Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Positive and Negative moral impact of the media and entertainment industry on American society.

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American culture has evolved greatly over the years. Morality and strong family values have dissipated in the wake of the sex, drugs, and violence that seem to rule the television, movie screens, radios, and stereos. Jockeys of the media use the vulgar and largely unnecessary elements of drugs, sex, and violence, often exaggeratedly, to enhance their own image as the entertainment industry shamelessly exploits sex, drugs, and violence to make money.

Explicit Society refers to the profound and often negative aspects of the media and entertainment industry as they have affected American culture. Most explicit material is found in movies, television, and magazines, whether the program is a news show or situation-comedy, ad in a teen magazine or article about a band or celebrity, sex, drugs, or violence always appears to be there, and what is so much worse is that the individuals affiliated with these programs are heaving sex, drugs, and violence onto the public and encouraging sex, drugs, and violence, and almost always in their most negative forms. Much of this corrupt explicit material is directed at a younger, more impressionable, and more rebellious audience.

Since the first network television broadcast in 146, less then a year after the

tremendous end to World War II, there has been a dramatic change in television

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programming. Early programs of the 140s, 150s, and some on the 160s were

comedies closely based on family matters with absurd notions. The male was the superior

in every family, women did little outside of housework and maintaining a warm loving environment at home, and the children were mindless, isolated, and had no real challenges concerning drug, alcohol, sex, or violence. If the family had any pets, they were usually a dog or a couple of fish. These shows were blandly tasteful and not completely in tune with reality. It was not until the late 180s that “reality-based” comedy came into vogue.

There have been some controversial debates over the dilemma with “stolen roles,” that is, the television taking on the role of a parent, a friend, or role model and giving exaggerated or completely untrue instructions and information to young na├»ve children in various areas of life. Many television shows convey marriage as a miserable state of life, making the wife out to be nagging, unattractive, and abusive, the husband as amateurish, unintelligent, and irresponsible, and the children impetuous, disobedient, and more prone to lean with their carnal nature, those of sex, drugs, and violence. Some people have even come to see some television characters as their “friends.”

Television and the media use sex far more then necessary and give the impression

that it is alright to have unprotected sexual intercourse with a possibly disease-ridden

stranger. Most of the younger audiences as well as the old accept sex on television

without question. Television makes single life and single sex more attractive then in

marriage and makes almost no attempt to explain or even mention the consequences of

irresponsible sex. Of the fourteen thousand and counting sexual references and behaviors

that children witnessed on American television every year, less than 150 involved birth

control or discussions about abstinence or sexually transmittable diseases.

This unreal message of sex without consequences is so overwhelming today that many younger people use it as a model, and this model is a very poor one. In some teen-targeted television shows such as Beverly Hills 010, Melrose Place, and Friends, virginity is portrayed as a curse that should be remedied at the earliest possible opportunity. This is a possible explanation for the sharp increase of teenage sex, especially among young girls. In the mid-150s, just over one-quarter of girls under eighteen had had sexual intercourse, by 15, however, that figure shot up to nearly seventy percent, and twenty-three percent of those surveyed had had sex with more than four partners.

Kinds of programming that use sexuality more than any other network television show are soap operas. Soap operas are attracting more people, predominantly young women, and have severe lessons on sex. Soap Opera sex happens three times as often between an unmarried couple than a married couple and soap opera sex is almost always portrayed as having a positive effect, even if it is rape. Rapes in soap operas such as All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital have portrayed aggressive sexual violence with the outcome being for the better. A “bad girl” changed into a kinder and more considerate person or a couple, the rapper and the victim, brought together. One of the more disturbing things about soap opera rape are the “rape myths.” Rape myths such as the victim asked for, wanted it, lied about it, or wasn’t really hurt are used in these programs as well as real life and make the victimized woman responsible for the rape, not the man, that is, if a rapist can be called a man. In soap operas, rape blames and tames its victims, no mater how the atrocity is committed or by whom.

There are quality programs on television that are not completely distasteful and some that try to teach and entertain. There are few but they do their best to implement decency and education among the viewing audience.

Some television channels are completely dedicated to one type of programming, and although these channels will sometimes include sex, drugs, or violence, they use them moderately and to explain instead of simply trying to get ratings or take up another form of audience. The Learning Channel, The Public Broadcasting Station, The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel are examples and most major broadcasting companies have children’s shows that ironically air when smaller children are either asleep or at school. Major Cable channels like HBO have shows that are strictly for education. Inaccurate, badly written, badly acted, and just plain stupid, they do not get the same attention that the shows after ten o’clock post midnight get. Unfortunately most shows, and many movies, fail to meet the required rules for children viewing. Many television programs and movies intended for children have references to sex, violence, alcohol, and tobacco use.

