Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thought of the day

Readers will know that, yes, I am a major fan of so-called "heavy metal" and I have enjoyed this music since discovering it as a teenager. I therefore recall perhaps more vividly than most the public concern that this music might have on young people. One particular concern was whether music by heavy metal bands might cause listeners to self-harm or harm others. Republican Party politicians and activists -- along with some notable Democrats -- came together to address what they thought was potentially dangerous music. Perhaps no one had acted, but the worry was it might be a matter of time before this happened.

Now fastforward to the Arizona shooting and the so-called "blame game" of whether the rhetoric we have heard from rightwing commentators and politicians -- for a reminder see here -- played any role. These persons have often been quick to say such thoughts are nuts and perhaps this is true. However, if there was no role, then perhaps they should also acknowledge they were wrong to worry about incitement to violence from movies and music?

The thought of the day: if violence in movies and music is a concern because of how it might influence citizens, then perhaps violent images and language in political commentaries and advertisement is a concern for the same reason and on the same grounds.

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