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We Glorify Violence and Depravity

Updated on August 30, 2009

Television's Depiction of Criminals

Does television glorify our worst criminals?

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Time and time again I see shows on television that show violent criminals in a positive light. Most recently I have seen documentaries depicting gang violence as exciting and admirable on the History Channel, (though I quite often see comparable material on several other cable stations as well).

As I'm watching these documentaries, I notice that the camera angles and lighting during the interviews are made to make the interviewee seem powerful and intimidating. The narrator's tone and and language further present the perpetrator as someone who should inspire awe. The narrator's gravely intonations describe how johnny the gangster is "hard core and knows how to outwit local law enforcement. He is among the most dangerous and respected of his organization and he has the scars to prove it."

This kind of shit is part of the problem! Now obviously you and I would not be inspired to become gangsters or drug dealers or serial killers by watching cable tv, but remember this: half of young kids have a below average IQ and/or are highly impressionable especially when it comes to televised images of power. These kids are apt to see this and honestly think, "Wow. Now that guy gets taken seriously. I want to be respected and feared like that and get interviewed on tv while some guy with a raspy voice tells everyone I'm a badass."

I know for a fact that many kids think this way because I have worked in a juvenile detention center and have worked with kids on probation for gang violence. There are tons of kids whose parents are way fucked up and never teach them the most basic things in life. Therefore, they learn everything from there peers, television, and now, the Internet. Glorification of violence and crime in mass media and our society has got to stop.

Take for instance the phrase, "Sexual Predator." How is the word Predator usually used? What sorts of images does it conjure up in people's minds when they hear just the word Predator? It sounds like something badass like a lion or tiger or eagle or shark. There's no way in hell that rapists and pedophiles should be lumped in with respectable animals that we see on National Geographic. They should be called "Sexual Scavengers" or "Sexual Bottom Feeders" or "Sexual Cockroaches." Even those words are too good for them, much less "Predator."

Then there's serial killers and mass murders described as "cold-blooded killers." Well, yes, they probably are cold blooded in a sense, but the way that the phrase is voiced by the narrator implies that this is a good trait to have if you're going to be doing some killing. Just listen to how they say it next time. It sounds like they're trying to sell us insecticide.  "Use Raid Wasp Remover!  It's a COLD-BLOODED KILLER!"

Glorification of violence and crime is detrimental to our communities and neighborhoods. Criminals do not deserve one ounce of admiration for their depraved and heinous acts. At best, they should be mocked and ridiculed for being a cancer to society.

Our kids need to be shown that respect is given to those who earn it rightfully, not those who snatch it illegitimately and shamefully. Hollywood style glorification should be saved for people who deserve it like those who promote peace, compassion, and wisdom.

We are all part of society, and we are responsible for it's condition.


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    • profile image

      Ben 3 years ago

      Good god. I watched the new season of walking dead last night. Between that and game of thrones I can see why society is falling apart. The levels of human depravity we are sinking to is disgusting. And people love it. You are all a bunch of sick mother fuckers.

    • profile image

      D. Bellorum 6 years ago

      It's a simple tool to help maintain a level of anxiety in the populace that in turn allows the capitalist sysytem to provide solutions. Home relocation, school choices for children, security and bravado all cost money and benefit the system. What the church did with witches and devils now the state does with allowing and promoting a culture of fear and disgust. It seems liberating to live in uncensored times but in fact we have lost so much.

      React! Attack the system, cut the power! boycott the media, terrorise the media protagonists! rise up against crime and cruelty! Fight back.

      Or do nothing and live in a 'Roman wilderness of pain'

      At what point should we think it is out of our control?

    • profile image

      Matthew van der Lee 6 years ago

      Yeah Mike 360, I am writing a paper on violence in media and how it affects youth. If I use something from your article, what do i reference you as. Could you tell me your full name? Mabye you can just email me at with an answer to my question and then if you are alright with telling me your name, I'll tell you exactly what I'm going to quote from your article. I'm not going to quote very much, just a few things that will strengthen my point with an opinion from an actual viewer of the media, not just a snobby analytical writer of a critical acclaimed online journal or article.

    • profile image

      mama binodini 7 years ago

      yes, glorification of violence and sex in media accouts for high crime rate in the present world.......

    • profile image

      Adnan Habib 8 years ago

      Well the society imposed the urge for success on us. You got to be successful, no matter what way it comes. And all the success has been tagged with money. That's where the thin grey line disappear between a successful person and rich one.

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 8 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      I believe the cause of this problem is the fact that most criminals seem to defy the oppressions of the systems we are all subject to in all parts of the world,which makes a select few of these criminals appealing to many around the world,however there are some real sick bastard rubbish criminals out there,no one in their right mind would ever glorify like those sexual sub-personalities!