There is something in American attitudes that condones or glorifies murder, at least more so than in other countries. If we want to change that attitude, Hollywood should not be the main place we look. (Remember, most of the rest of the world watches Hollywood movies without engaging in orgies of violence.) We have to try to do something about the real world in which children are growing up. The crucial part of that world is the home where parents relate to children. What to do about that, I don't know. Probably there is little that public policy can do. But the fixations on the media and on the '60s culture do not help in the search for remedies.
It would also help our thinking if we could avoid the "sex and violence" mantra. Sex on the screen, or the abundance and explicitness of it, has only a distant connection, if any, with the homicides that worry us. Context isn't everything, but it's worth noting that the TV channel that shows the most violence is the History Channel, with its endless replaying of World War II: I have not heard anyone say that is an encouragement to crime.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself.
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge
The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems
Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.