I know I might open a shit storm for saying this, but the artistic community is partly to blame for the recent gang rape of a sixteen-year-old girl by teenage boys at a rave party in Pitt Meadows. Yes, that’s right, we’re complicit.
These teenage rapists have grown up heavily influenced by violent, misanthropic, misogynist video games, television, movies, music, and Internet sites. And we’re the ones creating this garbage.
And there’s no use blaming the executives who finance media, because money doesn’t write, illustrate, animate, sing, play a musical instrument, act, photograph, film, or design a website. We do.
And please, don’t propose the facile argument that entertainment media is just that, entertainment, and kids know the difference between reality and fantasy. We know media creates reality; how else to explain the power of propaganda? How else to explain the effect of a successful advertising campaign? And media not only creates social realities but normalizes them, yet in this respect we want to have our cake and eat it too: we applaud The Cosby Show for bringing blacks into the mainstream, or Will and Grace for normalizing gays, yet in the same breath we say a Tarantino film is “just a movie” and Grand Theft Auto — programmed so players can beat prostitutes to death with baseball bats after having sex with them — is “just a game.”
When we create games, images, dramas, and songs that glorify crime and violence, that objectify and degrade women, we are part of the problem; we have had a hand in the obscene demoralization of our culture, in particular our youth.
Let’s be clear: when we elect to sell our talents for these purposes we have sold our souls, prostituted our creativity. All that’s left to seal the deal is to get down on our knees and take it in the mouth.