Societies Scapegoat


Societies Scapegoat Essay, Research Paper



Youth crimes are on a continual rise. It seems

that everyday violent offenders keep getting younger

and more aggressive. We turn on the news only to hear

that a ten year old mugged,shot,stabbed,beat or blew

up one of his peers. With crimes on the rise

involving children, people begin to look for a cause.

Society, when looking for a scapegoat, becomes worse

than a blood thirsty lynch mob at a witch trial.

Usually the most obvious source of violence within a

home is the television. However, in most cases it is

not the true cause. With the TV in the forefront of

virtually every home in the civilized world, it’s no

wonder that it’s the easiest target for criticism.

It’s elementary to blame the tube for a child’s

behavior; it’s a quick and easily identified source of

violence within a youths confined world. The TV many

times is identified as the cause of aggressive acts to

avoid dealing with other underlying issues. Society

today has an entire array of different afflictions

that plague us from day to day. The television is of

very little significance alongside the landfill of

troubles that influence children today. Besides,

trying to get networks to cut out violence and

aggression entirely would be like trying to get Jesus

Christ to write a top ten list of reasons why

Christianity sucks. (It’s not going to happen.)

TV is not the reason that our youth courts are

filled to capacity with court dockets so hideous you

would swear that you were looking at the start of the

apocalypse. Television programs are not the reason

for the apparent increase in adolescent crime. If you

find yourself picking up your kids from the police

station all the time, it’s not the TV’s fault!!!

There are no significant consequences for youth crime

in our justice system. Maybe we should impose stiffer

penalties on violent offenders, instead of more

censorship on TV. Kids would not have such a tendency

to mug, beat, strangle or shoot their peers if there

were tougher consequences for doing so.

The Japanese are responsible for some of the most

violent cartoons ever created to date. I mean these

things make our R rated movies look like a walk in the

park. Japanese cartoons display bloodshed and drug

induced murdering sprees as if they were nothing.

Even with all this vicious behavior on Japanese

televisions, the youth crime and aggressive behavior

is one tenth of ours. How can this be? Because the

Japanese have adopted a zero tolerance policy for

criminal behavior and reprimand criminals with a

vengeance. Japanese society realized that blaming

things like TV for violent behavior is unacceptable.

Instead, the Japanese have taught their public that

aggression in reality and on TV do not go hand in

hand. (Or as I would say, “it’s not the TV’s


A healthy amount of violence within children’s

programs in my mind is perfectly acceptable and

necessary. Violence in moderation teaches children

about situations that may be encountered outside of

their home, and helps them to deal with such

incidents. Kids are aggressive in nature, and a child

who grows up on Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, and Mary

Poppins is likely to have a difficult time dealing

with other kids. Face it, children need a certain

amount of bellicosity to balance out all the bubbly

behavior that some of these idiotic child role models

portray: like Barney, who should be committed to an

asylum. (I know if I was forced to watch Barney at an

early age I probably would have blown up the house.)

You may ask, “why do children need a balance of

violence and aggression at all, why don’t we just

program happy shows all the time?” Because human kind

has always been an aggressive species and probably

will continue to be. By not preparing your children

for acts of rabidity you are preparing them to be

future victims. And if your child is beat up at

school, it’s not the TV’s fault!!! (Maybe it’s time

to let little Jack or Jill watch the Power Rangers, or

a Rocky episode or two.)

I do, however, agree with one of the points

people are trying to make against children viewing

violence. A five year old child should not be

witnessing Freddy hack off human extremities with

chain saws and axes. This is where the parents should

be stepping in to filter out what their little bambino

is taking in. Certain programs are oriented to

different age groups and viewing should be controlled,

not removed through censorship. Parents want strict

censorship because they don’t think it’s possible for

them to control what their children watch. After all

there are TV’s at friends houses and probably at least

two within your own. So what’s the point? Even if

you forbid your child to view certain material they

can watch it somewhere else. The point is, once you

have told the child not to watch something it becomes

taboo or wrong to watch it in their minds. Sure it

will probably prompt him/her into viewing it some time

or another; but now watching the program is, “wrong”

and they know it. As a result little Jr. will be less

likely to chase his sister around the house with an

axe and blame it on Freddy Crouger. After all,

blaming Freddy would get him busted for watching Mr.

