No Right Answer: America's Greatest Obsession Ever

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Gizmo1990:
We in the UK don't like to talk about why americans suck. It's just that some of you make it so easy.

OT: As I am English I can only base my opinion of what I have seen in US tv/movies and read in books form US authors. So form my limited point of view I would say that violence is Americas Greatest Obsession.

On some levels the UK is more hung up on it than America, sure we can show sideboob in TV ads for moisturisers before the watershed and noone bats an eye lid but if a film maker tries to make and sell a film that shows a vagina or erect penis and they could be jailed. All we can make and show largely is two people grinding their hips together with bare bum and boobs, In certain states its legal to make, sell and view pornography as long as its restricted.

Judges even added websex between two consenting adults to the "obscene publications act" very recently.

I have to say I'm kind of torn between the two and really don't know which is the greater obsession here. Although...there is a quote that seems relevant...

"I'd rather see a scene with two people making love than two people killing one another."
George Carlin quoting someone else during his "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television" routine

He definitely seemed to agree with this from the point of view of an act of sex is better than an act of violence. Whether this clear up the obsession angle...I'm not so sure.

Not being American I couldn't say what the greatest obsession is, but out of sex and violence I would say sex is the most harmful one.

When we watch a violent movie or play a violent game we might have great fun doing this, but most of us will still have that voice of reason that separates fiction and reality. We know violence is illegal and wrong for the most part, most of us will never do anything violent enough to cause a death or serious injury. We are raised to be functional members of the society which holds a stronger hold on our personality than the entertainment industry ever will. As long as we have had good parents who have raised us to be functional human beings then we're fine.

Sex on the other hand is more enigmatic. We don't have lengthy discussion about the details of it, we know what it is, but without the experience we can't really figure out the details of it completely. So unrealistic porn shows us how the reality is. We get a skewed image of the reality and while that might lead to some body issue problems it can also lead to actual injuries. There are quite a few injuries caused by sex attempting to duplicate pornography over here.

Now I might have riled up a few of you with my comment so let me add my conclusion here. I don't think either is really dangerous to us. As I said in my bit about violence, decent human beings wont go nuts over watching a few movies, sexual or violent. We are more complex than that. Our behaviour is more than what movies we watch, we aren't even sure if genes take part in this or not and if they do how big a part they play.

I think we should stop finding one thing to blame and if anyone honestly disagree with that then I am going to laugh in disrespect at the person in question.

Sex can make violence.
So violence wins.
Easy enough right?

I think violence is the most obvious answer. They censor violence way less in every way in America, just looking at the rating system for movies makes that apparent. Sex makes a movie/show rise to the highest adult rating possible whereas violence is allowed in pretty much every lower rating.

Again, we have demonstrated a correlation between an increase of violence in media and an increase in actual violence. In reality, violence has continued to trend downward while violence in gaming and movies has only gone up. In order to show that the obsession is bad, you have to show legitimate ramifications. Every year about 10 sociologists present papers going either way about whether or not violent games lead to actual violence.

On the flip side, a fascination with sex combined with a tabboo about talking about it in our society is kind of a perfect storm for misguided sexual expectations that actually objectify women in real lives and puts sexual fantasy demands on partners that would not have even been considered previously. Men expect women to behave a certain way and to do certain things that may be downright horrendous to them and are certainly objectifying in a very real way. Even here, I'd say the obsession with sex itself is not the problem, rather the tremendous amount of misinformation (porn) combined with a significant lack of real and meaningful advice on what real sex is and what's really expected versus what should be.

Lack of education on sex is damaging.

synobal:
I'm just gonna come out and say it, I'm disappointed this wasn't about Jessica Rabbit VS Itchy and Scratchy.

Yeah, sadly I was -really- expecting an off the wall take on this.

I love what they did and I agree with a number of their points... but I was hoping for a really absurd one.

I'd say we're more obsessed with sex purely by looking at how many celebrities are celebrities just cause they're hot, or have a sex tape or whatever. But on the whole violence by itself is more destructive physically if not in the way that our obsessions with sex is mentally.

If we're talking specifically from a media perspective, sex is far more dangerous as they mentioned from all the stuff it causes like body image issues. From a societal perspective, sex again is the most dangerous because it makes us put people like Kim Kardashian on a peda-stool and even though we do glorify violence in games it has much less of a profound effect on our daily lives and action.

