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So this is entertainment these days - Scary !@#$

Discussion in 'The Atrium' started by WinnipegPackFan, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    Could anyone here see The Stones, Who or Beatles endorsing this ?

    Sun, October 1, 2006

    Nasty, brutish, realMainstream distributor peddles vicious videos
    By BRODIE FENLON, SUN MEDIA


    TORONTO -- A shoeless, elderly drunk is tormented by a group of thugs who laugh hysterically as they douse his head with anti-freeze, drop his personal belongings into a storm sewer and knock him to his knees with a milk crate.

    In another scene, a young man is dragged from his parked car and beaten repeatedly outside a liquor store; his head stomped into the pavement until he loses consciousness. One of his attackers steals cash from his pocket as he lies lifeless in a parking lot.

    ENDORSEMENT BY RAPPERS

    In the final act, eight men stomp, punch and kick a shirtless male to cries of "Pound 'em out" and "I'm gonna kill you bitch." Knocked out cold, the victim is dragged across the pavement. The cameraman remarks smugly, "I think that (expletive) is dead."

    Roll credits: It's Ghetto Fights 2, one of a series of DVDs that feature real home videos of violent street fights and group beatings, available at your local HMV, Music World and other retail outlets across Canada for about $16 each.


    For anti-violence activists and police, these are America's Scariest Home Videos, graphic celebrations of street violence, gang culture, contempt for the law and anti-social behaviour.

    They include Ghetto Fights, featuring bloody battles involving mostly young African Americans in a variety of U.S. cities. The series is given a personal endorsement by rappers Method Man and 50 Cent, the latter who is seen brandishing a pistol and aiming it at the camera.

    The more racially diverse Wildest Street Brawls features narrated footage of drunken street fights and high school fisticuffs interspersed with sexually explicit clips of naked women.

    One film in the series shows the savage pummelling of a skateboarder. Notes the narrator, matter-of-factly: "His girlfriend can be heard screaming in the background as he takes a beating of a lifetime."

    While there's nothing new about violent, underground "reality" videos, their distribution and sale by major corporate players is a change, say industry watchers. For instance, Universal Music Canada and its partner, Navarre Canada, distribute Ghetto Fights and Wildest Street Brawls in this country.

    Universal referred Sun Media inquiries to Navarre. Francine Winkley, video product development manager for Navarre, said the videos are a "constant seller" and continually on order by Canadian retailers -- except in B.C., she said.

    That province's film classification agency rates them as adult films, which means they can only be sold in adult-only stores, similar to pornographic movies, a spokesman said.

    "In my personal opinion, it has sold surprisingly well," Winkley said of the series. While Navarre doesn't condone the behaviour depicted in the DVDs, the firm will not act as a censor, she said.

    "It's not up to us to be the censor board," she said, noting the videos are "absolutely not worse than anything you see on TV."

    Toronto Police Staff-Sgt. Dave Saunders, an expert on youth crime, disagrees.

    "This is a terrible message, a terrible piece of role modelling being held out in the guise of entertainment," said Saunders, who works with the service's community mobilization unit.

    "There is some (corporate) responsibility to not make a buck off this stuff ... Being a party to this is akin to promoting further violence and sometimes horrible gang victimization."

    A spokesman for HMV did not return repeated phone calls or an e-mail. Music World general manager Nick Phillips said there have been no complaints about the titles. His chain will only sell movies that have been submitted by suppliers for appropriate classification and rating, he said.

    However, Phillips said he was "disturbed" to learn the R-rated videos in question carry no indication of their ratings and were sold to an unaccompanied 15-year-old intern working for the Sun at a Music World outlet in Toronto.

    Valerie Smith, a Toronto-based anti-violence crusader at fradical.com, said controversial videos of the past, such as the infamous Faces of Death film, were typically sold by "fringe companies."

    "For someone like Universal to be peddling this, that's outrageous," she said. "If you take the footage of the homeless person, that's a crime. That's assault. And this is most definitely going to encourage kids to videotape stuff like this and submit it."

    Indeed, the DVDs are created by an obscure California-based film company called RF (Real Fight) Productions, which solicits video footage of violence on its website with an offer of up to $1,000.

    Said Smith, "It's like we've gone back to the gladiator age and we're at the Colosseum."
     
  2. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    What do you expect in a world where reality TV is one of the biggest ratings draws? I find it ironic that there is such "outrage" about street fight videos, yet no one says a thing about such prime time tripe as "World's Scariest Police Chases" or "Real TV". Kids beat themselves senseless every day in every major city across North America. Why is it there is only a public outcry once a video camera is thrown into the mix?

    Such is the hypocrisy of the world we inhabit... :roll:
     
  3. 4packgirl

    4packgirl Cheesehead

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    just the fact that these are being produced for someone's 'viewing pleasure' is disgusting - then to have 2 rappers actually endorse this shite?!? insane & scary!!
     
  4. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    Anubis,

    You are qutie right, I actually remember forcasting that this type of entertainment would become "norm" for the general public only what seems like a decade ago when the public started getting desensitized to : talk shows like Springer that provide entertainment by way of degrading / humilating people.

    Somewhere along the line westling slowly went this way as well and as you have pointed out reality TV was the next step but not the final one as it seem we ( generally ) as a public here in Noth America are willing to accept more and more of this into our entertainment.