Television and the media has changed America’s outlook toward culture. Much of

what American comedy is based on are cultural and traditional stereotypes and outright

lies. Fear, racism, and sexism easily break off from often harmless stereotypes and are

used so much that viewers actually begin to believe them and may even live by them as a

philosophy. This is also true for dialect and means of communication. Television’s

cultural leaders, newscasters, television and movie stars, tend to be chosen for whatever

role they are taking on because of their homogenized accents. Since most popular

television programs are produced in places like Los Angeles and New York where rapid-

fire remarks and trendy slang are kept up to date with styles of communication, the distorted ways of dialogue quickly spread like an unstoppable disease and America quickly and easily picks up on the manners of speech. Several of these means of communication lack any sense what-so-ever and those who have not been exposed to the disfigured speech simply will not understand. Particularly alarming is the heightened use of profanity in normal everyday human interaction. Possibly derived from the pointless use of profanity in movies and primetime network television shows, America has actually embraced foul language as a means of communicating.

Profanity is used now more then it ever was on television, skyrocketing to nearly seventy percent less than last year. Much of the profane language is found in shows targeted at a teenage and young adult audience. The excuse of the producers of these shows is that no one uses silly cover-up words and phrases like, “fudge”, “kicked in the tooty,” and “that person is really a doody-head,” to replace profanity. Unfortunately, shows like Action, South Park, and others largely viewed by teenaged audiences use profanity much more then necessary and basically teach to the younger viewers that it is alright to swear anywhere to anyone.

The music industry has had a massive impact on society all over the world. From the classical beauty of symphony orchestras to the underground heavy-metal to rock and roll, which was originally a slang term for sexual intercourse, music has influenced many aspects of American society and has had many positive and negative effects on America.

Earlier forms of rock and roll like Elvis Presley and The Beatles were

predominantly strait-up love songs appropriate for their time. Rock bands like The

Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, and the first real heavy metal band, Led Zeppelin, began new styles and new influences for music.

Early heavy metal was “rebel-music,” or music and songs that mostly talked about the government and corruption. Eventually metal became corrupt its self when bands such as Judas Priest and Motley Crue hi-jacked the heavy metal genre and turned it into a relentlessly sexual and violent act. Striped females covered in fake blood and strapped to torturing devises were a common sight on the stage and the band members openly encouraged drinking and drug use. If a band was not sexually perverse and pornographically violent then it was a host to spread the Satanic parasite.

Teens and young adults developed an interest in the mystic and the occult, usually because of boredom, and some bands used that as another manner to sell more albums. Using this influence on their listeners, bands encourage violent and sexual acts as they blaspheme Christianity. “The Cult of the Eighties” was what the Satanic surge was called. Organized Satanism, The Church of Satan, and the later Temple of SEC, is not about violence, sex, and drug use but some bands; the most popular ones, shamelessly used and encouraged it, in their song lyrics and on stage.

As the Cult of the Eighties dies out, a new form of music took rise toward the mid-10s. Led by bands such as Marilyn Manson and Rotting Christ, industrialized gothic metal began the old cycle. Although not at the sexual and violent extremes of some bands during the eighties, this new type of music has taken a firm hold on its listeners.

From Europe, especially Scandinavia, doom and death metal also reached

America by the late-10s. Bands like Arch Enemy and Opeth led the doom onslaught.

Not sexual nor extremely violent, doom and death metal is depressing and sometimes even suicidal.

Some good has come out of heavy metal and doom music though. The band Matallica was probably the most influential heavy metal band during the eighties due to its heavy and loud sound and “the hell with the world” attitude. Abandoning that style of music to teach rather then protest, Metallica is still at the top of the heavy metal genre. Even popular heavy metal gothic bands from across seas such as Italy’s Lacuna Coil and the Century Media Records flagship from Switzerland, Samael have mature and moral songs in a deep way.

The media and the entertainment industry has had numerous negative and positive

impacts on American society and culture. Possibly more negative effects and

consequences which are becoming more and more of a problem in America with the

changing times.

Garry, Patrick M. The New Media and the First Amendment. Pittsburgh and London

University of Pittsburgh Press, 14.

Gore, Tipper. Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society. Nashville Ablingdon Press,


Morris, Dick. Los Angeles Renaissance Books, 1.

Pawlowski, Cheryl. Glued to the Tube. Naperville, Illinois Sourcebooks, Inc., 000.

Shaprio, Andrew O. Media Access. Boston and Toronto Little, Brown and Company,


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