The only way I could see about fixing this is by somehow making sure children/teenagers don't have accept to stuff like porn or glamour magazines so they don't build up these expectations in their head. Maybe increasing the age you can watch porn as well, I know I'd suck but it might be beneficial to society in the long hall if very frustrating to all newly 18 year olds.

Without any doubt these are both big problems but I don't think it can really be fixed until porn, glamour mags, famous models with ribs sticking out stop becoming the norm. Violence always seems to be far too glorified in games and movies to be taken even slightly seriously so it has a much less damaging effect on society. Both of these are problems though that are getting to be quite big and I don't really see a solution for either merely things that could lower the effect.

Violence is omnipresent in all aspects of entertainment, from Three Stooges to the Saw movies; you can be as violent as you want and can still be available to the general public.

Sex and sexualization on the other hand, while still present, is limited. There is a line that, once crossed, is no longer suitable to be released to the public.

Basically, you can have brains splattered on a wall from a maniac with a sawn-off shotgun and still be rated R or M, but as soon as a cock and balls and/or vagina are involved, it can't be shown to the public.

What's worse is that this post will probably be removed solely from the words "cock" and "vagina," but no one would bat an eye at interior decorating with internal organs.

Violence is definitely worse. Sex, by itself, is harmless, even if it involves an act or practice or timing or people you disagree with. Yeah, people can ruin their lives trying to make themselves attractive, but thats kind of their problem. Violence however is everyone's problem. Case in point: a misogynistic ass whole thinks he deserves sex OR the most tragic, depressing life of a supermodel who killed herself from anorexia are both bad things, yeah. HOWEVER, neither aren't even close to the same tier as a school shooting... sorry. And when sex does get pretty horrible (like rape) that isn't even classified as sex anymore, it's violence.

Again, Sex, by itself, is harmless, but violence never is.

Sex and violence are, unfortunately, starting to merge into a new unhealthy obsession here in America. Violence is often portrayed as exciting and sexy, while sex is itself is a wild and dangerous act of pure pleasure with no consequences. Both are also portrayed as things from which you cannot escape. I believe Yahtzee has mentioned in a few of his game reviews how more and more often female characters, be them supporting or lead, always end up in a situations in which they almost get raped because THAT is how you make things exciting and climactic (no pun intended). They are necessary components to "real fun" in American media culture.

But the dark side to this obsession in that it dulls our responses to it. We accept the sex and violence we see in games and movies and television shows because "it isn't real", but subconsciously take in what is presented to us as what should BE real, and so when we are confronted with REAL sex or REAL violence we are dazed and don't know how to respond.

I'll give you an example: I remember taking a legal class in college and my professor coming in to show us a video. He said that in the video he was going to show us, which was a made for TV movie that got banned in some states, a young girl was going to be raped and anyone who did not feel comfortable watching that could leave. I was the only one who left, everyone else sat and watched it. He then showed a clip from some Tom Cruise movie where a student fantasizes about shoots his entire class with machine guns, I was the only one to turn my head away from the screen. I asked one of my classmates why she watched those scenes and she told me I needed to "grow up" because they weren't real. Two weeks later she stopped showing up to class and we later learned it was because she had witnessed a shooting at a local bar and was now terrified to leave her house.

Sex and violence are real aspects of life, at times they are glamorous and at times they are hideous but people do not want to SEE the hideous side. The hideous side, the victims of abuse and violence and war and crime, are things people want to see because it makes them feel helpless and powerless. They want to see the glamorous side, the fun side, because it makes them feel powerful and in control. But we are going to far over into the hideous side of things, the entertainment industry is pushing us to far into the darkness and telling us that THAT is where the fun is.

The hard part, as consumers, is to now snap out of our daze and say "NO! That is not fun!" and re-evaluate, re-classify, re-define what is "acceptable violence/sex" in the realm of entertainment and what is not. Yes, Art is a mirror off which life is reflected, but that does not mean the reflection is 100% correct! It is an inverse, a polarized image of reality, and if you try to navigate your away around a room based on a mirror image, you are going to hurt yourself.

KaZuYa:
Guns.

