--Teaching the Young How to Shoot (1931)
What am I going on about anyway? What's the problem? Is there a problem? That's the problem. Maybe. Maybe not. But anyway. Why do I think there may be a problem if there is no problem and why do I think there may be no problem if there is? Anyway. Whether there is or isn't a problem it's a problem how much time to spend figuring out if there is or there isn't anyway what difference does it make anyway if there is or is not a problem what is a problem is a problem anyway.
--Do you Love Me?, R. D. Laing
Out of 30 films currently showing in Tallahassee, 27 are listed as "objectionable" for reasons of profanity, sex, violence or crude humor. This town is not a hotbed of art house showings -- these are just run-of-the mill ground out studio productions. Most are PG-13, meaning any teen can view these, and one-third of these are rated "R", meaning a viewer under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Some of the titles indicate the film's content (Scary Movie V; A Good day to Die; Oblivion; Evil Dead; Disconnect; G. I, Joe Retaliation; Pain and Gain), but not all. The following are descriptions dished out by the local paper for these 27 films: Profanity, crude humor, strong sexual content, gross-out jokes, scary special effects, violence, drug content, graphic violence, supernatural rape, gore galore, lots of disgusting stuff, explosions galore; extreme violence, intense violence, lots of violence and things that go kaboom.
The three films sans objectionable content are aimed at the children demographic.
Why would anyone spend good money and time to sustain such an assault to the senses when you can get it all and more on the nightly news and surrounding infotainment and or "reality" programming? Who has the time for such addled nonsense? At noise levels in excess of 90 db (the range at which hearing is impaired), what is the physiological effect of being so mired for 90 minutes?
Of course, this is freedom, too -- the good old American past-time, film-viewing at the bijou. But there's not much wholesome there anymore for you and your gal, just a cessation of the assualt when the film ends, followed an aural numbness and relief from the onslaught. That is, if and until you learn to create your own real-world madness, guided by your Hollywood personal trainers.
But we shouldn't blame Hollywood for your lack of discretion. No, if you get warped, you will get there honestly in the best sense of American individuality. There may be a medicine to bring you down, or you may have to operate at overdrive until you find your OTC palliative of choice, and that, too, is very American.
Vive la artistic license, the template, the studio system, the sequel, quadrophonic sound, forever and ever. Amen.