Tim Blagg

Blagg: This is entertainment?

We ran a story the other day that deplored the lack of change in our entertainment media — movies, television, video games, etc. — in the days since the awful slaughter out in Colorado at a movie theater and then the equally horribly massacre down in Connecticut at Newtown.

The writers pointed out that despite some evidence that constant exposure to violent stories can push some people with certain tendencies over the edge into violent action, there’s been no real push to clean up the stuff we’re being exposed to on a daily basis.

As it happens, I had been noticing myself that every time I turn on the TV, I’m likely to either see actors with guns in their hands — or a promo for a gun-laden movie or video game.

In fact, spinoffs from games have been popular movies and game writers, in turn, have been busy creating interactive versions of movies and TV shows.

It’s gotten to the point that practically every channel on some nights is full of cop shows — and at some point in every plot, they have to haul out their Glocks and point them at somebody.

From a technical point of view, this continual waving around of pistols can be pretty funny. I’ve been handling weapons for many decades (I once worked as a police officer myself, spent six years in the Army and shot competitive pistol in college) and I have to chuckle at the egregious errors I see in some of these shows. Cops walk in front of their pistol-aiming colleagues all the time — that’s a good way to get shot — and I saw an actor the other day entering a room with the hammer on his pistol cocked ... yikes!

And how many times have you seen officers enter a house, take a desultory (and pistol pointing) look around a few rooms, and call “clear!”

Clear? Sorry, but until you’ve patiently, and carefully, looked under every bed, in every closet and behind every door, that house is not “clear.”

That’s a good way to get yourself shot in the back.

And, while I’m on this particular rant, what’s with the outfits? Female detectives show up for work in designer pantsuits, in high heels and proceed to chase suspects down alleys?

And the “medical examiners!” In one show, the woman wears hoop earrings, three-inch heels and tight skirts. Kneeling over a body in the street, she renders a quick estimate of time and cause of death and prances back to her lab. Where real medicos wear protective cloths and face shields, she snaps on a pair of gloves and starts cutting.


But back to the main point. It’s hard to believe that TV and movie writers can’t figure out how to entertain us without leaving a trail of revolting corpses scattered over their imaginary landscapes.

Or, for that matter, that we’re somehow demanding these gruesome offerings as nightly fare.

Sure, there are a few family comedies and dramatic shows, but they’re few and far between.

Personally, I’m sickened by the proliferation of sick serial killers and sadistic maniacs.

We’ve even got a serial killer as a “hero” in one series — “Dexter.” In fact, a recent study says that seven new shows glamorizing serial killers were added at networks this season, bringing the total to 20.

Are you kidding me?

I refuse to believe that this is what the American public wants — and in the wake of Aurora and Sandy Hook, we certainly don’t need it.

Blagg has been Editor of The Recorder since 1986. He lives in Greenfield and is a military historian with an interest in local history. He can be reached at: tblagg@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 250.

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