Bowling for Columbine-Scapegoats for Society

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In the last decade or so, and especially since the shootings in Columbine and various other schools, people have been up in arms about violence and sex in movies, television, music and video games. New restrictions have been put on most of these media forms, or at the very least, old restrictions are enforced more rigidly. Rating systems have been put into effect for television and video games, and warnings have been put on music that sometimes isn't even all that offensive. While many of these precautions are justified, I believe that blaming terrible incidents like Columbine on these media is just passing the buck, and ultimately avoiding the real issues at hand. Ever since Clark Gable said the word damn in Gone With The Wind in 1939, movies have pushed the boundaries of what our society considers to be acceptable. As our society becomes more desensitized to sex, foul language and violence, movies are going to have to try even harder to push the limits. One might ask, "Why do film makers try to surprise audiences with more "offensive" content in movies?" They continue to make movies more graphic because that is what will make money. Even if action movies don't have much of a presence in the top ten highest grossing movies of all time, a good action movie will generally more than break even. Whether the customers are bloodthirsty action movie fans, or censorship advocates watching just to see what filth is being produced, sex and violence sell. Many movies that are more artistic use violence to make intriguing social commentary, or to tell an important historical story. For example, powerful movies like American History X, a story about a young man who has grown up as a Neo-Nazi, and later sees the error of his ways, (by the way, this is an amazing movie, and if you haven't seen it you really should) can change people's lives forever, but could not make nearly as strong a statement without using violence as a story telling tool. War movies would also be rather...
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