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Author Topic: Terrible morals in entertainment.  (Read 1243991 times)

April 05, 2009, 07:19:35 AM
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Myst

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Terrible morals in entertainment.
« on: April 05, 2009, 07:19:35 AM »
I was discussing this on another forum, and thought it was an interesting topic. I wondered what stuff you guys would have to add to the discussion.

Have you ever watched something that taught a terrible moral?

The Little Mermaid
The moral of the movie is basically this: Disobey your parents, sell your soul, and in the end, you'll have the man of your dreams and live happily ever after! ...What?

Batman: Brave and the Bold
Batman teamed-up with a demon to fight a villain in one episode. Really? They're teaching kids that demons are supposed to be their friends!?
Same thing applies to Raven's character on Teen Titans.

Dexter's Lab
In one episode, Dee-Dee got her own secret place like Dexter. This drove Dexter crazy and he decided to sneak in. He was later
trapped in a box, and Dee-Dee decided to "Punish" Dexter by playing in and destroying his lab. Pardon me, but doesn't every episode
of Dexter's Lab feature Dee-Dee breaking in and destroying Dexter's Lab? Isn't Dexter justified in sneaking into her secret place?
The moral is "It's ok to mess up a boy's room, but not a girls!" The same moral is also taught in..

Fairly Oddparents
One episode featured Vicky reading Timmy's diary and humilating/torturing him with it. Timmy decides to get back at Vicky by reading
her diary, yet the show treats Timmy as if HE'S wrong and out of line for doing it and in the end, he suffers some punishment for it.
(Translation: "It's ok to read a boy's diary to all his friends and enemies, but it's WRONG to do the same to a girl!")

The Dark Knight
You all know I love this movie, but I really hate the message it sends. By the end, Dent is a completely innocent man who is horrifically scarred, loses the love of his life, and is corrupted by the Joker. He goes after the criminals responsible and serves some harsh justice. And he's treated as if he's the bad guy. (Well, he does point a gun at Gordon's son, and Two-Face always was a villain in the comics.. but this is a different approach to the character, showing him as basically an innocent man) Not to mention, Batman has to lie in order to be victorious at the end. The message sent by Nolan is a very whiny, depressing one "There is no way to fight crime and evil. The world will always be consumed by it, and if you try to stop it, you will only lose everything in the process. Also, to fight evil, you have to lie. Everyone can be corrupted and evil will always win." I'm very disappointed in Nolan who crafted what was otherwise a masterpiece of cinema. The whole movie was incredibly dark. (the way Batman SHOULD be, but I digress..) If they simply ended the movie with Batman telling Joker "This city just showed you that it's full of people ready to believe in good" it would've given this very dark, violent movie some sort of moral message, saying that "While things can ugly, and seem very bleak and dark, you don't have to give in." But they didn't end it like that and you basically wonder what was the point of the film. Entertaining movie with great production values, but no real message whatsoever. Just a lot of darkness, violence and immorality with some  pretty cinematography and intelligent dialogue mixed in.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 07:36:30 AM by Myst »

April 05, 2009, 07:22:18 AM
Reply #1

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Re: Terrible morals in cartoons/family programming.
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 07:22:18 AM »
Same thing applies to Raven's character on Teen Titans.

Raven's only half-demon and she was raised by her human mother, not her demon father.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 07:26:48 AM by Rob the Fox »
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April 05, 2009, 07:27:13 AM
Reply #2

Keith Stack

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Re: Terrible morals in cartoons/family programming.
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 07:27:13 AM »
The last two are moreso "two wrongs don't make a right" moral, which is actually a pretty good moral.

And what's wrong with demons? They can be nice guys too.

April 05, 2009, 07:34:52 AM
Reply #3

Myst

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Re: Terrible morals in cartoons/family programming.
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 07:34:52 AM »
Same thing applies to Raven's character on Teen Titans.

Raven's only half-demon and she was raised by her human mother, not her demon father.

..Dude, a demon is a demon. Half-demon or not, they're still hell-spawn.

