In the article, “Violent Media Is Good For Kid’s”, author Gerard Jones shares his feelings of being afraid and alone while entering his teenage years. Growing up his parents had instilled in him that anything associated with violence was wrong and that rage was something that should be controlled. All this changes when he discovers the comic book hero The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk’s stories full of violence and uncontrolled rage helped bring an introverted shy teenager out into the real world. He was able to see another way to deal with adversity besides trying to control the way he felt.
Here recently, Hollywood has been getting the blame regarding teenage violence. Some people are claiming that Hollywood is producing movies with too much violence and that it is affecting today’s children. Are children becoming desensitized by the amount of violence they see daily and are violent movies affecting our teenagers negatively? The answer is not simple, but I think it all has to do with the individual person and the way that child was raised. By blaming any of the problems we face with teenage violence on Hollywood we are trying to take blame away from the individual and the parents that raised them.
I was raised in a house full of guns. Mainly shotguns for bird hunting, but there were other firearms too. I learned gun safety before I was allowed to play any video game that contained combat or gratuitous violence such as Halo or Grand Theft Auto. Before I could watch movies like Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction I had fired a real gun and had seen the affects it had on once living animals. When I was finally allowed to play these taboo games and watch these overly violent movies, I knew the difference between fact and fantasy. These games and movies allowed me to escape into a different world for a little bit of time each day, but, I always came back to the one in which I live. All of my friends (even those that grew up in households without real guns) that played these games and watched these movies with me turned out normal too. We understood the difference between right and wrong-between fantasy and reality.
It all boils down to one simple question. Does life imitate art or does art imitate life. I believe that art imitates life.