Monday, March 13, 2006

Hollywood Influences

One of my blog buddies, Amadeo, roused some thoughts...still on the Hollywood vein. Basically, we agree with each other! My comments based on his follow:

You’re right my friend, movies have indeed become more profane and violent, and so have TV, video games and music. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that this continuous bombardment of in-your-face-sex, foul language, deviant lifestyles, and blood is having a damaging effect on young people. They see it, copy it, and accept it as “normal.” Hollywood loves “normalizing” antisocial behavior and what easier way to do that than to reach us when we are impressionable?

Why do they glory in gorifying the quirky and deviant? ...perhaps laziness? After all, it's easier to show "over the top" and outrageous than to be subtle and cerebral. To think otherwise is to give them credit for purposely trying to subvert and pervert. So, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and just call them lazy, self-indulgent, and perverse...Actually, no I won't! What I really believe is they see it as THEIR job is to convert and pervert the rest of us! Hollywood and the cigarette industry both know that it's best to get us while we are young.

Amadeo, you give the Hollywood “lefties” WAY too much credit when you think they would ever think twice about NOT depicting events factually. All they care about is THEIR message and it will always reflect THEIR version of reality. Part of their problem, I think, is that they see the world through such a distorted and murky prism that they refuse to see anything else but what they WANT to see. Even when they KNOW the truth, they portray it differently if it doesn't match up with their objective of preaching to and depraving the masses. Until they have us ALL thinking as they do, we can continue to expect nothing but the same.

Yes! The classic movies ARE the best…. NO reverse morality, little profanity, only as much blood and violence as necessary to tell the story, AND they portrayed romance between a man and woman without being nasty and explicit. You know, THE ONLY THING I agree with "nation of Islam's Farrakhan" on is his assertion that Hollywood puts out an evil product that is destructive to our society.

Amadeo, You bring up an excellent point on the foul language that we are forced to suffer through in today's films. I blame the downfall of American vernacular on two things: 1) Hollywood films and 2) the gangster rap culture. When I was growing up I rarely heard the “F” word; even in high school I seldom heard it or explicit references to sexuality. As Hollywood and Rap normalized profanity and open sexuality (of all types) all that changed. Now, kids as young as 9 and 10 in some parts of the country speak like “gangsters” and emulate the foul language of their "heroes" as seen on HBO and on their friend’s DVD players. There is so much of Americana that I am proud of, BUT the profanization of our language makes me ashamed.

We CAN end this if we want to. Most people do not realize that Hollywood started to put out nasty out-of-control films back in the 20s and 30s. I've seen a couple of these movies, and for those times, they were shocking in their sexuality and language. Hollywood was forced to clean up it's own act when many Americans began to object to what many saw as decrepit and foul films; and to preempt government interference, Hollywood created its own standards of decency. These standards held up until the "progressive" culture of the 60's began to tear away at our moral fabric... a foul word here, a phrase, a hint of nudity, then a few frames of actual sex. Finally, they gave us no-holds-barred decrepitude and decadence.

They chipped away at our foundation stones until they breached them entirely. It happened so slowly that many of us didn't even notice. In case you still don't know this, "progressives" aka liberals, don't believe in morality...they believe in fuzzy minded moral equivalence. In other words, NOTHING is immoral, everything goes. If it feels good, it must be good. It seems that these people never outgrew their motto of "SEX, DRUGS, ROCK&ROLL!" and they resent those of us who insist on moral boundaries. It's a war, and so far, THEY are prevailing...


Ed said...

Let's do this discussion again but from a different angle.

I have seen lots of killing in movie and have yet killed a man. I see lots of sexual promiscuity and yet keep my clothes on most of the day. I hear lots of cursing and yet I rarely cuss. So why does Hollywoods perversion not affect me and does others as you suggest? I think it all goes back to your parents and how they raised you.

The media was quick to blame the Columbine massecre on the media and yet the first things that I noticed is that both those kids spent many hours every day home alone while both parents worked. Even when the parents were home, they knew little of what their kids were up to. Me on the other hand was rarely left unsupervised until I was sixteen and even then, my parents always checked up on me and paid attention to what I was doing. I think that is why I turned out to be a normal person and not some weirdo despite watching all the "perversion" that Hollywood cranks out.