Crouger in the first place. And if your child does

turn into Freddy later in life, it’s not the TV’s

fault!!! (It’s probably because of all the times they

fell on their heads.)

It’s ridiculous that cartoons like the Road

Runner were taken off the tube in certain parts of

north America, because of their vile illustrations.

This is preposterous. Wily Coyote illustrated to

children that dropping anvils off cliffs, using

explosives, guns, and running things over with trucks

didn’t help him catch that annoying Road Runner. As a

matter of fact Wily Coyote showed kids that his

aggressive manner never paid off. Everything Wily

Coyote tried literally backfired in his face. And in

Bugs Bunny, I don’t believe Elmer Fudd ever managed to

blow away, “that waskily wabbit”. But I guarantee

that some parent with an over active imagination saw

the Bugs Bunny show as a promotion for their kids to

join the N.R.A.. Or how about Bambi, another violent

film. Bambi’s mother is shot by a gun toting maniac,

and is forced to live with his dysfunctional father.

(Let me guess, this is a subliminal message to shoot

wildlife or your mother) Films like this in my mind

can act as a buffer for the detection of warped

children. If your offspring expresses any interest in

wanting to be Wily Coyote, Elmer Fudd or the hunter

that killed Bambie’s mother, you should have himer

committed to a mental hospital. If your child does

however pick up a gun and proceeds to blast the family

rabbit or kill a deer in the backyard, it’s not the

TV’s fault!!! Fault lays in your lap again for not

keeping your firearm locked up.

Guns in children’s programming is a big issue

today. Society is so upset over the surge of gun

related incidents among our youth. Once again some

individuals blame it on the TV for instigating these

ideas within a child’s mind. This is not true. Maybe

one in every million kids that watch violence on the

television will actually use a gun because of the

program. In these isolated incidents people would

probably find that the child had easy access to a

firearm and no education as to what could happen if

misused. Children that do pick up guns and massacre

family members usually do so with complete ignorance

of the consequences. And of course when confronted

the youngster will probably say he saw someone on TV

do the same thing. In fact the correct response

should have been: My parents were idiots for leaving a

shiny and loaded Smith and Wesson hand gun on the

coffee table for me to play with. In these incidents

firearm education and proper storage is the real

underlying issue. Because it’s not the TV’s fault

people can be so stupid.

In certain cases there have been instances where

children have re-enacted scenes from programs they

have seen, and been badly injured. Without sounding

sadistic, I believe in these few isolated incidents it

probably worked out best for the child. Having a bad

incident occur at an early age opens up parents eyes

to whatever field they have neglected to teach the

child about; at the same time it also gives the youth

an eye opening experience to their own stupidity.

After all children learn best from trial and error,

and it’s better for them to figure out what not to do

early in life. And if Jr. jumps off the roof of the

family home to be like a super hero, it’s not the TV’s

fault!!! (Your kid probably has less common sense

than a lemming.)

Violence on TV is both unavoidable and necessary

for children to learn about their ever changing

hostile world. The only question to be asked is,

“when is a child mature enough to watch certain

programs?” A change in children’s programming is not

likely to occur any time soon. It’s up to the parents

to regulate and censor what they deem appropriate.

Through better education of violence, children will be

better equipped to realize what is intended for

entertainment and what actions are not acceptable in

day to day life. Censorship is not the answer. It’s

way too easy to blame TV for dirty deeds that may have

been caused by other unseen sources. What it all

comes down to is, if your little Jack or Jill wants

to be Wily Coyote or Elmer Fudd, chances are they have

a real problem that has to be addressed because, IT’S


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