Monday, March 27, 2006

Nothing New Under the Sun

"Badly drawn, badly written...a strain on the young eyes and young nervous systems – the effect of these...nightmares is that of a violent stimulant. Their crude blacks and reds spoil a child's natural sense of color; their hypodermic injection of sex and murder make the child impatient with better, though quieter, stories. Unless we want a coming generation even more ferocious than the present one, parents and teachers throughout America must band together...”

Video games are out of control, right? The above quote was actually taken from a Chicago Daily News editorial in 1940 decrying the contemporary plight of comic books. The days of Mickey Mouse were over. On to Dick Tracey and Flash Gordon.

My recent interest in this was brought on by a series of articles, especially this one in the latest issue of Wired Magazine.

"Every generation believes that preceding generations had more moral fiber, were more devout, that young people are running amok, and that new fangled innovations are hurrying the world to ruin. The fact that every generation over the last 2400 years has believed this, that similar sentiments can be found in Pliny the Elder, Saxo Grammaticus and William Bennett, does not give us pause."

Can it get worse, or is "worse" always a constant hidden by parents and other moral authorities but always sought by the wild "punks?"