On the other hand, I do agree that Hollywood has certainly degenerated in a lot of ways with the movies they produce in comparison to those produced in my childhood. In today's society, you have to shock them (Brokeback Mountain) in order to get them to watch them.

Nick Ballesteros said...

I, too, grew up in an environment where profanity goes unpunished. I have even heard of kids having soap stuffed in their mouths when they swear to "clean" them up. Or a good scolding keeps them at check (I did not experience these things though, I was quite an obedient kid :-)).

But when I walk the streets today, kids couldnt finish a sentence without a swear word or two! And the parents don't give a hoot about it. Because their kids hear it from them. Where o where is our society going to?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Your a grown man Ed, and you probably came from a good home with involved parents, but there are a lot of latchkey kids and worse out there. These kids are at risk and are easily influenced by the deviancy pawned off on us as normalcy; and even the best parents can't be with their children all the time.

Not to mention, once the culture itself changes, it doesn't matter how strong a force parents are. If you think this stuff doesn't affect kids Ed, you are fooling yourself buddy. And besides, WHY should parents have to reckon with the continuous negative influences from Hollyleft?

I'll give myself as an example: I was bullied several times at school, and it filled me with rage. My parents both worked, which is not unusual, but when I was growing up I wasn't exposed to the extreme violence so prevalent today in our media. I can tell you this though, I could easily have snapped, and if I had had access to a weapon, I can imagine that I might have resorted to using a firearm. Not all kids can imagine life further than next week, and consequences of actions don't always figure into their thought processes.

Even if only 1% of our kids are screwed up beyond help by the movies and WWF type TV violence, that's thousands of kids! As I said, Hollywood chipped away at our moral foundations so slowly and persistently that we hardly noticed how differently we ALL feel about things.

It's even worse for the kids. When you were growing up did you hear the "F" word used as a noun, adjective, pronoun, verb, and adverb? I doubt it, yet the kids today have been so saturated with it from the movies that they talk as salty as any marine or sailor I ever heard. I blame HBO and Cinemax, Hollywood's livingroom distributors.

Actually, your mistaken about something else Ed, you DON'T have to shock to get people to watch. Fewer people than ever are watching Hollyboob's movies, and the films making the MOST money are family-oriented fare and thrillers (minus the gratuitous sex and violence). Isn't it interesting that these moneymakers are NOT the ones being nominated for Oscars?

PhilippinesPhil said...

When I was 5 years old my mom heard me repeat a swear word that I had picked up from my friends. I can still remember the taste of that bar of soap! It worked for me because I never spoke like that again until I joined the marines. I had to work like crazy to clean up my language after years of indulging in salty marine "speak." I think back on the bad language I was punished for and its so tame as to be cute, but my mom did the right thing.

If you want to know where our society is heading today go to America's cities, especially in the Northeast. I lived there for my last 4 years of service and I could not believe how coarse society has become there. People are mean, they use profanity matter of course, and its all in the open, in your face. I went to a few baseball games in Philly to watch the Phillies, it was opening night, I kid you not, I saw three fist fights that evening! The language was uncontrolled cursing, f**king this, f**k that, and I hated being around it. Thank hollywood and the music industry for doing this to us, and blame ourselves too for letting it get so bad. My own brother says he doesn't worry about coarse language anymore because he doesn't have kids. When I'm dealing with my veterans or have people over, I gently chide them to watch the language. Shouldn't we all do that?

Nick Ballesteros said...

Coming from a military background where I am led to believe that cursing is the norm, you sure did change my perspective.

Just because everybody does it does not mean it's the right thing to do. When you tell them to watch what they say, you even get a couple of raised eyebrows. How things have reversed these days.

But yes, I don't want my kid ending up cursing in the future so better to have taken action than shrugged it off.

PhilippinesPhil said...


Foul language in the US military is definitely the norm. When I became a marine in the mid 70's I was stunned by the level of profanity, but soon, I was right there along with them. It's hard to fight and it becomes natural. It took me years to rid myself of that bad habit.

When folks realize that I don't like hearing it they usually watch themselves. I don't go spastic over it, except around my kids. Some people really have a hard time controlling themselves.

I know guys in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who can NOT talk without rattling even MY sensibilities! They are mostly too far gone to change. They got that way from their time in service, I'm positive of that, and by continuing to be around people who speak similarly or being around folks who never objected to it.

