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WW-Eek! Violence in the media

This is the post that I messed up last week. Here’s hoping all goes well.

Below is a piece which I wrote a while ago. I thought I’d give it a bump seeing as I mentioned the WWE in a recent post. Most of the info is still relevant. So, see in me…

When given the task of investigating the role in which violence in the media has in society using the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) programmes, naturally I was excited. Nothing would be easier; after all, it is only television.

I got ready to watch an episode of RAW (or was it Smackdown? Possibly Afterburn? Aftershock? Rope burn? I stand to be corrected.) The scene was set, I had a beer or three, shaved my head and made sure to not think or say anything reasonably intelligent for the next hour of entertainment.

Half way through, my mother interrupted me to ask if I would like to eat, so I body slammed her through the coffee table. She understood that it was done in the name of entertainment. And it certainly was entertaining. It seemed more like a summers day at Cliton’s Third Beach; muscular men covered in oil, wearing skin-tight costumes, rolling around over one another, partaking in staged confrontations with over-acting worthy of any soap opera. And of course, fighting.

It certainly became apparent why this show is so popular amongst males aged eighteen to forty-nine. The fighting in itself is certainly unique. The wrestlers ran around the ring and appeared to just fall short of hitting each other, simply grazing the competitor while letting his foot make more noise than anything by stomping on the ring as he hit.

But was this violence affecting me? I pondered this question in morning traffic and as my mind wandered I was cut off by another car. So I climbed out, got on to my car and dived onto my transgressor as WWE Heavyweight champion Jeff Hardy would have done.

Was this phenomenon really about violence?

If so, would there not have been as much a furore about professional boxing and other contact sports such as martial arts? Mind numbingly senseless as many find WWE to be, the billion dollar bank balance of CEO Vince McMahon is a testament to the popularity of the show. Between one and five million viewers watch these shows every night. And the main objective of the show also becomes as glaringly obvious as the lights and pyrotechnics. Money.

These wrestlers are willing to portray characters who oversimplify violence for the sake of ratings. By glorifying this sport and making wrestlers seem extraordinary makes them as appealing to people, especially children, as deep fried dollar bills.

Another medium which is incredibly popular is that of video gaming. It hads been well documented that the students implicated in the Columbine shootings were enthusiasts of violent games which involved shooting guns.

Psychologist Dave Grossman highlighted the insanity of the link between the media and violence.

He says that “[a]dults can do whatever they want… they have guns, pornography, alcohol, drugs, sex. Cars. But if anybody gives those things to a child, then they’re criminal. So why would we market murder simulators to children?”

So clearly he has no idea what he is talking about.

The video game industry has become so successful that it is practically a part of American society. The same society which is home to Sarah Palin and the NRA. Maybe if these kids watched more wrestling there would have been more broken necks and a lot less anger.

Many might argue that the WWE is harmless fun, but it may not be harmless to the young people who buy into the false reality that is being created.

As many “don’t try this at home” warnings will not prevent the injuries, or worse, which will doubtlessly will occur as a result of trying to emulate these oiled superstars.

That being said, although I may have exaggerated ever so slightly in this piece, I now owe my mother an apology and a new coffee table.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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Jy sê nie vir my nie… or not?

For my non-Afrikaans friends and followers, I just said (in a very crude Cape Town way) “you don’t tell me (what to do).” This is something that is said when someone tries telling you what to do and you vehemently oppose it.

–          Martha, do pull your skirt down and stop running like a boy.

–          HA AH MUMMY JY SÊ NIE VIR MY NIE (No mother, you do not tell me how to behave)

This is an example of the way in which this phrase can be used. Now, I joke a lot, however this is actually very serious.

I’ve remained largely quiet (not opinionless) on the Secrecy Bill, Protection of State Information Bill, the preferred government terminology. I actually thought many people were reading way too much into it. Believe me, I have read Orwell’s 1984 and it is one of my absolute faves, however I did not think we were as bad as that dystopian society.  I have since changed my mind.

If this bill is passed in its current form, then even this blog may be deemed illegal! I have not even spoken out about my marriage to President Zuma and I would be gagged, and not in the way he usually likes it. Any new Arms or leg deal, new government rapes, golden handshakes, golden showers, security guards getting promoted to ministers, misspent funds and misspent youths. It will all be fair game to have one arrested for mentioning it.

However, I did my characteristic eye roll when the media came out in full force and protested outside Parliament last year with black tape over their mouths to show how they felt about potentially being muzzled. It was a great sentiment and lots of people wore black in solidarity. I was over it because of the passion showed when it came to their own cause when we have other big issues that are not protested as often. I suppose it would dilute the effect, but you get the point. I hope.

What I’m trying to say in my usual long winded way is that if this Bill goes through and is passed, no longer will we be able to say  “Jy sê nie vir my nie” in a big way. We would be reduced to clandestine secret codes and under-the-table messages. Uhm… 1984/ Die Weiβe Rose/Apartheid SA anyone? I really want to believe in my government, but this is one overlooked issue that cannot be ignored. So I hope that we can all keep giving the finger and running our mouths as we should. Let’s start here. Go on, raise your finger and don’t let anyone tell you what to do, especially government.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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