|"Studio 2" Needed More Studio Work.
||[Sep. 27th, 2004|02:00 am]
|||||Everclear - When It All Goes Wrong Again||]|
After the coverage of NFL football, I went to my computer, and I left on the CBS feed.
They played a television news show by the name of "Studio 2."
The show chose to expose the epidemic of school bullies. Also, the show covered how dangerous school tensions can become. Finally, they left the audience with suggestions toward resolution.
The topic of school violence played with attempts to help convince the audience. Dramatic background music cued at the right times. Slick image and segment cuts helped fast-forward through the important points. Images displayed of kids with troubled looks on their faces. Inserts demonstrated of videotapes of captured fights for extra emphasis. Well-timed 'expert' analysis gave insight and suggestion toward resolution. Finally, tips for warning signs appeared in bullet points with the journalists' explanations, in order to spot such trouble before it explodes.
Given the added sale value of sound and image, the only news I usually peruse is the print. Journalists do not have as much latitude to sell without the dramatic images and the crisp sounds of the bells and whistles.
To start, please allow my utter emotional response to such amazing news-work:
I wish I had taped that show in order to go back and pick out choice nuggets of irritation. However, I will continue with the key reflections.
From what pieces I remember, the show covered the obligatory Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris information. One person interviewed almost went the same route. A homosexual representative discussed the phenomenon of children using "fag" as a negative and inflammatory word.
The information in the above paragraph, by itself, did not draw my ire.
What bothered me about the show . . . I will digest slowly. In a way, the show succeeded. I feel the need to respond to it. However, my review of the show isn't what they would expect or desire.
The lack of educated perspective happens to hold classic form in this episode of "Studio 2."
The convenience of immediacy with quick presentation and simplified perspective irks me to no end. This style of media resembles Chicken Little. Little broadcaster fowl, in sharp suits, run around the screen. Every time these Littles appear, they scream of some cataclysm. In this case, on "Studio 2," the report came in . . . news flash . . . kids are out of control. Never was there a real attempt to digest anything but the self-supporting point of kids suddenly out of control. If this was a school presentation, like most media, it would receive a default C- with such an approach.
Allow me, please, to continue my retort.
Since the dawn of the very first 'school,' children have demonstrated the ability to be very mean, ignorant, aggressive, impressionable, and violent.
No amount of genetic engineering will ever produce a toddler that can discuss the merits and drawbacks of Vietcong policies during the Vietnam War. The baby from "Family Guy" is hilarious for that very reason. So, given that children are not born with the necessary social skill and background knowledge, an expectation to eradicate the phenomenon of school violence and bullies . . . it is a pipe dream of wasted effort.
In particular, the show failed to treat and consider the long history of urban violence among school children. How many urban youths have been shot in and around and about matters that happened because of events in school?
For this show's stance to hold weight, the audience must believe that the most recent school shootings have no precedent.
Suddenly, two disturbed young men bring an arsenal of weapons to school and shoot kids in a suburban trust-fund community. Suddenly, we now have an epidemic. The long-standing urban school-related violence holds no concrete place in the broadcast. From the presentation of the show, such information simply did not exist. To the show's organizers, they chose not to discuss the urban school violence as part of the story. After all, the children and families of the urban and lower-wealth areas must not matter.
School is a place to learn information from books and to also develop the social skill necessary to function as an adult. Not every child will learn what is necessary, and some children will fail.
Even the most well-behaved of children will run into trouble over the course of their youth. Mistakes are made by adults, and they are also to be expected with children. In conflict, many kids fall to instinct, and they choose to fight. To show taped footage of fights on a school bus is shocking. Yet, to suggest that such violence can be solved among the youth of any nation, such a suggestion screams of simplification.
Children need to be supervised, provided with attention, and often corrected. Children are not cats. They need more than food and water bowls with a clean box to shit.
Children learn by example, and there is no better and more important example than their care-givers until peers gain greater importance with the dawn of the teenage years. Even through those later years, children must prove that they can handle more responsibility. From my observations, bullies, in particular, seem to develop among children from rather difficult homes. Yet, it's not my interest to try and solve such a problem of bullies and school violence. Despite what I may know or not know, problems within families happen on a regular basis. Family problems will continue to materialize for all families. Also, not every kid from a bad home is a bad kid. For a care-giver, a child is a 24-hour responsibility. Such a presentation, as demonstrated by "Studio 2," misses the point of any epidemic of school violence, real or imagined.
The final minutes of the presentation by "Studio 2" actually gave the audience bullet points on the warning signs and what to do if a child appears to have them. Excuse me, but if a parent needs a television show to help identify warning signs, then the parent needs more help than the TV show can offer.
Specifically, I can imagine a parent who watched that show. I know that I wasn't the only viewer. If I was, then that show is in serious ratings trouble.
I imagine that parent felt the same rising heart rate, but for different reasons. As they watched the show, they tried to call their 12-year old on the cell phone. There was no answer. They then called the spouse or some other adult . . . "Hey, you have to see this show . . . school violence is out of control . . . yeah, my kid came home yesterday with ripped pants and a scraped knee. I'll bet there was a fight at school. Hey, where's your kid? I have no idea where mine is."
People love to blame. People tend to enjoy the reason for what happens. Any outcome happens because of multiple factors in play. While simplicity is often the most true explanation behind happenings, at the same time, when problems happen, it is not often because of one source. I can suggest that the source of school violence among children is very much a result of neglect or abuse from care-givers. However, The people who produced the segment for "Studio 2" cannot discuss such matters. If they did, an open treatment of bad parenting as a major source for school misbehavior among children would cause many irate responses from parents. Such a program would have parents in mind as a majority of that show's audience target.
I don't pretend to condemn anyone. However, on this topic, "Studio 2" really missed the mark. Plus, the topic has been covered in many similar and equally simple previous treatments by various media groups. My reflections in this post show a rather light treatment, but my thoughts feel more in-depth than what the folks at "Studio 2" could formulate.
You know what? For this television show presentation, I was rather nice with my initial grade of C- . . .
I changed my mind. Let's F that.