    I always had a problem with this as I am one of those people that believes we ( as a society ) are a reflection of what we want to watch for entertainment and our entertainment seems to be getting sicker all the time.

    4packgirl,

    The fact that Big companies are willing to produce and sell this stuff is much scarier than a couple of Rappers endorsing it. The only reason I bring this up is because many kids look at these Rappers like role-models so it's the old "well if 50 cent says it's okay, than it must be" that worries me.

    Either way "Give the people what they want" is what it really comes down to !!!
     
  5. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    Sorry for the rant but this is one of those few subjects that not only disgusts me but scares me in regards to where we are heading !!!
     
  6. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    The thing is, if I were a DA, I'd arrest the people committing the crimes in the videos. You do this and folks would be reluctant to beat someone in front of a camera.
     
  7. kmac

    kmac Cheesehead

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    Meth and 50 endorse this stuff? That's just sick.
     
  8. PackinSteel

    PackinSteel Cheesehead

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    Meth and 50 make a living at what they do? That's just sick.
     
  9. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    It is not like Keith Richards, **** Jagger or kiddie porn afficiando Pete Townshend would make better role models.
     
  10. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    I would slow down on the "kiddie porn" remarks. Anyone who follwed that story farther than the tv was well aware that Townsend had been working with the police in fighting child porn on the internet and that the initial charges were dropped very fast in his case.

    I never said I was comparing them as role-models, I said endorsing this; but since you bring this up; I think the old "Sex,drugs and Rock N Roll" era might just be a little less harmless than the "Gangsta, Bitch, Pimp" era that is being promoted now by (keyword "Some") not all Rappers.

    Either way, why you would want to defend this filth is beyond me, we are talking "real" serious violence / human degradation issues here that is being promoted by companies like Universal and HMV which is appalling !!!
     
  11. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    I am not defending these videos, I am trying to put things in perspective.

    My initial point was that it is a bit ridiculous to get up in arms over this kind of thing being available on DVD, when I can watch people be seriously injured on many reality TV programs. Coincidentally, reality TV is one of the most popular formats on television, and is broadcast directly into your home for your children's viewing pleasure. Let us not forget the popularity of such barbaric fare as the UFC, nor the sideshow that heavyweight boxing has become. For the life of me I can't understand how Mike Tyson was ever allowed to box again after the infamous Holyfield ear-chewing incident. This kind of thing is broadcast on TV everyday, yet you find it abhorrant that kids would film themselves beating the crap out of each other and selling the footage for profit?

    As for "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll", I honestly cannot see how you can say that is ok, yet gangsta rap isn't. Both lifestyles glorify drug use, misogyny and can instigate violence. Before you defend rock 'n' roll from the violence tag, remember what inspired the likes of Charlie Manson and Richard Ramirez. Both of these characters are far more infamous than anyone you can name that went nutty listening to gangsta rap. The Rolling Stones and other arena rock bands glorified cocaine and irresponsible sex in their heyday. Now think about how much drug addiction and teenage pregnancy they left in their wake. Can you honestly say that one is any better than the other?

    I apologize about the Townshend comment. I was not aware he had been cleared of the charges against him.
     
  12. jdlax

    jdlax Cheesehead

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    Clearly a suprise to nobody. 8)
    Screw you East!:mrgreen:
     
  13. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    I apologize for starting this thread by bringing Rap and Rock into the picture at all Anubis. Looking back this was a foolish mistake as the only point I should have been trying to make is how decadent, degrading and violent our entertainment has become in such a short time; and It seems we both agree on this.

    Our debate is a funny one due to the fact that I agree with everything you say about "Reality Shows and Talk shows" being very destructive forms of entertainment in todays society. Just to clarify though, I had a big problem with these programs when they started to air as I knew that just like any other drug; the public viewing audience would soon get desensitized and want more.

    This is what I find scary Anubis, because I don't see this new addiction slowing down. Just out of curiosity, do you ?
     
  14. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    ever see "The Running Man?"
     
  15. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

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    Funny you mention that Trom, I don't know if you did it in jest but I really believe that is exactly where we are heading !!!
     
  16. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    theres always been the 'public execution' debate, and this is just a more entertaining way (in theory,etc)
     
  17. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    I find it amusing that the anti-execution lobby feels that televised executions would put an end to the death penalty, once the public saw how barbaric it is. This is the same public that slows down at accident scenes hoping to see somebody splattered all over the road. Something tells me a pay-per-view execution would rival the Superbowl in ratings.

    I don't see an end to this anytime soon. On the contrary, the digital age we live in doesn't do much to promote social environments. People do the majority of their communicating via mediums such as this with far less personal interaction as a result, and has led to a much colder society than the one we lived in 20 years ago.
     
  18. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    That's cos you lot on the west coast don't put the bong down long enough to see what is going on around you. :p

    J/K
     
  19. jdlax

    jdlax Cheesehead

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    LOL that's the first thing people would ask my friends and me about when we were down in Texas last week.

    "Y'all are from BC? You bring us some of that weed or what?"

    Personally I stick to the beers, but I hear our product's reputation is well deserved. :mrgreen:
     

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