muchabstracted: (Default)
muchabstracted ([personal profile] muchabstracted) wrote2009-01-28 07:32 pm
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Grand Theft Childhood/Current Magazine's Inauguration Issue

I'm reading Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson, a book about the ongoing controversy over violent video games. I'm enjoying it; they're actually dealing with the issue sensibly and thoughtfully, and are taking the concerns seriously without falling prey to the sloppy thinking of most of my colleagues. (You can guess what most of my colleagues think. I admit I am, personally, a little leery of my young clients playing Grand Theft Auto, for the same reasons.)

My current favorite quote, which is discussing The Great Train Robbery, a 1903 landmark movie:

The brief plot contains multiple murders, including throwing a body off a train; shooting a fleeing passenger in the back; several robberies; an attack on a telegraph operator and the subsequent discovery of his tied and beaten body by his young daughter; the dynamiting of a safe; and a square-dancing posse that sneaks up on and kills the thieves. (The square-dancing scene, which is interrupted by the injured telegrapher who'd been untied by his daughter, is apparently the writer's way of letting us know that the vigilantes who will eventually hunt down and mercilessly shoot the killer are just ordinary folk.)

FYI, if you are interested, Current Magazine is putting out a special inauguration issue. It has the inauguration speeches of a number of important past presidents and photos of them. There are also contemporary articles about them, written around the time each president became inaugurated. It is currently 20% off, or $8. Comment if you want me to e-mail you the order form.