Saturday, March 12, 2005

Harumph, snort, grumble. . .

My old friend, Mr. Still Small Voice, tells me that in connection with the recent quartet of Atlanta slayings by an oversexed mesomorph, we are going to be hearing the phrase "Grand Theft Auto" a lot over the the next few weeks.

It is perhaps true that video games such as GTA help improve the real-life reflexes of its young players. All the better for them to be able to dextrously disarm a baliff and blow away half a courtroom, I suppose. Otherwise, I can't think of a single reason to allow kids to get their hands on them. Not even the mildest games of the lot, for as our old friend Marshall McLuhan was fond of constantly reminding us, "The medium is the message."

Granted, not a controlled experiment, but I'm aware of at least three families who banned video games in their households, and in every instance the children turned out better than those in domiciles I know of where they were allowed.

"Better" is kind of a loaded phrase, Sir; could you be more specific?"

"Uh. . .No! Besides, I think you know what I mean. Better grades, etc."

My late friend Sandy Kadet was fond of saying: "Don't ask me for specifics, but anything doesn't go." i.e. The line has to be drawn somewhere. And I think I would draw mine a good deal this side of letting any adolescent in my charge play "Grand Theft Auto." If that makes me sound like Mrs. Grover Cleveland, so be it.

I fearlessly predict that if Grand Theft Auto is a factor in the trial of aforementioned Atlanta mass murderer, that the video game will at last be voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturer. Now that the executives of the company that make GTA, and who wouldn't be (you should pardon the expression) caught dead allowing their kids to play with such gadgets, have most likely shipped their progeny off to the best private schools in the land and retired to Gstaad.
Yesterday morning, when for a brief period of time it looked like Michael Jackson might have taken to the high county, my good friend and constant traveling companion of the last 35 years, David Ehrenstein, said the next thing he expected to hear was a police bulletin alerting citizenry to: "Be on the lookout for Liz Taylor driving a white Bronco."

A bench warrant was even readied for MJJ's arrest. To my way of thinking, as of now---what with all the recent staff defections at Neverland Ranch---jail just might the only way Michael can be guaranteed three squares a day.

Freaky Deaky finally showed up in court just in the nick of time, wearing. . .Sponge Bob Square Pants pajamas! Someone please tell me this is ALL just a bad Motown nightmare on my part. Something I et, mayhaps?
"Good German" copout: Please note that when Google web crawlers scan this entry and begin placing ads for GTA at the bottom of this page, it represents no endorsement on my part. Out of my hands.

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