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.


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.

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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.

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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.


 
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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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