I’ve seen this posted at other blogs, but it’s worth repeating here. I’ve written quite a bit about the current “War on Violent Video Games” and if there’s one thing I can take comfort from in the current battle it’s the simple fact that it has all happened before:
“The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison?”
– Reverend Enos Hitchcock, Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family, 1790
“The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced … at the English Court on Friday last … It is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs, and close compressure of the bodies … to see that it is far indeed removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is … forced on the respectable classes of society by the evil example of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.”
– The Times of London, 1816
“This new form of entertainment has gone far to blast maidenhood … Depraved adults with candies and pennies beguile children with the inevitable result. The Society has prosecuted many for leading girls astray through these picture shows, but GOD alone knows how many are leading dissolute lives begun at the ‘moving pictures.’”
– The Annual Report of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1909
Rock and Roll, comic books, even the telephone generated some amount of outcry over the negative effect on morals each would have. Studies were done. Often times stupid laws were passed. We can only hope this latest round of idiocy fades away before too long.