On his Babble.com blog, bechesthaired author Steve Almond continues to unravel the mysteries of parenting. This week, he explores his guilt about inadvertently allowing his infant daughter to watch a shootout on The Wire:
it took watching my daughter's reaction to one show to recognize how completely horrible and anti-human the images are. I keep seeing her eyes blinking, her head snapping back, the twisting of her mouth into a terrified frown.Personally, if we were Steve Almond, we'd be more worried about what happens when the kid learns to read (particularly that one menstrual sex-heavy short story in My Life in Heavy Metal), but that's just us.
What was even scarier than her reaction, though, was our reaction. I mean, we tell ourselves we're these gentle citizens. But we didn't bat an eye watching people shoot each other. It's like our natural human reaction - to blink, to be fearful and upset - had been eroded. We've become so habituated to manufactured violence that we've forgotten what it's supposed to portray.
I know people get all hacked off when I talk politics on this blog, so I'll step away from the bullhorn. I realize, after all, that we can't shelter Josie from this country's popular culture forever. Eventually, she'll see lots and lots of fake murders.
But here's what I'm getting at: shouldn't we try?
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