The TV Made Me Do It
If you are a child of the 70’s , hearing someone say “the devil made me do it” is not uncommon. The expression was made famous by the character Geraldine as portrayed by actor/comedian Flip Wilson. The Flip Wilson Show was a comedy variety show which premiered in 1970. Several noteworthy personalities of the day were guests on the show as well as regular features such as The Church of What’s Happening Now. To see what all the fuss was all about, view the following clip https://youtu.be/WZ-E4bvrA1U .
While this may be a trip down memory lane for some and a new experience for others, the point to be made is who or what is responsible for our actions. Every two or three years or when some tragic event occurs, the debate as to the cause of that incident ensues. Was it due to a crazed individual not properly medicated? Perhaps the school administrators or teachers are to blame. Where were the person’s family and friends; and why didn’t the neighbors notice the strange behavior prior to the person “snapping”? Was the mayhem caused by excessive video game play and/or the relentless negative images of violent movies and television programming?
After countless professional examinations as to the causes of these heinous events, two dissimilar but parallel remedies emerge. Ban all violent video games and advertising which promote bad behavior to children; and, implement government controls to ensure these bans are followed. Ironically, the suggested solutions emanate from the same body of political thought. The same party which demands total freedom of artistic expression is the same which insists limits be placed on “commercial” expression by corporate actors.
Irrespective of the nature or content of the art displayed and revered by liberal politicos, the effect of their offerings to the public, by their own admission have no effect on the behavior of those who view same. Purveyors of “fine art” are expected only to marvel at the genius of the artist and understand message conveyed. Whether that message is nuanced or overt, the painting, sculpture or drawing is to be left unscathed by government and praised by all others.
The negative behavior which caused the aforementioned tragedy must then be attributed to the greed of a corporate entity preying on the innocent public only to fatten the coffers and enrich the evil CEO at the top of the ladder. As the malicious executive plots to take the meager earnings of the consumer, he will employ any tactic in his arsenal of slick marketing techniques to swindle the unsuspecting dupe into buying his useless product. The ability to disguise this ploy with brilliant color and snappy slogans is framed in the debate as unthinkable, underhanded and demands regulatory oversight. In his zeal to get rich, he is oblivious to the message of his advertising or production of goods which some say subliminally and often explicitly, promote violence.
So how will the artistic prodigy resolve his conflict with his aversion to the creative genius of the marketing virtuoso? The answer won’t be found in the continued skirmish an individual has with himself of with another of a differing view, nor will it be resolved by the censure of expression from one to the other as past experience has proved. The artist must be allowed to create and the marketer must be allowed to vend. As long as man is alive some will act contrary to the laws of society and most will live in peaceful co-existence with each other. The ill-motivated actions of some are not dependent on what is seen or perceived by the created images of a performer. It is the lack of consideration and the coldness of heart one has for the life and well-being of others.
In proper terms, to be morally wrong, wicked or depraved and to conduct oneself in such manner is considered evil. The entity most associated with malevolent behavior is Satan therefore should not the blame be attributed appropriately?