Books and Movies Reviews

Media Violence & Literacy

Since the beginning of time, mankind has marveled at his achievements and progress. But in 1923, a man by the name of Vladimir Zworykin created a machine that would forever change society and the world, as we knew it. He invented a "tube that picked up moving images for live transmission" (Vivian, 1999, p. 9). And so we entered into the age of the television, where we were amazed by the moving images of life on our phosphorous screens. What potential this invention had! It became the conduit for every type of communication we had: for information, for news, and best of all, for entertainment.
Human beings have always worked at stretching the boundaries of reality and acceptability. The advent of the television opened up yet another avenue for us to proceed in this manner. We created films and shows that could now be watched in the comfort of our own homes. And as more and more of these shows were produced the more obscene and vulgar they became. The television was little more than a modern edition of the Russian Coliseum, in the sense that we could now feast our eyes on things of and "unacceptable" nature without ever leaving our homes. Producers knew this, and thus stretched their boundaries in an effort to please the people, and give them what they wanted.
This did not come, however, without its consequences. Things that had been seen on television, or TV as it was now affectionately called, were leaking out into the civilized and proper world. Our society was slowly being transformed by what we were watching. TV was shaping all fashions, prestige, and culture. Everyone was riding the same wave for a while until someone realized that this sense of reality was growing faster than we could keep up. We had created a monster that threatened to devour us whole. We surely couldn't get rid of it. We needed it. So how could we contain it?
It was at this point in the process that the age-old question was ask…