Question: Films and Television Programmes Have Sometimes Been Blamed for Recent Increases in Crimes of Violence. Do You Think That They Really Influence People in This Way?
Answer: We are all influenced by things that happen to us. Watching films and television programmes are one of the main activities of human beings. So, we cannot help but be influenced by them. Whether we are influenced adversely or beneficially depends on what we watch.
Films and television programmes of today are filled with violence. There is never a shortage of violent shows. We get snows on crime, war, martial arts, psychopaths, murders, the occult and all manner of human degradation. The public seems to love these shows. They get a thrill out of someone kicking another to death, Or sees a man shoot another in cold blood, or watch a psychopath slice, someone, to shreds. If they enjoy seeing such shows do not see how they can avoid being influenced.
My personal experience is that after seeing a show that I enjoy, I find myself wanting to emulate the hero. At one stage of my young life, I imagine Myself being a James Bond. At other times I fantasised about being Rambo, Dirty Harry, Bruce Lee and other celluloid heroes. Of course, I know I cannot be like them, but the influence these shows have on me is obvious. Unconsciously I. imitate them. How do we get to use terms like “no sweat, man”, “cool it, baby’ and others? They are all straight out of the movies. We are all influenced, whether we admit it or not.
There have been cases where armed robberies copy the methods shown on popular films. The police admit this. This shows the direct influence of films on crime. Also recently there were cases of people being attacked by persons wielding Samurai swords. Would these not be the influence of violent Japanese and martial arts films? They certainly look so. I have seen my friends taking up martial arts after watching one of Bruce Lee’s films. It is all right if they do not go out and pick a fight with someone. But who can tell? Given the opportunity, they might just become another crime statistic.
News on television show scenes of violence every day. Some may justify the news by saying, that they. are necessary. 1 cannot argue on that. The point is that they again influence us tremendously. How can the act of terrorism report on television not influence us? Consequently would it not be reasonable to assume that some might just go out and imitate what they saw?
It is undeniable. Films and television programmes do have a direct or indirect bearing on the incidence of crime. Those who watch violent shows, and that includes just about all of us, are sorely influenced. Most of us would not imitate what we had seen because there is no need to. However, for some, especially desperate or ambitious ones, the temptation to follow the path of violence is irresistible.