopeless romantic and does his best to convince Montag there is nothing in books that could benefit man. Beatty also blames a large part of Montag's "problem" on his encounters with Clarisse, who was "better of dead" (64). This attitude is a stark contrast with Faber and his