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America's New Hero: Killing, Stealing and Beating

by Anthony Kaufman
December 10, 2005 6:07 AM
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The New York Times published an interesting story, What Men Want: Neanderthal TV, about the bevy of antisocial male heroes on television these days. Seems that young American men have a taste for killers -- oh, but sympathetic ones, of course. In contrast to the "unambiguously moral protagonists of the past," writes Warren St. John, the preferred good-guys of today "are unapologetic about killing, stealing, hoarding and beating their way to achieve personal goals that often conflict with the greed, apathy and of course the bureaucracies of the modern world." Hmmm, could this possibly also reflect the way the U.S. currently governs?

Don't get me wrong -- I'm all for moral ambiguity -- but when the entertainment industry suddenly caters to the belief that it's okay to kill, beat and steal, as long as you wrestle with that fact for five minutes, it sounds like a recipe for disaster -- kind of like going into a foreign country and beating your way to achieve some goal, no matter what sort of destruction is unleashed in the process.

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