"Blame the Playmakers!"

Today, as ever, Quentin Tarantino is – within his medium and within his ability – a hero.


As reflexively incensed as I generally get about the “violent media” crusading (particularly when it’s raised as a deliberate diversion from the real of what to do about gun violence, as is becoming the case on some ends here) I’m not terribly “worried” about the prospect of anything “bad” happening legislatively in the wake of this. The way “and also video games, and Hollywood” keeps getting dropped in during speeches about gun regulation by both Obama, congressional Democrats and left-of-center pundits reads to me as rhetorical “cover;” i.e. “we’re going after the REAL problems and the REAL problem-makers, but hears an empty finger-wag at the movie/video-game boogeyman so The NRA can’t say we’re singling them out.” I’m fine with that, politics is a game of double-talk and misdirection especially when in service of the good.

Team Obama is not stupid: They know that their (read: Democrats) overwhelming support among the Youth Vote would be horribly jeopardized if they threw-in full-force behind censorship the way they did (mistakenly and to disasterous political effect) in the 1990s. They know that the full-throated support of the “immoral” entertainment industry makes up their deficit in financial support from GOP-favoring corporate America. Most importantly of all, no matter how many white-haired Boomer liberals or “Blue Dog” Democrats in the senate actually do believe in a nonexistant causal-relationship between violent media and real-life violence; The President (read: their boss) belongs to a younger generation (and is highly in-tune with the psyche of an even younger one) that knows better.

The real danger to the arts is, as ever, the craven cowardice of the people running them. It’s unlikely we’ll see anything legislatively come of things like Sen. Rockefeller’s useless proposal, but that Hollywood studios and game publishers might scuttle the release or promotion of this or that otherwise worthy work as a “sacrifice” to public anger? Very possible, and already somewhat in effect. That sort of gesture is not only empty and unhelpful – all it does is distract attention from where it ought be otherwise focused.

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