Like many millions I was watching the Super Bowl last Sunday and watching the ‘in-between the action’ commercials also. As we all know the commercials are now as much a part of the show as the game.
Prior to the game the air time was filled with the history of Super Bowls and even the history of the best commercials.
There was also much talk about the now infamous Janet Jackson show of her breast during the halftime show (I think it was two years ago?)
In the US this wardrobe malfunction incident was met with a great deal of hand wringing and many people worrying over the demise of our society as well as a great grieving over the never to be recovered innocence of the American child.
I don’t have a big problem with telling Janet Jackson that no one is actually interested in her breasts at halftime. From my viewpoint, a breast is just a breast, they are not loaded (except perhaps with silicone) and they are not really dangerous. I have never had one explode in my face or pierce my flesh or create paralyzing nightmares; and I have seen a lot of them, so I am qualified to speculate on their danger level. Still, like most people I’m not necessarily interested in Janet’s, though it appeared she mistakenly felt this was a very nice gift to all of us. I viewed the whole incident as silly and remarkably egocentric on her part.
So, like I said, I was watching the game and the commercials Sunday when the movie trailer for
Mission Impossible III was set loose on millions of living rooms.
Time for another disclaimer. I have no quarrel with the movie Mission Impossible III.
I am perplexed however by this; these are the words of dialogue actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman spoke to goodness knows how many children ears and minds on Sunday:
“You have a wife or girlfriend? Whoever she is I’m going to find her. I’m gonna hurt her.....and I’m gonna kill YOU right in front of her....”
Here is a link to the Super Bowl trailer.
I spent a part of my life in law enforcement, often working crime scenes where the products of murder were in front of my eyes, and you never forget these scenes. I tell you this to let you know I am not easily spooked by bad people or evil actions; only saddened.
I do believe our children can be scared by these things. In fact I not only believe they can be, I believe they are. Mr. Hoffman, who is an excellent actor was speaking these words in an matter of fact and threatening manner. Quick cut to Tom Cruise off to save the day.
Can a small child discern and separate all this?
Is this scarier to a child than the sight of Janet Jackson’s breast? I’m betting any common ignoramus can work that question through.
When I opened the newspapers and internet news on Monday morning I did not see one single solitary word of concern or protest about this movie dialogue, yet when Janet showed us her harmless breast in a display of ego and poor judgement the US went off it’s collective rocker in a fit of social apoplexy.
But then we get this, we tell the children menacingly “I am going to find your wife and hurt her...and I am going to kill YOU in front of her”....and not a peep of questioning as to whether this was an appropriate decision by ABC?
For me, I think it is ABC’s responsibility to think on a higher plane, but also a larger sign of a collective culture’s lost consciousness about the difference between a harmless body part and the act of murder.
I repeat that I have no quarrel with Mission Impossible III or Mr. Hoffman, his acting is an art and a gift to be shared. I do have a quarrel with our collective culture’s level of awareness.
What do you think?