For some people, you are actually doing them a favor by letting them know how they sound...some of these people don't even realize how profane their language really is! Be polite, and ask them to watch it.

Its going to be more and more difficult to prevent kids from using vulgarity. Their friends use it, they hear it in the movies and from "cool" actors whom they admire, and they sing along to it in their so-called music. When their role models use it, what hope is there? Hollywood wins again and WE are letting them. Society is so lemming-like that we simply follow them where ever they might take us.

Hollywood and the music moguls give us this message: "Its cool to be crude dude!"

Ed said...

I think we can agree that America is changing and not always for the better. But I think we will have to agree to disagree about whether it is the fault of "Hollyleft" or a general decline in parenting. For me, the Hollywood theory just can't explain how some kids can be exposed to all the trash and filth and still turn out to be decent kids.

A great discussion as always Phil.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yeah Ed, I do enjoy it so. Wish I could say what I want in fewer words though! For instance in answer to your last Ed:

Actually, eventually, most of us turn out decent. This is especially true IF your standards of decency are LOW, such as the minimum measurement of merely abiding the law, but that's NOT what I've been moaning about Ed. My point is that our standards of civility have collapsed...the way we speak, the way we treat one another, and our cultural acceptance of it.

Parenting has suffered mostly because EVERYONE either has to work to get the things they want, or they choose THINGS over continuous supervision of their kids. Even so, good parents raise bad kids all the time, just as missing parents produce good kids. A lot of times, it's something in the kids, some internal force that drives them to be good. I needed very little guidance, but others in similar situations became miscreants. Parenting is NOT the end all Ed.

I repeat, the Hollybums do their work insidiously... slowly and persistently. They and the music industry have managed to reduce to a baser level what we now view as acceptable behavior. You tell me Ed, why do kids AND adults use profanity matter-of-factly now, as compared to when we were were growing up? Why do we treat each other so poorly compared to 30 or 40 years ago? I never even heard the term "road rage" until the early 90s, maybe later.

Cable TV has been a big boon for the Hollydevils as they work to inure us to our ethical decline. The Simpsons pushes the ethics envelope with every show and its not even on cable. Ever watch South Park? It's incredibly over the top, and kids and adults copy the language and the sentiment. Tell me WHY we keep sliding in this downward direction? SOMEONE has an agenda to deaden us to our traditional values; it's not happening all on its own.

Amadeo said...

True, that parents should still be the primary sources for how the kids develop their morals and values and that no extraneous forces should be able to usurp that role. Unless, parents become negligent, or a spouse is missing in the family, or parents are just too economically strapped to be able to assume that role effectively. Thus, today we have countless numbers of latchkey kids, of kids nannied or babysat by movies, TV, or worse, by equally-rudderless peers. Meaning by everybody else, except the proper parties, the parents.

And it is largely because of this development that the entire entertainment industry has both wittingly or unwittingly assumed this very great onus of assuming the roles of absent parents. Add to this the fact that the availability of entertainment has become so ubiquitous that at times, monitoring can be a daunting task. Aside from movies and TV, kids can now access them from PCs, handheld games, MP3 players, etc.

But Phil, contrary to popular wisdom, the public does exert its influences on the products of Hollywood and its kind. And it is through the pocketbook.

Tallying the list of blockbuster movies, those that really make tons of money, most if not all of them are still the ones that appeal to traditional values and morals. Thus you have the Star Wars, Harry Potter, LOTR, etc, movies overhauling all those other movies that Hollywood crank out to express their messages.

And by and large, theatre receipts in terms of dollar values have been going down during the past years. And some believe that the behavior of the Hollywood bigwigs during the last Oscars may usher in a re-direction of how future movies will be presented.

Let me end by asking the group what it thinks about the thriving porn industry. By some accounts its revenues now top the combined revenues of the entire entertainment industry. Though, personally I am of the belief that many Hollywood actresses anyway in their movies perform essentially the same acts one can find in porn movies. Thus, the distinction between soft and hard-core porn. Many moviemakers aim for the R-rating to ensure good patronage.

Ed said...

