Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sometimes you have to try something

     In 1903, the city of Chicago barred nickelodeon operators from showing a pair of popular Western silent movies, “James Boys” and “Night Riders,” under the theory that seeing shoot-outs glorifies crime and warps the minds of youth.
     The nickelodeon owners — Jake Block, Nathan Wolf, J.H. Ferris, and others — sued.
     This kicked off more than 80 years of police censorship of movies in Chicago, either to protect children, or defend the reputation of the city — Paul Muni’s 1932 “Scarface” was banned here because it suggested there was organized crime in Chicago.
     I’ll pause while you chuckle softly and shake your head at that one.
     This went on for decades, and even Richard M. Daley was so agitated by the swears in the script of “Hardball” that he wanted to somehow deny filmmakers the right to use the word “Chicago.”
     I’m going into this background to establish my perspective as I read Zac Clingenpeel’s article in Tuesday’s Sun-Times about state Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. trying to combat carjacking by banning sale of Grand Theft Auto and other violent video games to minors.
     His heart is in the right place, certainly. But too often public officials focus on the “do something” side of the equation and ignore the “combat the problem” part.

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11 comments:

  1. Marcus Evans Jr. is just another reason we need intelligence tests for all elected officials!
    1. Such a law is obviously unconstitutional.
    2. Far more important, I guess this fool never heard of the internet & buying things online!

    So no, his heart isn't in the right place, he's a budding fascist, just like T****!

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    Replies
    1. 1. Not true. The Constitution does not, for instance, require that I sell pornography to a 10-year-old; 2) You can buy booze online but teens still cannot buy booze; 3) Tone, Clark Street. If you read today's column and consider Evans "a budding fascist," you are nudging yourself into Jerry B. territory, aka, people whose opinions are not worth sharing.

      Delete
    2. Evans is trying to ban violent games from adults & that is unconstitutional & both he & you know that!
      And teens do buy booze online with their parents credit cards all the time. It gets delivered & left at the door to avoid anyone passing the virus to each other. Even if the law requires an adult sign for it, that's ignored, because I've personally seen booze just dropped off at my sister's next door neighbor.
      As for calling him a budding fascist, any legislator that tries to pass a law that he knows is unconstitutional & I guarantee you that he does know that, that describes a budding fascist!

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    3. Now you're mind reading. He's pretty clear about restricting sale to minors. I'm sorry it eluded you.

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    4. From Zac Clingenpeel's article:
      "Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. wants to amend a 2012 law preventing some video games from being sold to minors. Friday, he filed HB3531, which would amend that law to ban the sale to anyone of video games depicting “psychological harm,” including “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present.” "

      That's banning the sale to all, not just minor's!

      Delete
  2. In the year 1977 in Miami a teenager murdered his 82 year old neighbor in an attempted robbery. His high profile attorney decided to use a novel defense called "Television intoxication". It posited that the teenager was desensitized due to the large number of murders he viewed on TV.
    Zamora lost and served 27 years in jail but the concept had merit. It might have had a chance had his attorney not been so flamboyant and publicity seeking.

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  3. Maybe Zamora was desensitized by reading Dostoevsky. The Miami case seems to fit Crime and Punishment more than anything he could have seen on TV.

    john

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  4. If violent TV/movies, video games can contribute to violent crime, why doesn't Canada or Europe have the same problems? Canadians see the same movies and tv shows we do; I'm guessing they have access to the same video games. Mass shootings and other crimes seem specific to the US. The question is "what's wrong with us?"

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    Replies
    1. Korean and Japanese movies are violent as well.

      Delete
  5. Raskolnikov did murder two old ladies with an ax, the first one for her money, the second because she became a witness. His motives were somewhat idealistic, and his heartfelt confession earned him only eight years of penal servitude.

    Tom

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  6. Not being familiar with Rep. Evans, I immediately found myself wondering who retired and handed him the seat.

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