Violence in the Media and Entertainment
When it comes to the topic of violent media, some folks would readily agree it is a controversial subject as to whether kids should or shouldn’t be exposed to it. Nowadays, violent media subjects usually are used as “an attention-grabbing tool” since invasive behaviors such as fighting and hitting, which are able to bring about the excitement to individuals. Many individuals believe that “violence was wrong, and corporation was always better than conflict” (Para.
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1), however, Gerard Jones who is the author of the essay “Violent Media Is Good for Kids” disputes against the stereotypes about violence from the public and argues that violent media contents are beneficial for youngsters and the future development of them.
He declares that the superheroes character “caught him and freed him” and “pulled him away from passivity and loneliness” (Para. 1). The perception of superheroes in today’s society inescapably force kids and teenagers to be indoctrinated to justifiable violent behaviors as good guys must save the world by fighting against the bad guys. I am not able to be convinced by Jones’ inadequate evidences can prove that disclosing violent substances to kids are good for them, even though he tries really hard to use personal experiences and sympathetic tones in order to persuade his audiences to agree with him at the beginning of his article.
In this article, Gerard Jones illustrates that emotional appeal is a decent tool to impress audiences to agree with his point of view in which learning about violent behaviors are indispensable for kids’ future development. He begins with explaining that the perception of the popular culture “were good for me because they were juvenile and violent” (Para. 2).
Based on the displeasing personal experience that he has, when Jones was a teenager, he tries to make his audiences to feel sympathetic about his circumstance, Jones describes the importance of superheroes’ positive influence as he puts himself into the same situation as Hulk by saying “the character who caught me and freed me, was the Hulk: over gendered and under socialized, half-naked and half-witted, raging against a frightened world that misunderstood and persecuted him” (Para. 3). Jones demonstrates that kids and teenagers who might not be socially capable and active will be looked at differently by others. ”
A frightening world that misunderstood and persecuted him” presents a picture of the judgment and expectations put on youngsters unfairly. Namely, the presence of superheroes such as Hulk helps Jones to realize his potential as a young person and positively translate into power and strength despite being misunderstood by those around him. In addition to that, Jones tells the anecdotes of his own son’s personal growth after being exposed to violent media contents in superhero stories.
Jones introduces that how violent substances effectively motivate the courage of his son to get over a difficulty of climbing trees. Jones also shows the side of the argument that supports these violent behaviors as a representation of courageous act which in many ways is helpful for young children and teenagers to follow, instead of looking at violent content from media in a negative way.
Although Jones had many strengths in his article which helped to support his argument and could possibly make his argument effectively, the evidence appeal can obviously be the weakest part of the article. All of the evidence provided by Jones are insufficient as he did not provide any statistics or studies for the purpose of stimulating his audiences. In addition to that, Jones did not provide enough relevant and complete evidence which can make his point efficiently. Jones should use more evidence or facts in order to support his argument and persuade audiences, nevertheless, none of that was presented in this article.
While Jones’ tone and usage of emotional appeal sounds convincing; the assumption he makes, however, regarding the actual impact of violent media to the young children and teenagers are considered fallacies in my mind. In my own opinion, Jones is guilty of committing to hasty generalization on how violent media contents impact young children and teenagers, when he says, “across generations, genders and ethnicities I kept seeing the same story: people pulling themselves out of emotional traps by immersing themselves in violent stories” (Para. 4). Jones describes his assumption by using that way that there are so many people benefiting from violent contents seen through media but without genuine evidences to prove it. Therefore, I did not understand in what way violent content can directly “pull people out of emotional traps”.
Moreover, Jones makes another assumption that “children need violent entertainment in order to explore the inescapable feelings that they’ve been taught to deny…” (Para. 7) by referring to the quotes of his friend Melanie Moore who is a Ph.D. psychologist works with urban teens. Another absurd theory that Jones committed in his article is an oversimplification, as he claims that “children use violent anecdotes to meet their emotional and development needs” will be beneficial for them if they were guided by adults.
However, I believe that Jones has made this complicated issue about violent media contents impacting young children and teenager’s way too easy to deal with. Absolutely, Jones’ simplified solution to figure out this problem is definitely not convincing at all. It is impossible to conclude that children would like to face their rage and emotions are a result from being disclosed to violent media substances which is a faulty cause and effect reasoning argued by Jones.
To sum up, the author of “Violent Media Is Good for Kids” did not provide sufficient, relevant, and complete evidence such as statistics or studies which are able to certify the positive impacts of violent media on kids for the sake of persuading the audiences. Hence, I am definitely not convinced that his personal experience or his son’s sudden change from afraid of climbing to conquering his fear to climb the tree was related to the superheroes that he admired so much.
Several fallacies were found in this article have made his argument untenable since violence is a sensitive and questionable issue that is extremely complicated as it involves individuals at all ages and experiences to deeply understand. Obviously, it is not as simple as Jones points out in his essay and comes to a conclusion immediately on violent media will do for kids just like what his article says. Whether violent media is beneficial for kids and youngsters will probably always be a controversial subject in today’s society.