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.

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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.


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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.

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Re: Reason TV on George Will Column

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


 
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MechaCrashPlease take your faux outrage and shove it up your own ass.05/28/2015 - 7:40am
Wonderkarpthe people who caused those events were sick mentally disturbed individuals, Not people with Political Differences or Gamers. and in comparison, a Bomb Threat is NOTHING compared to Real Child Murder. I hope you choke on your own Bile05/28/2015 - 5:40am
WonderkarpI'm calling you out in public, MechaRash. What you said in the Gaming for Everyone News Post was DISGUSTING. In No way has Gamergate, OR Gamers in General ever been involved in a School Shooting Nor will they ever05/28/2015 - 5:38am
Mattsworknamemeet ips. stupid phone.05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MattsworknameI feel ups should have a hard line expiration date. if a company doesn't use them for ten years they have to put it on the market or make it open source05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MechaCrashPride does play a factor. If you sell an IP to someone, and they make a ton of money off it, it makes you look like a tool: why didn't YOU make that money? Better to sit on it than be embarassed that way.05/27/2015 - 10:58pm
ZippyDSMleeAS far as I understand it the suits think sitting on a an IP till the time is right is more profitable than tradeing it around.....hevean forbit soemone use soemthing to make money with....05/27/2015 - 9:58pm
Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
hidannikIs there nothing a podcast app can key on?\05/27/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikThe feed is at superpac.libsyn.com05/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikI ask because it hasn't shown up in my PocketCasts feed in a while. (I'm currently a month behind)05/27/2015 - 4:02pm
E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
Matthew WilsonI say no it isnt, but it depends on the reason for not selling it. were the pressured to not sell it. aka target au, or did they chose not to on their own aka gog with hatred.05/27/2015 - 3:28pm
hidannikIs there no more podcast?05/27/2015 - 3:26pm
 

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