April 05, 2009, 07:40:41 AM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 07:40:41 AM »
I'm sure you can interpret them that way, but I'm sure you* can interpret a horrible moral into almost anything if you squint hard enough.

(*Not you as in you personally, Myst. That was the impersonal usage of "you".)

After all, Mario teaches kids that if you eat magic mushrooms, you get superpowers.

I'm equally sure that anything that isn't completely morally corrupt will have a positive moral message as well.

Also what's wrong with demons?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 07:42:12 AM by Matt_TY »
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April 05, 2009, 08:20:11 AM
Reply #5

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Re: Terrible morals in cartoons/family programming.
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 08:20:11 AM »

Also what's wrong with demons?


I think he means that demons are suppose to be incarnations of evil etc. - But when personified as individuals, or having human-like characteristics, it isn't contrary to see a "good" demonic character in movies, cartoons, or video games. It makes things more interesting and adds depth to the story, not to mention creates characters that can relate to modern times. 

I think the gender-punishment thing more so sends a message that girls are a lot more vindictive than boys; rather than one side being at fault.  
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April 05, 2009, 08:27:18 AM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 08:27:18 AM »
Same thing applies to Raven's character on Teen Titans.

Raven's only half-demon and she was raised by her human mother, not her demon father.

..Dude, a demon is a demon. Half-demon or not, they're still hell-spawn.

but she has a soul, along with a variety of soul-based abilities. Hellspawn sure, but that doesn't mean she has no Free-will. She ability to define her own morals based on her experiences and not on the conditions of her birth.

Also either Batman was only using Etrigan as a means to stop a greater evil, or it's a case of Etrigan actually being a demon under the control of the human host, Jason Blood. Without Jason, Etrigan is evil and proud of it  ever since he sided with Lucifer in the rebellion against heaven.

myst is just being racist against the demonic.

April 05, 2009, 08:40:23 AM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 08:40:23 AM »
..Dude, a demon is a demon. Half-demon or not, they're still hell-spawn.

Stop being racist, man. Hellboy will kill you for it.

Kids never listen to morals in movies. Hell, when I was a kid, I just took everything at face value. It was a television show or a movie that tore me away from my shitty bully filled childhood.

April 05, 2009, 10:34:54 AM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2009, 10:34:54 AM »
Guess what: Cartoons and movies arent there to exclusively teach you morals, theyre for entertainment. Moral-teaching in shows is almost always hammy and forced and should be exclusive to children's early learning entertainment. Other than that its up to parents and teachers.

The Dark Knight is a film that shows the ugly side to human nature, that is the fucking point of it. A gritty corrupt city, where the hero has to endure all the shit to truly succeed. I thought the poorest part of Dark Knight was the shitty 2 Boats scenario because it disconnected from the grim reality of the rest of the film. Their indecision was completely unrealistic of Gotham's inhabitants and reminded me of that shit "YOU MESS WITH ONE O US, YOU MESS WIT ALL O US" new yorker gumpf from one of the Spiderman films.

I specifically liked the part where you said "They're teaching kids that demons are supposed to be their friends!?" That made me laugh lots. Demons aren't real you kooky bastard.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 10:43:19 AM by Luckett »

April 05, 2009, 02:26:55 PM
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Epon

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2009, 02:26:55 PM »
HEY!!



Don't hate on NY.

April 05, 2009, 02:45:29 PM
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Shev

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2009, 02:45:29 PM »
Their indecision was completely unrealistic of Gotham's inhabitants and reminded me of that shit "YOU MESS WITH ONE O US, YOU MESS WIT ALL O US" new yorker gumpf from one of the Spiderman films.

An above-ground subway system will do that to a people.
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April 05, 2009, 02:47:45 PM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2009, 02:47:45 PM »
The Little Mermaid
The moral of the movie is basically this: Disobey your parents, sell your soul, and in the end, you'll have the man of your dreams and live happily ever after! ...What?

