Reason TV on George Will Column

December 3, 2010 -

Reason TV takes a crack at conservative columnist George Will's recent editorial in the Washington Post about the the parallels between current the concerns about violent video games before the Supreme Court and the controversy over comic books in the 1950s. In the column Will also mentions past crusades against media that would turn our children into all manner of depraved deviants including ragtime music, 'penny dreadful' novels, jazz, 'penny theatres,' radio, movies, rock 'n' roll, rap, TV, and the Internet.

Reason TV leans Libertarian, so it defends the rights of gays to serve in the military and get married with the same fervor that it defends free speech, the legalization of drugs, and less government. In the excerpt below, the author agrees that it is the same old argument from these types of crusaders, but they may be coming from places you might on expect:

Critics of violent video games, of course, insist they are nothing like those fuddy-duddies who worried about comic books, crime novels, and Elvis Presley's hips. They say this medium, unlike all those others, really is so radically and alarmingly new that different legal standards should apply to it (an argument that provoked a skeptical response from Justice Antonin Scalia).

He goes on to quote a 1956 Rhode Island law that was submitted as precedent by lawyers for the state of California to the Supreme Court (PDF):

It is hereby declared that the publication, sale and distribution to minors of comic books devoted to crime, sex, horror, terror, brutality and violence, and of pocket books, photographs, pamphlets, magazines and pornographic films devoted to the presentation and exploitation of illicit sex, lust, passion, depravity, violence, brutality, nudity and immorality are a contributing factor to juvenile crime, a basic factor in impairing the ethical and moral development of our youth and a clear and present danger to the people of the state.

The author ends his article by taking issue with Will's concern for the "coarsening of the culture," and noting that it is becoming hard to tell the difference between the social conservatives of the left and the social conservatives of the right.

Posted in

Comments

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

Kind of a misleading headline and article here.  Will's column is anti-censorship, and the Reason TV column is mostly about agreeing with him.  The only part they seem to take issue with at all is that Will blames it on progressives, but that accounts for all of one or two sentences in the whole Reason TV article, and it's tame enough that it's arguable whether they are even trying to criticize him.  I'm not sure how or why you felt the need to try to twist it around to make it seem as if they are at odds.

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

And how exactly does that make "Reason TV on George Will Column" a misleading headline?

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

While I think he did a good job of giving an overview of the past moral panics, his attempt to paint it in political terms misses a critical point.

The problem with the 'progressive vs conservative' meme is it is a false comparision in today's political landscape, as it was back then.  The 'progressives' from the 50s he is trying to equate with the 'progressives' of today were social concervatives, similiar today's soical concervatives who are actually retro-progressives.

In other words, today's conervatives ARE progressives.... he is using popular labels for groups to try to connect people who are not connected, which is dishonest at best.

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

"The 'progressives' from the 50s he is trying to equate with the 'progressives' of today were social concervatives"

Some were, but I don't think it's reasonable to say Wertham was socially conservative -- see my comments above about his extremely important work in pushing for desegregation.

Of course, all that does is point out that people are too complex to apply simple labels to.  Wertham was a complex guy -- he deserves every ounce of derision he gets, but he did a lot of good, too.

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

Exelent point, and a good one to remember.... one can always be concervative, liberal, progressive, etc, on an issue by issue basis.

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

If culture stops changing over time it is either dead or near death, humanity dose not have the maturity and will power to sustain anything for long.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

"The author ends his article by taking issue with Will's concern for the "coarsening of the culture," and noting that it is becoming hard to tell the difference between the social conservatives of the left and the social conservatives of the right."

Indeed; Will's parallel to the media scapegoating of yesteryear is well-thought-out, but blaming it all on progressives is silly.  Yes, Wertham was a progressive, but the Board on Juvenile Delinquency was a bipartisan panel.  Similarly, as we've often noted here, there are defenders and critics of video game legislation on both sides of the partisan divide today.

(Tangentially, smearing Wertham for his progressive politics is problematic.  While he has gone down in history as a villain -- and rightly so, of course -- for his anti-comic witch hunts, he was also an important voice in the civil rights movement.  I find it sad that he chose to tarnish his legacy with the serious harm he did to free speech and to an entire American art form; if he hadn't done it we would probably remember him as the man whose research led to the end of school segregation.)

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

While you are right that there are critics of violent games on both sides, I find it funny that the conservative ones are all parts of nutty extremist groups, and the liberal ones are all career politicians.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

Yeah, the Utah House is pretty liberal, I hear.


 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician