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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Blast the FTC Report--You Can't Blame Hollywood for Irresponsible Parenting

11 Sep, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold

What a way to start the work week!

The FTC releases its long-awaited report, blasting the entertainment industry for allegedly marketing violent movies, video games and music to young adults.

And then we're hit with another press release from that relentless hype machine, Kanakaris Wireless, bearing the headline, "Founding Father of Home Video, George Atkinson, Touts Kanakaris Wireless' CinemaPop.com and Predicts That Internet Will Replace Home Video as the Largest Source of Distribution Revenue to Hollywood."

Ah, where to start. In regard to the latest "Hollywood is responsible for the decline of Western civilization" missive, I tend to side with Jack Valenti, the longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Valenti immediately issued a response to the FTC report, arguing that the entertainment industry is the "only segment of our national marketplace" with voluntary guidlines as to what's suitable and what's not for those impressionable young minds.

Let me add to that: The object of marketing is to sell something, and young people constitute a significant chunk of the consuming public. Of course they're going to find out about new movies and new video games. When I was 12 I knew all about "Last Tango in Paris." But I didn't watch it. That movie was rated "X," and even if I could have somehow snuck into the local movie theater to watch it, my parents would have given me a sound thrashing had they caught wind of such a move on my part.

Like Valenti, I happen to believe our existing movie and video game ratings systems are fine. They tell us exactly what's suitable and what's not. If there's a problem, it's on the enforcement end. I don't have a problem with films like 8MM, which everyone knew up front contained a lot of violence--and which bore an "R" rating.

But I do have a problem with the young couple who brought their toddler with them to a theater near my home to watch the movie.

The entertainment industry has done its part. You can't blame Hollywood for irresponsible parenting.

As for the latest Kanakaris release, jeez, give me a break. I've written about CinemaPop.com's less-than-front-line cinematic offerings before, none of which I've been able to watch because I can't figure out how to download the player.

Yes, eventually, the Internet may very well "replace home video as the largest source of distribution revenue to Hollywood." Then again, it might not.

It's sort of like predicting that public transit will become the dominant transportation mode. Well, maybe one day it will--but for that to happen, a lot of variables are going to have to fall into place, and in the meantime, the vast majority of people still get around in their own cars.

In the far-off future, should this planet ever get so crowded that virtually every major freeway is a parking lot, public transit may very well be the way to go. Then again, everyone might just opt to stay home and watch movies on their computers.

Comments? Contact TK directly at: TKArnold@aol.com

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