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Don’t blame the zombies, escape with them

January 15, 2013

CNN: “Don’t blame the video games” by Fareed Zakaria:

the relationship between popular culture and violence is complicated.

Associated Press TV writer David Bauder: “A disconnect between violence and television” also available at: OHIO.com and The Globe and Mail as “TV executives stand by violent programming as ‘escapism’ “:

Everything the entertainment industry does should be fair game in a discussion about violence, he said. But he [FX President John Landgraf] pointed out that the zombie series “Walking Dead” and brutally violent “Sons of Anarchy” are both very popular in England and that country has far fewer gun murders than the United States. The availability of powerful assault weapons and ammunition are most responsible for the difference, he said.

and

“Part of entertainment, part of what we do on television, is to provide escapism,” [Kevin Reilly, Fox entertainment chairman] said. “Escapism comes in many forms. It could be laughter. It could be fantasy. It is also your worst nightmare come to life. And it makes our palms sweat and it moves us emotionally and puts us on the edge of the seat. We are engrossed in it and we forget ourselves for an hour.”

Meanwhile, USAToday reports now “N.Y. lawmakers poised to pass tough gun law” by Jon Campbell

It’s both amazing and scary to watch a legislature work quickly. Shouldn’t the public get some time to review this and respond to their legislators? Why can’t we get this kind of rapid action on reforming digital crime culture? Or actually, that might be really scary too… Imagine if SOPA or PIPA passed Congress overnight.

See also Harvard Business Review: “Aaron Swartz’s “Crime” and the Business of Breaking the Law” by James Allworth. This is a MUST READ article about the incredible discrepancy between the possible prison sentences for evil corporate wrongs (“HSBC, and their foray into the world of money laundering for drug cartels”) versus youth activists (like Aaron Swartz).

As President Obama said in yesterday’s press conference, lots of fanning of fears… because fear is a fire (?) — fears fanned, laws changed, culture dominated by big media — As Billy Joel sung, we didn’t start this fire, it’s always been burning as long as the world’s been turning.

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