Impressions of Television

SOME AMERICANS COMPLAIN THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH VIOLENCE IN TELEVISION,

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PARTICULARLY IN AN ACTION SERIES OR CARTOONS. THEY ARE AFRAID THAT PEOPLE,

ESPECIALLY CHILDREN, WILL SEE THESE SHOWS AND THINK THAT THE ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE

PROBLEMS IS THROUGH VIOLENT ACTS. I THINK THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF FACTORS OTHER

THAN TELEVISION THAT EFFECTS PEOPLE. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE

YOU SAW IT ON TELEVISION? I'M SURE THAT ALL OF US HAVE DONE THAT AT ONE TIME OR

ANOTHER. TELEVISION SHOWS THAT ARE VIOLENT CAN HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON THE WAY

THAT CHILDREN ACT.

TELEVISION HAS EMBEDDED ITSELF WITHIN THE LIFE OF THE TYPICAL AMERICAN

PERSON. ACCORDING TO THE ENCARTA 96 CD ROM ENCYCLOPEDIA THEY CLAIM THAT,

"BETWEEN THE AGES OF 2 AND 65 THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WILL WATCH 72,000 HOURS OF

TELEVISIONaˆ”AT 24 HOURS A DAY, A TOTAL OF 8 FULL YEARS. THE DAILY AVERAGE IS

ABOUT 4 HOURS. THE HEAVIEST VIEWERS ARE HOUSEWIVES AND SENIOR CITIZENS. CHILDREN

WATCH THE SAME AMOUNT OF TELEVISION AS DO ADULTS; TEENAGERS WATCH ABOUT AN HOUR

LESS PER DAY."

"EARLY EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCHERS COMPARED THE PLAY OF CHILDREN WHO HAD

SEEN AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR ON TELEVISION WITH THE PLAY OF A CONTROL GROUP OF

CHILDREN WHO HAD WATCHED NONVIOLENT PROGRAMS. CONCERN WAS INTENSIFIED BY

FINDINGS THAT INDICATED A HIGHER LEVEL OF AGGRESSIVE PLAY IN THE VIOLENT-

TELEVISION GROUP"(ENCARTA).

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SURF SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS TO SEE THE VIOLENCE.

THE NINJA TURTLES ARE A PHENOMENON THAT HAS CAPTURED THE IMAGINATIONS OF MOVIE,

COMIC, AND EVEN CARTOON FANS ACROSS SEVERAL GENERATIONS. A GROUP OF YOUNG,

TEENAGE TURTLES WHO USE KUNG-FU AGAINST A GROUP OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF CREATURES.

THIS SHOW ANIMATES EXPLICITLY HOW THEY BATTLE THESE CREATURES TO FIGHT FOR

JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY. THEY LIVE IN THE SEWERS WITH THEIR TEACHER WHO IS

A RAT, USING AN ASSORTMENT OF WEAPONS SUCH AS THE SWORD, NUMCHUCKS, NINJA FORKS,

AND A NINJA STICK TO FIGHT FOES. IT SEEMS TO ME WHEN I LOOK OUTSIDE TO SEE THE

CHILDREN PLAYING, THEY MIMIC THE NINJA TURTLES, PRETENDING THAT THEY ARE KILLING

KRANG OR SHREDDER. IT NEVER FAILS IT ALWAYS SEEMS THAT THERE IS ONE CHILD THAT

COMES IN CRYING BECAUSE ANOTHER KID (WHO THOUGHT HE WAS DONATELLO) WAS HITTING

HIM WITH A STICK THAT HE USED FOR A SWORD. ALARMINGLY THIS PROBLEM SOMETIMES

ESCALATES WHEN THE CHILD GETS OLDER AND THE CHILD IS SUBJECT TO MORE IDEAS

BROUGHT ACROSS ON TELEVISION.