This applies for a lot of the so-called twisted morals, but if you recall, bad stuff did happen in this movie and people almost died. This in itself is a moral: If you screw up and do something stupid, you should really clean up your own mess.

I barely remember how the movie ends, though, so maybe that doesn't actually apply!

April 05, 2009, 02:58:57 PM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2009, 02:58:57 PM »
I do remember when one interview for a documentary, a woman mentioned how twisted it was that Aladin, the hero and star of the film, was a poor and cheeky thief who steals to make a living - then a princess falls in love with him and he saves the day.

April 05, 2009, 06:10:08 PM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2009, 06:10:08 PM »
The Little Mermaid
The moral of the movie is basically this: Disobey your parents, sell your soul, and in the end, you'll have the man of your dreams and live happily ever after! ...What?

This is a stupid way of looking at it.  It's not like disobeying her father didn't have consequences.  She did something stupid, and she suffered for it.  She had to, as Blaze said, clean up the mess she made.  I can see someone learning this "moral" after only watching the beginning and the end of the movie.  Did YOU watch the whole movie?  Did it really make disobeying your parents seem like a good idea?

She didn't sell her soul, she traded her voice for legs.

Watching the Little Mermaid certainly didn't teach me to go trading important things to scary fat ladies with tentacles so I can live happily ever after with some dude I met earlier.

Speaking of which, most Disney movies and musicals, apparently,  teach you that you can fall in love and live happily ever after with someone in just a day's time!  But I'm pretty sure anyone with a brain can figure out that isn't true.


Batman: Brave and the Bold
Batman teamed-up with a demon to fight a villain in one episode. Really? They're teaching kids that demons are supposed to be their friends!?
Same thing applies to Raven's character on Teen Titans.

I think if anything you learn from things like this that you can't judge people by their appearance or their background.  Just because someone comes from questionable backgrounds doesn't mean they can't be good people! 

I don't think this teaches lonely children to go become devil worshippers and summon demonic beings from Hell to be their friends.  Not that they could accomplish it if they tried!

Dexter's Lab
In one episode, Dee-Dee got her own secret place like Dexter. This drove Dexter crazy and he decided to sneak in. He was later
trapped in a box, and Dee-Dee decided to "Punish" Dexter by playing in and destroying his lab. Pardon me, but doesn't every episode
of Dexter's Lab feature Dee-Dee breaking in and destroying Dexter's Lab? Isn't Dexter justified in sneaking into her secret place?
The moral is "It's ok to mess up a boy's room, but not a girls!" The same moral is also taught in..

Fairly Oddparents
One episode featured Vicky reading Timmy's diary and humilating/torturing him with it. Timmy decides to get back at Vicky by reading
her diary, yet the show treats Timmy as if HE'S wrong and out of line for doing it and in the end, he suffers some punishment for it.
(Translation: "It's ok to read a boy's diary to all his friends and enemies, but it's WRONG to do the same to a girl!")

Like Keith said, it's a "two wrongs don't make a right" lesson.  Just because someone does bad things to you does not mean that you should retaliate!  Stop looking at it from a boy vs. girl point of view.

The Dark Knight
You all know I love this movie, but I really hate the message it sends. By the end, Dent is a completely innocent man who is horrifically scarred, loses the love of his life, and is corrupted by the Joker. He goes after the criminals responsible and serves some harsh justice. And he's treated as if he's the bad guy. (Well, he does point a gun at Gordon's son, and Two-Face always was a villain in the comics.. but this is a different approach to the character, showing him as basically an innocent man) Not to mention, Batman has to lie in order to be victorious at the end. The message sent by Nolan is a very whiny, depressing one "There is no way to fight crime and evil. The world will always be consumed by it, and if you try to stop it, you will only lose everything in the process. Also, to fight evil, you have to lie. Everyone can be corrupted and evil will always win." I'm very disappointed in Nolan who crafted what was otherwise a masterpiece of cinema. The whole movie was incredibly dark. (the way Batman SHOULD be, but I digress..) If they simply ended the movie with Batman telling Joker "This city just showed you that it's full of people ready to believe in good" it would've given this very dark, violent movie some sort of moral message, saying that "While things can ugly, and seem very bleak and dark, you don't have to give in." But they didn't end it like that and you basically wonder what was the point of the film. Entertaining movie with great production values, but no real message whatsoever. Just a lot of darkness, violence and immorality with some  pretty cinematography and intelligent dialogue mixed in.


