Tolerance for violent videos

Five years after the murders at Columbine High School, film production students at Boulder High School made violent videos, which were shown on a local cable TV station. The superintendent says he’s “comfortable” with the videos, reports the Rocky Mountain News.

Videos produced this semester shown on a local community-access channel include scenes in which:

• One student urinates on another, who then bashes the assailant’s head in with a golf club after a lengthy chase.

• A shoplifter is chased by a man who shoots him in the back, then shoots him again as he lies on the ground, bleeding. In the last scene, the shooter steps in the pool of blood.

• Three students are shot dead after a fight that erupts during a game of dice. One student is shown bleeding from the crotch.

• A deranged man repeatedly stabs a woman as she cowers in her bed, screaming.

The teacher says the students were trying to parody violent TV and movies, but weren’t experienced enough to pull off the humor.

Violence is a cheap, easy way to get an effect. I’m not worried that students will go from video violence to the real thing. But it does seem bizarre to tolerate and reward this in an era when little kids are suspended for bringing tiny plastic GI Joe guns to school.

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  1. D. Cooper says:

    Kavanagh, the English teacher whose film production class produced the films defended them saying that the students were learning valuable techniques filming chase secenes. He added that he hoped parents would discuss the videos with their children.

    I’d not want my son ruining one of my Ping irons… a lesson to be learned here I’m sure.

    What were they thinking? … or weren’t they? One can only shake your head at this. You can’t make this stuff up.

  2. Living in Boulder County, not much coming out of the People’s Republic of Boulder surprises me any more. I’m on vacation but will see what I can dig up next week.

  3. Hunter McDaniel says:

    I can’t get too surprised or upset at a bunch of high school kids making dumb, tasteless videos. I find it really unfortunate the way Columbine has made folks look under every rock to try to spot the next Klebold and Harris.

    The real idiot in this story is the English teacher who thinks this amateurish crap has something profound to say and that “we need to see these videos”. And a local access channel that has to go this low for content really has no useful purpose – maybe we should all send in the tapes we made of our kids’ birthday parties?

    I’ve actually worked with Chris King a few times in the course of starting charter schools and (while no friend of charters) he’s definitely one of the more reasonable folks in the BVSD administration. Cut him some slack.

  4. Richard Brandshaft says:

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. OK, so the school kid’s videos aren’t up to adult standards. Big surprise. Violence just 5 years after Columbine? Ten years after the fall of the Soviet Union, they were selling “KGB” and “CCCP” T-shirts among the tourist stuff in Prague.

    But from Ms. Jacobs’s description, the videos do sound pretty gross.

    My parents generation was much too staid, puritanical, and too prone to euphemisms.

    My generation got it about right.

    People 10 – 20 years younger than I am consolidated the gains my generation made and pushed the envelope a little.

    Today’s youth are just gross and uncivil.

    But wait. Do you suppose every generation of old men felt that way? Naw. That would mean I’m just as mentally inflexible as my parents.

  5. Dave Dahlke says:

    Maybe, just maybe, the superintendent would have a different take on this if he had been the person urinated on in the first video.

  6. If you give a child the ability to make art, the results are almost uniformly awful. Older children are even worse. I’m not sure how these videos can be put on their parents’ refrigerators, but that’s the best place for them.

    And public access stations pretty much have to broadcast whatever the public (with the access) wants to broadcast. I love the figure modeling classes, the nudist talk shows, and the guy who tells me the Russians shot down the Challenger with a laser. At least, I love them compared to infomercials for hair removal products. Those green goo ads are the worst thing from Australia since Yahoo Serious.

  7. At least they didnt make porn movies……YET

  8. Of course they made porn movies. They just didn’t trun them in for credit.

    The peer review process would be a bit awkward for them.