No. 233



Here is a question you may want to think with me about for a little while. If we dont begin to curb the excessive and unnecessary violence in this country, what kind of society are we going to have ten, twenty or thirty years down the road? If you agree that something needs to be done, then I believe you will appreciate what I have to say. First, lets look at why there is so much Violence in America. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that several decades and millions of hours of violence in movies, television programs and video games has taken its toll. As a result, we have a violent culture.

The media has a tremendous impact on our society and if you will stop and think about it, I bet there arent 5% of our nations population who are directly involved in the media. Thats a whole lot of power for such a small number of people. While Ive said this before, I believe with all my heart that the lifestyles and personal behavior of those in the media and their products does not represent the majority of Americans. You go to the smaller cities and towns across this country, as I have, and you will see a much different story than what you see on television.

But back to the excessive violence in this country. While they dont have an exclusive when it comes to legal violence, professional wrestlers are acting out in real life what we see as many violent characters on television programs, video games and in the movies. The rapid rise in popularity of professional wrestling is due to a number of factors, but more than anything this industry has tapped into the deep seated anger of so many of our citizens who feel disenfranchised and left out of the American dream. Please understand, I am not mad at these people. I would like to help them and help our country at the same time.

While I know some people will disagree with me, and it is a personal choice, I think professional wrestling is a violent, Godless spectacle and I would not be caught dead watching it in person or on television. I might also add that its not my nature to be critical but when I see something that I think is bad for America, its time to speak out. These people, like every other business, are in it for the money, but in this case they are fanning the flames of a lot of angry people and leading them further down the road that leads to a place called violence.

Personally, I think more people need to have the courage to speak out against violence and call a spade a spade, not only against professional wrestling, but also other sports where violence is the order of the day. This includes roller derby, hockey, and in some cases baseball, football and basketball. Whats the answer? For the long haul we must start in the lowest grades in our schools and make sportsmanship and fair play the only acceptable behavior. School boards and administrators must make it clear that violent behavior on the part of coaches and athletes will not be tolerated.

Then we need to insist that our government, which is all of us, clean up the violence in professional sports. Whistles and fines will go a long way in doing this. Just let the coaches and players know that violence is unacceptable. But back to professional wrestlers and their fans. Many of these people didnt make the grade in class or in sports and consequently in life. Like I said, many are angry and seeing another human being pulverized is like putting salve on their wound and it somehow makes them feel better. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)