Ok first of all, you're not "completely innocent" if you go around killing people.  Harvey Dent was about to kill an innocent child, for fucks sake.  You're not innocent when you go around threatening children.  Yes, terrible things happened to him, and he was a mess because of it, but that doesn't remove blame.  You kill people because your life has gone to hell and you think it's their fault, and I'm pretty sure you're still going to be convicted of murder.

Anyway, I think the problem here is that you're very naive.  Life isn't all black and white.  Sometimes right and wrong aren't clear.  And not every movie or tv show is trying to teach a clear moral.  Life sucks, it's confusing, and the only way you really learn anything is through experience.  How is teaching children that things like corruption, greed, violence, darkness, etc. do not exist help them?

I'm sorry you were raised by a television, and that you think you can imagine the negative aspects of life away.  But just because you believe something is wrong doesn't mean people should pretend it doesn't happen.  And just because fiction is made up doesn't mean it has to avoid dealing with issues that are controversial, or different from what is ideal.  Good stories are believable ones.   

Cartoons and movies generally don't advertise that they're trying to teach your kids what to believe in, and that's because they're made to be entertaining!  Children aren't watching these things and taking notes on how to live their lives.  Most of them are going "ha ha what a silly crab" "I want to be pretty like the little mermaid" or something like that.  If they start trying to act out what they saw, and it's a bad thing, it's their parents job to make sure they get the right ideas.  God forbid anyone expect parents to pay attention to their children and raise them!




tldr version:  movies and shows are for fun, not for morality.  Children need to be taught by their parents what is right and wrong, not by pictures on a screen.  Entertainment is not Education.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 06:12:22 PM by Terrance »

April 05, 2009, 07:43:54 PM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2009, 07:43:54 PM »
Guess what: Cartoons and movies arent there to exclusively teach you morals, theyre for entertainment.

I don't think he ever particularly stated they should.
He's just observing that they don't.


(The Little Mermaid) didn't sell her soul, she traded her voice for legs.

Read the book. =)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 07:47:16 PM by H Hog »

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April 05, 2009, 07:56:34 PM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2009, 07:56:34 PM »
But myst is talking about the movie :3

April 05, 2009, 08:11:10 PM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2009, 08:11:10 PM »
The Very Hungry Caterpillar teaches children that they can eat as much as they want; they will simply end up becoming beautiful upon adulthood.

Also, Harvey Dent, innocent?  What the hell, man, no.  He's not innocent by far.  Remember when he killed all those people?  Remember when the coin said NOT to kill a guy, but he cheated anyway by killing his driver?  Those are pretty bad things to do!

Also, no message?  What about that whole "You either die a hero or live to become a monster" bit?  That.. that sounds like a message to me, man.  If may not be one you agree with, but it's still there.

April 05, 2009, 08:35:47 PM
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InstantSonic

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2009, 08:35:47 PM »
ITT: We read too far into children's programming.

Besides, kids are far more into the vidya nowadays than what's on TV.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 08:37:35 PM by InstantSonic »

April 06, 2009, 03:24:34 AM
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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2009, 03:24:34 AM »
and I find this "Sailor Moon" show hardly teaches me anything of moral value either! Nevermind the other logistical problems the show has!

April 06, 2009, 11:40:34 AM
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Myst

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2009, 11:40:34 AM »
Guys, I didn't make this topic to act like a soccer mom and condemn everything on television. I'm well-aware that shows like Invader ZIM, stuff on Adult Swim, Spongebob, movies in general, and lots of other stuff, have no morals to teach, they are just there for entertainment value.

It was just a topic I was reading on another forum. I thought the stuff people were contributing was interesting and wondered your opinions/contributions and such.

