morning as a guest on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. It was shocking to hear Tarantino say that media violence has nothing to do
with violence in society. Tarantino complained to Gross that talking
about violent media content is disrespectful to the memory of those
killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School gun massacre, "totally
disrespectful to their memory." He told Gross that her questions about
media violence were annoying. "I'm really annoyed. ... Obviously the
issue is gun control and mental health" [sic].
does anyone at IPR or NPR realize how very dangerous, disgusting,
immoral, and insulting to the social science community this kind of
self-serving and self-indulgent rationalization by a wealthy and
socially and politically influential megalomaniac in defense of his
supposed art is? Is Tarantino's "art," which incites deadly violence,
any less deplorable than, say, the notion that, "evolution is not
science because it is not observable or testable"? After all, the
evidence that violent media content is a significant factor in societal
violence is compelling. The research is persuasive beyond any reasonable
But Tarantino, who routinely glamorizes and glorifies violence, mayhem,
and murder for profit, doesn't want to discuss - or allow any
substantive discussion of - the role of violent media product in gun
massacres such as the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20
first-graders were murdered by a deranged young man who had become
habituated to violent media product. Neither does the Big Media mob's
well-heeled gatekeeper David Brooks.
Brooks, who in 2012 bought a $4 million dollar home in Washington DC's
exclusive Cleveland Park, declared on NBC's Meet the Press just days
after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that there is no
significant connection between FPS video games and school massacres. The
following Sunday in the same venue, Brooks delivered himself of the
opinion that President Obama, "governs like a visitor from a morally
superior civilization." In 2013, Brooks is scheduled to teach a course
at Yale University on philosophical humility. (Couldn't make this stuff
violence is central to the entertainment industry's most lucrative
product lines and revenue streams.
Tarantino has made himself a
fortune and become famous by creating, promoting, and peddling
socially-destabilizing violent media content to huge audiences. Maybe if
these wealthy mobsters, Brooks and Tarantino, were forced to ride along
with the first responders who interact with the victims, the dead and
the wounded, to ride along with the first responders who investigate the
massacres caused in part by the Big Media violence porn industry they
so vociferously defend, maybe if Brooks and Tarantino were tasked with
mopping up the blood of the dead from the floors and cleaning the
spatter from the walls of American schools, shopping malls, houses of
worship, movie theaters, and workplaces they'd form a different
impression with regard to the social impact of violent media product.
Again, the scientific research regarding media violence as a
significant factor in real world violence is conclusive, beyond any
reasonable doubt. So too is the relevant Christian religious teaching
By the way, if you disagree with my characterization of Tarantino as a
creator of violence porn, consider his thinking on that issue here.
"In 2006, when Tarantino sat down to write the script for Death Proof,
his contribution to Grindhouse, the first scene he came up with revolved
around the tale of Jody the Grinder, a character from black folklore
with, as Tarantino put it, 'the biggest dick.' Jody, so the story goes,
was perhaps a bit too generous with his anatomical endowment. When his
master finally caught Jody in bed with both the master's wife and his
daughter, that was it for Jody.
"Post-hanging, Jody ended up in
hell. 'He met the devil, fucked the devil, and the devil sent him back
to Earth, with a curse to walk the Earth for eternity, f*cking white
women,' Tarantino says today, laughing.
fit the tale of Jody the Grinder into Death Proof, but his interest in
that kind of 'uber-masculine black male figure of folklore' carried over
into the character of Django," [the protagonist in Tarantino's current production].
Not surprising, then, that some influential producer s and stars are boycotting Tarantino's latest orgy of violence.
Not surprising, either, that some people in other cultures, cultures
that don't revere or reward violence pornographers, cultures that don't wallow in
entertainment product that glamorizes, glorifies, and incites violence,
are inclined to view America as the Great Satan, or merely as a society
and a culture dangerously, and perhaps terminally, obsessed with
If you can stomach Tarantino's arrogance and stupidity , his
remarks about media violence are about 2/3rds of the way through the