By far the biggest and most dangerous American obsession, You have a multi billion dollar industry who are selling guns to any and everyone all based on the biggest and obvious con ever.

It's written into the constitution so it's the be all and end all, I mean come on guys that's the bullshit religion pulls, disregard common sense and any inklings of humanity all because it's written down and your politicians say anyone attacking it is un-American. They aren't doing that for your sake they are doing it to protect the money which fills their pockets.

Ignoring the debate about American military action overseas, Look at Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. During that attack, 20 first-grade children aged six and seven were killed. Yet your politicians would rather that happen again than ban guns its sick and unbelievable to the rest of the world. People try to say it only happened because the kid was mentally disturbed and it's not gun ownership but the checks done for said ownership. Again utter bullshit fuelled by the Gun companies, Humans are not predictable, profiling doesn't work and people can snap at any point, it's access to guns that is the problem.

ok just want to point out that first you could do the same with any weapon as children are easy targets, that's why these people chose them. Next the fact that sandy hook was a product of people like YOU who keep the discussion on guns instead of the real problem which is a crappy as hell mental health program which just keeps getting worse.

OT: id say we have more of an obsession with personal image then violence or sex, as that leads to bullying which fucks up people for years.

Violence is what we did to survive in the forests, sex is kind of what is saw as a reward (which makes sense when you consider that the ones who did get their "reward" got to pass their genes, but I think humans are smart enough to know they aren't supposed to think like this, except they don't use their intelligence, and even if they do, if there's less blood than usual in their brain, it might make no difference).

I think sex in media gets people mad more than violence though, since, as I said, it's seen as a reward, and if they are reminded it exists, they are reminded they haven't been doing it much, which makes them think there's something wrong with them for not getting the "reward" (BECOUSE THEIR NERDS WHO DONT HAS SEX LOL.. or speaking seriously, because the media portrays anyone not getting laid everyday, or at least at the end of the story, as a loser).

It seems to me that the problem is that violence, which is a bad thing in real life, is glorified, and sex, that's a normal part of human life is demonized.
I'd say the obsession with sex in the US is creepier, at least, and includes all these ideas of control and pushing your nose into other people's private business.

Why should anyone care what other people do in their bedrooms amongst consenting adults?

Hellkiller15:

The only way I could see about fixing this is by somehow making sure children/teenagers don't have accept to stuff like porn or glamour magazines so they don't build up these expectations in their head. Maybe increasing the age you can watch porn as well, I know I'd suck but it might be beneficial to society in the long hall if very frustrating to all newly 18 year olds.

Or make better porn and educate people on what sex is actually like and the difference in fantasy and reality.

How would you even be able to regulate access to porn?

It's probably been asked but are the networks that air Law And Order/CSI/Crime Show #45,006 even allowed to show nudity and sex?

I honestly don't know what the rules are. I thought there was an exception for cable but I'm not sure.

I wouldn't say that we've got an " obsession " with sex. Sex is how we keep our numbers up that is a biological need to our society. I would say we have unhealthy attitude and outlook of sex. But the issue isn't with sex but to how it is perceived by the public at large. However violence on the other hand we've got a bigger issue with. Violence is destructive people are killed , maimed people lose loved ones more to violence then sex. Yet sex is demonized while violence gets a free ride. While our obsession with sex maybe childish it isn't destructive but unfortunately the same CAN NOT be said about violence.

You spelt "Humanity's" wrong in the title there guys. This has ALWAYS been a problem.

Lieju:

Hellkiller15:

The only way I could see about fixing this is by somehow making sure children/teenagers don't have accept to stuff like porn or glamour magazines so they don't build up these expectations in their head. Maybe increasing the age you can watch porn as well, I know I'd suck but it might be beneficial to society in the long hall if very frustrating to all newly 18 year olds.

Or make better porn and educate people on what sex is actually like and the difference in fantasy and reality.

How would you even be able to regulate access to porn?

Better porn would be good in the overall changing porn from fantasy to reality thing. However Sex Ed has always been bad and I think it's always going to be bad because it's such an inherently awkward topic.

And I doubt anyone could ever successfully regulate porn. I'm just throwing out ideas and hypothesising for mental exercises mainly as a way to stave off boredom. :)

Edit: Wrong topic, please ignore

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