I love to watch football and with the college bowl season over and the NFL playoffs under way, I’ve been seeing a lot of it. But it is getting difficult. I have a young daughter at home and just about every 15 minutes, the game is interrupted by the images of women tied up, whimpering, screaming for help while a man gets ready to cut them in half with a chainsaw.
No, it’s not some sick, perverted criminal interrupting the airwaves, but the ad for the new “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movie. It’s rated R, but millions of people ages 1-100 will see it. And just about everybody in the country will be exposed to it at some level. Why?
Hollywood and others will point to freedom of speech, but we need to have some commonsense limits. When a movie is strictly sexual in nature, it is pornography and subject to restrictions. Why can’t we impose these same restrictions when a movie is strictly violent in nature?
When parents expose their children to pornography, they are punished by the law. Wouldn’t this be a good idea regarding this violent content? Do we want toddlers watching the new “Texas Chainsaw Massacre?” Does anybody think that is OK? Because our current laws allow it and it will happen.
I remember watching “Payback” with Mel Gibson at a movie theater decades ago. The plot involved a hit man, with the aid of his prostitute girlfriend, methodically killing a series of people who had betrayed him. It was very violent, and I have to admit that I did enjoy moments. The plot twists were somewhat predictable, but I still got a surprise at the end. Gibson’s final line was “We made a deal; if she’d stop hookin’, I’d stop shooting people.”
Then, a tiny little voice behind me squeaked “Daddy … what’s hooking?” Behind me sat a boy, probably 3 at the most, in a seat beside his idiot father.
We seem to lack commonsense anymore.
There is already a limit on free speech when it incites violence, and isn’t it obvious that these movies are inciting some this?
I am not looking for a ban on all violent films — but let’s keep kids out of these movies, make them NC-17; let’s keep the commercials for these movies off the air at least from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Isn’t this stuff obvious?
Jon Chown is the editor and publisher of the Monterey Bay News & Views.