Of late, as you may have noticed, I have written relatively little (ahem, diddly squat). There is good reason for this, honest! I have begun my slow ascent into the grey garb of a bespectacled solicitor. It is a remarkable experience for I can now think sans emotion. I am pretty sure that this is very close to being some kind of super power, I am but a step from stopping bullets in mid air with but a monarchical wave of my hand.
The significance of my pro or re- gression is that I have found next to no time for the love of my life. I am sure you can all empathise with this quandary; a poor relationship at home ultimately leaves everyone unhappy. I have ignored and very casually insulted the creature who raised me: my dear Cathode Ray Tube (CRT/Old TV). It sits atop my old, mid-90s VCR cabinet (which houses my Playstation and PS2) and has gathered more dust than a stepson in the loft.
There is a genuinely good reason for this, things have changed, my CRT is not the same as it once was. It has become rigid and inflexible in the advent of the digital age. An aerial as old as myself balances on it, askance like a Fez on an organ grinder. And just like that, the day that the great analogue eye closed its lids the fez fell off, lightning struck and the shutters shimmied. The CRT has no clothes.
The depressing thing is that the CRT did in actual fact raise me a great deal. Through its many transitions I remained glued to the box. When I was a young lad my parents were fairly strict on what kind of TV I watched and made clear what they considered right and what they considered not so right. Yet, before I turned ten I was regularly exposed to adult viewing every time I went on a visit to my more lenient cousins’.
Vividly, I remember watching Hannibal, the sequel to Silence Of The Lambs when me and my cousins discovered the Sky Pin. I remember enjoying it and it definitely encouraged a flippancy towards violence and horror that is a real trademark of our generation. Before age 15 I had steamed through the majority of famous horror or gore films, enjoying them but largely seeing through the tricks of the genre trade.
The reason for this, I have always thought, is that I and most of those within my age-group are not the de-sensitised monsters painted by the Daily Mail. The majority of us are raised up sensibly enough to separate media and fiction from reality. Our society’s real insensitivity arguably has more of a home in the regularly reported atrocities which we tend to remove ourselves from emotionally (though this is probably a necessary defence to maintain sanity).
The blame game perpetuated, ironically, by the media against the media is one which is depressingly influential. The Daily Mail acts as a mask that shields the irresponsible parents, guardians and adults from the reality of things. If I was less lazy I would carry out a case study showing that, in actual fact, most of the kids who had claimed to have been influenced by videogames often lacked a greater influence, good parenting.
Parents are limited by the fact they cannot follow their children into their schools, amusing as that could be. They are not however limited in their influence over their children as long as they remain underneath the same roof. It does require a fair amount of nous to be aware of how your son or daughter reacts to forms of media and it is a reality that you cannot hide media from them forever in this internet age. But this merely emphasises the need for education, discussion and a heap of honesty when it comes to media.