What ever moves me, inspires me, or annoys me. The topics are eclectic. I hope you find what I find interesting!

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The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about Basketball Diaries?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.
- Roger Ebert (via ibad)

(via stephaniesays-feminism)

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I decided to rant a little…

I love this country. But, I must ask: can we go back to pre-epic-bombardment-of-celebrity times? I’d like to go back to a time where privacy was respected. Back to a time where Hollywood was seen as glamorous and artistic from a distance, it’s celebrities’ privacy respected. It’s actually become disgusting how overwhelmed we are by all things celebrity. The media seems to focus on celebrities as news makers, rather than actual important news stories. It’s an unfortunate development of how society has evolved. It’s sad to see the youth now aspire to be famous, rather than focus on something like going to college to be a teacher, scientist, or engineer. Any wonder why this country, that’s touts itself as so great, has such a low ranking regarding education when compared to others. This nation looks more and more like a nation that promotes being rich and famous over being middle class, educated, and striving to make a difference.

Can we NOT focus on these celebrities and give them more attention than they deserve? I can appreciate a good artist and good entertainment, but some of these celebrities have done nothing to deserve their notoriety. The ridiculousness of these “reality” shows is incomprehendible. The paparazzi should become real photographers and not stalkers. I actually feel bad for some celebrities for the way they are treated. The focus should be on their art or contributions to society, not them and the intimate details of their personal lives, then that of their family’s. Let our society focus on improving education and providing it to everyone, developing innovators and inventors, encouraging scientific discoveries. Let the media focus on reporting actual news stories like the acts of the governement, laws that are enacted, climate change, heroes, generally fixing problems, poverty, world events, civil wars, the list can go on. We need to work on evolving our society and country into one that deserves to be called “Great” again.