America has a long history of blaming homicide and other violent crime on subcultural and/or cutting-edge art and stigmatized fans of it. Plays, novels, movies, rock music, comic books, TV, psychedelia, punk rock, heavy metal, role-playing games, rap, goth, video games–each in turn has been claimed, often by some of the highest officials in the land, to be turning children into criminals with depictions of sex, violence or the occult. As none of these artforms literally causes anyone to do anything, the claim typically involves some form of alleged brainwashing. In many cases, individual artworks have been blamed for specific crimes, by authorities and survivors, by perpetrators, or by both. Various forms of censorship and prohibition of art has resulted, particularly in the form of rating systems.
At the same time, American society is highly resistant to placing similar blame on cultural institutions that directly and openly promote…
View original post 9,407 more words