Maybe it is my upbringing in rural Iowa that has skewed my beliefs. Growing up, we swore as kids but we never did it around our parents. Even now, I don't see to many parents who would stand by and not do anything if their child cursed. Those that do are typically poorer families, many on welfare and probably not someone I would classify as good parents. (That's not to say that all people on welfare are bad parents.) But sometime between high school and college when I expanded my world,

But I guess my whole belief is maybe because I grew up in a rural part of the country where life to this day is much different than those on the coasts. Maybe that is why I am seeing this differently than you.

Ed said...

Ignore the last sentence of the first paragraph. I didn't get that thought fully deleted.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Roger that Amadeo, we the public do exert some influence through what films we PAY to watch, BUT that will not stop Hollydud from continuing to put forth THEIR vision of what America should be. Brokeback Mountain and Syriana are just the beginning. The fact that these type movies don’t make a whole lot of money compared to what we would rather see is PROOF that they are determined to manipulate the public away from what used to be our traditional values. They’ll continue to make movies that make money, but don’t expect them to start handing Oscars out for them.

Amadeo, the porn industry is a different matter to me, in my opinion somewhat unrelated to Hollywood’s lefty leaning movies. The only way it may relate to our original topic is if “progressive” parents don’t keep their porno stash out of the hands of their kids. I hope porno doesn’t become cable fare, but the way things are going it might soon be. Aside from that, the porno industry in America has a long history.

The openness of American sexuality has been cyclic since our inception. For instance, during the Civil War pornography exploded into a colossal industry, mostly because photographic prints became universally available. I dare say that if you examined the contents of an 1863 infantryman, you would find two or more daguerreotypes or photographs portraying all kinds of erotic images designed to put lonely, libidinous young fellows into the mood for “self stimulation.”

Check out this site for an interesting narrative of those times. Another fascinating aside on the sexuality issue is that virtually ALL of these Civil war troops partook of the services of the thousands of prostitutes who followed the armies from camp to camp. Both the CSA and USA governments tried to intervene when the incidents of venereal disease became seriously rampant.

Our country has always had a wild and bawdy side to it, even during the supposedly staid times of the Victorian Age. When it comes to sex and all the industries surrounding it, we have a history of indulgence at ALL levels of our society, and it cannot be denied. Americans are known throughout the world as being hypersexual. Ever hear the WWII saying penned by some uneasy Brit? It goes: “Damn Yanks… they’re overpaid, oversexed, and WORSE, they’re OVER HERE!”

Still, even though we are what we are, there is still no reason we can’t keep that side of our society “out of sight,” especially when it comes to the sexualization of our kids at ever younger ages. That’s why I LOVE Filipino society, where most kids stay innocent well into their teens and later. I wish to God we could package it and bring it back to the States!

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ed, I don’t have a doubt that living in Iowa has insulated you from the worst of America’s latest negative societal aspects. The Northeast especially is the very worst. When golf’s Ryder Cup competition came to Boston about a half dozen years or so ago, it was an unmitigated disaster. The people who came out to support their American golfers were an embarrassment. They drunkenly used their everyday foul language and invective and aimed it unsparingly at the European players. THAT is NOT GOLF, and the US players were angry and embarrassed about it. Golf needs to keep Ryder play in the American Midwest or the South where, hopefully, some level of good manners and common decency still rules.

Jonathan said...

The Philippines truly do look beautiful, and with such raving reviews.

another great addition to the American Sphere of Influence thanks to Theodore Roosevelt back when we said no to Euro influence in the western hemisphere.

I love it.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hiya Jonathan, welome aboard.

Actually, TDR was a Colonel in the Spanish American War, remember San Juan Hill? President McKinley was in office during that war. By the time TDR became Commander in Chief the only ones still resisting American occupation were the Moros in Mindanao.

The United States was split back then on the question of America becoming colonizers. Even Samuel Clemens weighed in on the matter with articles and essays.

Personally, I find the Filipino situation in 1900 to be very similar to the Iraqi scenario of today. We found then, as today, that the responsibilities inherent when the USA invades another land are huge. For instance, the Europeans hinted to us 106 years ago, that if we left the Philippines then they were going to fill the vaccuum. Therefore, we could not just leave.

The same thing applies in Iraq today. If we leave today, the Baathists, the Saddamists, and the terrorists will come roaring in. Funny history constantly repeats itself.