NOT TOO FAR AWAY IN THE CHANNELS OF THE TELEVISION YOU HAVE MTV. IT IS

A MUSIC BASED CHANNEL THAT PLAYS ALL TYPES OF MUSIC VIDEOS AND AN OCCASIONAL

DEMENTED CARTOON SUCH AS BEVIS AND BUTTHEAD. IT IS A CARTOON ABOUT TWO

ADOLESCENT BOYS WHO HAVE NO PARENTAL SUPERVISION. THEY REEK HAVOC WITHIN THE

NEIGHBORHOOD AND AT THEIR SCHOOL. THEY ARE ALWAYS GETTING KICKED OUT OF CLASS

FOR SOME GHASTLY ACT OR FOR MOUTHING OFF TO THE TEACHERS. I THINK THAT THIS

SHOW PROMOTES ALLOT OF NEGATIVE IDEAS THAT YOU CAN SEE DEMONSTRATED BY SOME OF

THE CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS. SOMETIMES THIS PROGRAM SEEMS TO SHOW THAT IT IS ALL

RIGHT TO BE DISCOURTEOUS TO AUTHORITY FIGURES.

MTV IS A STATION THAT IS DIRECTED AT THE TEENAGE POPULATION OF AMERICA.

MOST OF THEIR VIDEOS ARE EXPLICITLY SEXUAL OR VIOLENT. FOR EXAMPLE A VIDEO BY

RAP STAR COOLIO SHOWS HOW A GROUP OF CHILDREN PERSEVERE ON THE STREETS BY

KILLING, ROBBING, AND TAKING THE ATTITUDE KILL OR BE KILLED. IT EXHIBITS TWO

KIDS FIGHTING A BLOODY FIST FIGHT AND ONE REVEALS A SWITCH BLADE WITH THE INTENT

TO KILL HIS OPPONENT. IT IS SO DEPRESSING BECAUSE I KNOW IT IS REALLY HAPPENING

ON TODAY'S STREETS. I DO NOT THINK THAT THE MAKERS OF THESE VIDEOS SHOULD

PROMOTE THE VIOLENCE. INSTEAD THEY SHOULD BE TRYING TO PROMOTE THE SOLUTION:

TRYING TO FIND OTHER WAYS OF SOLVING PROBLEMS INSTEAD OF KILLING EACH OTHER.

TELEVISION HAS BECOME MORE COMMON WITHIN THE AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD. DUE TO

THE AMOUNTS OF TELEVISION SETS IN THE HOUSEHOLD THERE HAS BECOME AN INCREASING

AMOUNT OF TELEVISION STATIONS. ACCORDING TO THE 1992 GUINNESS MULTIMEDIA DISK

OF RECORDS ,"AT THE END OF 1992 THERE WERE OVER 1,125 COMMERCIAL TELEVISION

STATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES ALONE." THIS STATISTIC IS VERY FRIGHTENING.

IT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR PARENTS TO MONITOR OVER ONE THOUSAND CHANNELS.

CONGRESS IS NOW PASSING LAWS LIMITING WHAT CAN BE PLAYED ON TELEVISION WITHOUT

CROSSING OVER THE LINE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I DO NOT THINK THAT PASSING RULES

OR LIMITING TIMES THAT CERTAIN SHOWS CAN BE PLAYED WILL STOP CHILDREN FROM BEING

EXPOSED TO VIOLENCE ON TELEVISION. THE ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY LIES NOT ON THE

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BUT UPON THE INDIVIDUAL PARENTS TO MONITOR WHAT THEIR

CHILDREN WATCH.

WORKS CITED

"BROADCASTING, RADIO AND TELEVISION," MICROSOFT ENCARTA 96 ENCYCLOPEDIA. CD ROM.

1993-1995 MICROSOFT CORPORATION. FUNK & WAGNALLS.

1995 GUINNESS MULTIMEDIA DISK OF RECORDS, 1994 GUINNESS PUBLISHING LTD. CD ROM

1995 GROLIER ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING, INC.