“Given the horrifying death toll, rare as the likes of Holmes may be, we have to account for the similarly deranged and aberrant. We owe that to the dead of Colorado and elsewhere. Moreover, we should not encourage these events, wittingly or unwittingly. And by we I mean the people who make films (which includes me). I am not calling for censorship here, nor for gun control laws, but for a modicum of self-censorship on the part of the filmmakers and the film and television industries. They should ask themselves to what end is the violence they are portraying and whether it need be so explicit. Can they make their points as effectively, perhaps more effectively, without the endless splatter and gore?” – Roger Simon

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17 Responses to Quote of the Day: Self Censorship Edition

  1. self censorship? it;s called political correctness. where people are afraid to speak honestly for fear of losing their jobs or having those nice government men show up.

    • Or one could term it exercising discrimination or good taste. One would have to know the real meaning of discrimination to understand.

  2. You can speak honestly without gratuitous blood and gore. I reccomend that watch a WWII like “A Walk in the Sun” or immediate post-war movie like “Twelve O’Clock High.” These films got their point across without body parts flying.

    Where I disagree with Roger Simon is the source of the violence — “The evil that lies in the heart of man.” The modern shooter is like a character out of a Dostoyevsky novel. If you want insight into the heart and mind of a shooter go read “The Possessed” (alternative translation “The Devils”).

    • These films got their point across without body parts flying.

      Yes, and they also didn’t accurately depict the horror of war. Movies like Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, Black Hawk Down, etc accurately depict how scary and bloody war is, thus giving people cause to think before they support the next American war of aggression.

      • I’d love to hear the mental gymnastics you went through to characterize American involvement in WW2 as a ‘war of aggression’.

        • When did I say WW2 was a war of aggression? I didn’t. However, every other war we were in during the 20th century was a war of aggression and if we hadn’t gotten involved in WWI to bail out England and France after they picked a fight with Germany and lost, there never would have been a WWII, no Holocaust, etc.

  3. So far as I remember, there is absolutely zero blood and gore in the Batman movies… You can’t censor away the psychos. There’s probably someone out there that thought the Teletubbies we sending them messages to do harm. You can’t get rid of crazy. Deal with it

    • A while ago, I had the flu and took some of the typical stuff sold over the counter to improve my symptoms. I turned on the T.V., and there were those cute little creatures with the screens on their stomachs and a babyfaced sun floating in the sky. I never knew how dang surreal that show was before.

      As you said, a psychotic person’s responses aren’t going to make sense to the rest of us.

  4. Decades ago, I studied in mass media communications that the average eighteen year old has seen between 15-20K murders on TV. Now, I believe the number watched ranges from 25-30K.

    Today, crime is down and yet so are the teaching of ethics and traditional values. Gun ownership is now up as are the number of abortions, medicated, and tired unhealthy lethargic people. Adults and minors are now held less accountable and are more entitled than ever. More than ever many people seem to feel any means justify the ends they want. I’m not sure how this all plays out together or not.

    I think some people do get pushed or persuaded over the edge by the shown violence in entertainment and the daily news, and for others the gory excessive violence may be a good lesson in itself not to go down that path.

  5. Seems like a coherent and stable stance. I never really thought about it, but I realized that my top favorite movies have little blood/gore and it’s never gratuitous. I enjoy a bit of fun splatter as much as the next guy, but they aren’t movies that stick with me generally.

    Besides, he’s not calling for a ban or regulations, just asking filmmakers to put a bit of thought into it. Someone who makes his case by calling for individual decision rather than bans or regulations is rare, and we should appreciate that.

  6. Censorship is an ugly concept, regardless of who’s doing it. Now, if he’s advocating self-regulation and artistic integrity, so be it. The trouble is that when incidents like this happen, too many voices shout for new laws, whatever those might be. Some are to control guns, but others are to control speech. I prefer laws that make causing harm a crime and then leaving people to be who they are. So long as I get to be choosy about the friends that I have and the movies that I watch, it’s all good.

  7. It never fails to surprise me how much the 1A is defended by people who want to disregard the 2A. Kudos to anyone in that industry calling for a little more taste and common sense and less “cutting edge” violence. It’s not right to ban such things, but a little self control on the part of writers, directors and producers along with the companies could go a long way.
    At the end of the day, don’t these people stop and think about how gratuitous violence is affecting people?

  8. Well, at least we know that at least some media people are willing to spread the blame around. Violent movies are to blame. Guns are to blame. Society is to blame. Everyone and everything is to blame, except the sniveling lowlife sunofabitch who actually did the shooting. He’s a victim of the movies, the guns and the society. The poor soul.

    Excuse me while I puke.

  9. There is something a little screwed up with American society, when a film with violence, death, explosions, etc. is considered “acceptable” for children, but a film with nudity and sex is not.

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