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In other news, as if we were in any danger of forgetting about it, the government has once again seen fit to remind us of its essential idiocy when it comes to certain basic issues. I am speaking today about Pres. Clinton's comically earnest efforts to get every movie theater in America to card at R movies.

Oh yeah, guys. That's gonna fix the problem, you bet. I get tired of saying it sometimes, but what the hell is wrong with people?®

According to today's Boston Globe, one astute area teen said it was "stupid," while another made the obvious and pertinent comment that anything you can see at the movie theater you can see on television anyway, and a third was willing to wait until it came out on video. No problem, dude. What's next? Undercover police working the popcorn counter checking for fake IDs? The policy is voluntary, by the way, but the National Association of Theater Owners plans to adhere to it.

I should probably make something clear—I do think that our entertainment culture is way more violent than it has any need to be (Quozl notwithstanding), not to mention artistically bankrupt. But this sort of high-profile placebo is worse than useless, because it gives people warm fuzzies and something to pat themselves on the back about while the real causes get worse and worse under their noses.

Sure, kids are exposed to too much violence, it's all over the place. What I think is worse than the level of violent entertainment they're exposed to is the lack of non-violent entertainment, so they think that in order to be entertaining at all, something has to be violent. I think that might be where the line starts to get blurry for these kids. Regardless, 17 is a bit late to start the preventative measures. By that point, if they're the kind of person who's likely to blow away a room full of classmates, they've already done it, and one more on-screen murder more or less isn't going to make a difference.

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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson