Monday, February 06, 2006

Why I turned off the Super Bowl after 10 minutes

Two years ago there was outrage (by whom? Who is orchestrating this?) over the exposing of a nipple during the Super Bowl half time. Oh my god, there was a portion of a woman’s anatomy on television!

After that low point in Western Civilization there was talk of bringing the family atmosphere back to football and the Super Bowl. (Family atmosphere? Football?) But OK, let’s sit down and watch this family Super Bowl. Unfortunately, after viewing the first 7 minutes of play (about 15 to 25 minutes of actual time) we had to turn-off the game because of the violence. Not the violence of the game, though it does have large bodies crashing into each other, it also shows teamwork, inter-team sportsmanship, and the joy of play. No we had to turn off the game for the level of violence in the advertisements.

There were two particularly violent ads that stood out from the rest. There was one for a movie that showed guns, shooting and very dark imagery and there was another that showed cave men kicking, and getting squashed by, dinosaurs (never mind that cave men and dinosaurs never co-existed and were separated in time by 65 million years.) Though there was no actual dinosaurs injured in the ad the visual language and visual impact said that it was OK to kick small animals that happened to be passing by. Couple that with the image of a man being squashed by a dinosaur and you had an extremely violent ad.

Now I know that many on the so called religious right see the human body and sex as the worst possible subjects for children (why they may even ask you a question right there and then about sex if you don’t “protect” them.) and have no problem with violence (they hold a violent world view after all) but for me and MY family, violence is evil.

It is evil because I believe that televised violence promotes fear, that it promotes violence, and that it promotes disengagement from society. These three sins are running at an all time high and that can be traced right back to the images we allow into our heads and thus into our psyches.

Now I do not want government regulation. I happen to believe in and respect freedom of speech and that can mean freedom to make me turn the channel too. Thus I will make my request not to government but to the networks who claim to want to present a “family Super Bowl”, please turn off the violence. Turn-off the violence for OUR families. Turn-off the violence for our mental health. Turn-off the violence for the future of our nation. Then maybe we can have a family Super Bowl, one that we won’t turn-off.

1 comment:

sj said...

The superbowl, dare I say, football, is violent in itself. I guess you'd have to turn off the tv for the game as well as the ads.