Jim Carrey is Right

If our society believes our violent movies don’t contribute to incidents like Sandy Hook and Aurora we need our heads examined.

Jim Carrey has dropped out of the publicity campaign for his latest movie, Kick Ass 2, because post Sandy Hook he believes it is too violent and sends the wrong messages.  Good for him, hopefully more of his otherwise liberal cohorts in Hollywood take a stand themselves, and maybe even start a movement to stop producing such gratuitous violence in the first place. 

We live in the most violent civilized society in history.  If you look at our movies and television shows, which are also the most violent media depictions in history, one finds a clear instinctive correlation between this media and violence in our country.  Whichever side of the argument you take on media violence you can find a study that supports your position, but clearly the majority of studies show that violence in media lowers the inhibitions of those who might (or do) commit violence in real life. 

My unscientific (but correct) view on this was formed most starkly after Columbine.  No one can explain to me how those two teenaged boys (I will not say their names or give them more public mentions) could commit such blatant, intimate violence and the real life gore it must have presented to them had they not been dulled by years of playing violent video games in which the very acts they committed were simulated over and over again on their home televisions and game consoles.  What kind of leap is it for a teenager to shoot a real 15 year old girl in the head point blank and laugh, from having done so hundreds of times in a video game?  I’m sure we can agree on this– it is much less of a leap than if they hadn’t played the video games (or seen such things in movies).

When I have debates with people about such things I am amazed at the consistency in arguments based on self interest and extensive irrational rationalization.  Those who say video games have no effect are avid video game players.  Those who say movies have no effect are avid movie fans or actors themselves.  The “unbiased”, meaning people like me who would be happy if video games had no negative effects, or who would enjoy dramatic movies much more if we knew violence had no effect, are almost all nearly certain that violence in our media and games contributes to large scale violence in our society.

I close this post with an example from Youtube worthy of a click.  Warning, though these scenes are from “successful” PG13 and R rated movies, there is excessive violence in the attached:



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10 Responses to Jim Carrey is Right

  1. will fris says:

    I agree Dan to many kids are desensitized by video games and violent Hollywood films but we do live in a free society. People I believe could be asked to cut back on the violence but if there is a buck to be made someone will do it regardless of the consequences.

    • vofreason says:

      Thanks for your comments Will. I agree we live in a free society, and that comes with good and bad, and this certainly is one of the “bads”. I wouldn’t support a ban on violence in the media or video games, but I do support more control over how easily it is made available to our youth (e.g. R- ratings, etc). And I like when someone takes a public stand against violence in media such as Carrey did, it sends a good message.

      I appreciate you following the blog, thanks again Will.

  2. Bueti, Rick says:

    Dan, great post. Hollywood is the worst. 9 months after Sandy Hook they’ve gone right back to the old formula, glorifying guns and violence. Notice the move “2 guns.” It’s grossed 48.5 million in the first 2 weeks of release. Thanks, Denzel and Wahlberg. Keep lining those pockets until the next Columbine comes along and then be guests on Letterman lobbying for more gun control. Idiots.

    • vofreason says:

      The commercial shows the stunning and obvious hypocrisy of these people. They are so disconnected from reality. The majority of them and their comments on society are clueless but sadly receive much exposure.

  3. Teddy says:

    I don’t know if videogames and movies make people more violent. I am obviously biased but I think the effect is minimal if non-existent. I personally have killed literally hundreds of thousands of people. I have killed men, women and children in horribly violent ways. I am also a vegan and have never been in a fight in my life. This is not evidence but an anecdote, just as klebold and harris (fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself) playing videogames are anecdotes.

    What I do know is that guns kill way more people in domestic disputes, robberies etc, than demented individuals who carry out mass shootings. A surefire way to make america safer is to get rid of guns.


    • vofreason says:

      Thanks for the reply Ted. I don’t think of you as “biased”, I think you’ve thought this through. The article/study you attached has a point of view, and as I said in my post advocates on either side can find plenty of studies to justify their position. Looking at these studies, and then inserting my instincts and experience, I am very confident that excessive playing of violent video games and movies combined with an unstable individual is a formula for disaster.

      • Teddy says:

        yeah I don’t know if we will ever know that, it’s quite a difficult set of a variables to test

  4. Teddy says:

    (i killed them in videogames FYI, not confessing any crimes here…yet)

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