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Media Violence

             "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent,"" as Issac Asimov would say. This disparaging comment towards violence in society no doubt would be heartily approved by those attempting to cut violence out of the entertainment industry. This essay will show that violent behavior experienced by society cannot be directly and definitely be linked to violence in the media and entertainment. The purpose of media is to entertain, to help pass the time. Bored? Watch a few movies and get a few laughs and thrills. Few would argue that sitting in front of the television passing a few hours would cause a cataclysmic rupture in the fabric of morality. So why is there so much negative backlash against violence in the entertainment industry? This essay argues that there shouldn't be.
             In order to experience a negative effect from observing violence an individual needs to be of a certain maturity level. A child of age four cannot comprehend what he is seeing; contrast this to a child of age eight who is of the age where comprehension of the violence is a certainty. When you show a seven or eight year old child a glass of water and pour it into another of different shape and size, he or she can understand that the water is conserved, none is lost and none is gained. Try this experiment again with a four or five year old and it will yield different results. He will be confused about the difference in the water level. Hence, if an individual does not completely understand the violence, then it is impossible for consequences, if any, to be applied. .
             Some people argue that even though the child is not conscious of his reaction to violence, the subconscious is still contemplating. This is a legitimate and valid argument, but a child at a young age cannot draw a definite meaning of the violence, whether it is the conscious or subconscious that is doing the processing. No equipment or device is able to interpret a child's conscious and so this argument cannot be conclusively tested.

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