I'm not declaring a boycott or protest of these things, they're just stuff i've observed.

And I agree with you, Terrance. Harvey WAS a murderer, I just thought at first, he was an innocent man who only tried to do good, but later was faced with a hopeless situation from which he cannot win and he lost everything.. It kinda gave the message that: 'you cant win. there's no hope in trying.'


« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 11:52:33 AM by Myst »

April 06, 2009, 11:50:46 AM
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Myst

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2009, 11:50:46 AM »
The Dark Knight is a film that shows the ugly side to human nature, that is the fucking point of it. A gritty corrupt city, where the hero has to endure all the shit to truly succeed. I thought the poorest part of Dark Knight was the shitty 2 Boats scenario because it disconnected from the grim reality of the rest of the film. Their indecision was completely unrealistic of Gotham's inhabitants and reminded me of that shit "YOU MESS WITH ONE O US, YOU MESS WIT ALL O US" new yorker gumpf from one of the Spiderman films.

You obviously didn't read anything I said about The Dark Knight, did you? Batman IS supposed to be dark. His city is supposed to be corrupt, that's what sets Batman apart from more cheerful heroes like Superman and Spidey. But by the film's end, shouldn't there have been some moral of enduring darkness and evil, and not giving in? Some sort of ray of light at the end? There wasn't. It was just a depressing whiny 'message' which I will repeat: "You can't fight evil. You can't win. It's all hopeless. Everyone can be corrupted." That's what I got from the movie, anyway.

I specifically liked the part where you said "They're teaching kids that demons are supposed to be their friends!?" That made me laugh lots. Demons aren't real you kooky bastard.

It's a bit bigoted and intolerant of you to criticize someone's Religious beliefs. (but I don't want to turn this into a discussion about that.)

April 06, 2009, 02:05:36 PM
Reply #21

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2009, 02:05:36 PM »
What kind of religious beliefs actually teach that demons are beings that would try to associate with people? I think the only interaction between demons and people that I ever heard of in religion is possession?  They don't bother to form relationships with people.

It's like getting angry at Harry Potter for practicing witchcraft?  Kind of insane?  Children aren't going to be able to do any of the things Harry Potter does, no matter how much they want to.


Why does it have to have a "ray of light" at the end to be a decent "message"?  That's part of what set it apart from other films, I thought.  I don't think it says that there's no point in trying to fight evil.  It's true, no matter what, evil is never going to go away.  There's always going to be bad.  Does that mean people shouldn't bother living?  That's a silly message to walk away with. 

I thought that mostly the movie was trying to give a message about what is "good" and what is "evil," what is "right" and what is "wrong" because depending on how you look at things, it can be hard to make the judgment.  The Joker's way seems clearly evil and insane, but is it?  Does he have a point when he believes that all people are inherently evil, and all they need is a catalyst to bring them to their full potential? 

Harvey Dent's view of the world doesn't seem to make much sense either.  Life isn't all up to chance because people have the ability to choose to do right or wrong, to be good or evil.

Batman believes that good and evil, right and wrong, aren't to be decided by a single man.   He won't kill people if he can avoid it, because he doesn't believe that it's his job to decide whether they are guilty or not.  This doesn't really help matters when dealing with someone like the Joker who is so chaotic that you probably could only stop him by killing him, but Batman doesn't waiver in his beliefs. 

The message that I got from this movie, while it isn't exactly happy, isn't terrible and whiny either.  Sometimes to make a difference at all you have to make sacrifices, whether or not it benefits you in the end.  Batman doesn't give up at the end of the movie, even though things look hopeless and everyone is coming for him.  He takes the blame of the people, and he continues to protect them.  Maybe some day they'll recognize what he was doing for them, but even if they don't, he knows he did what he thought was right.  What matters to him is justice, not popularity.  In a world where morality is not always clear, don't you need people like that, who fight for what's right even when things seem hopeless?

April 06, 2009, 02:18:27 PM
Reply #22

Myst

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2009, 02:18:27 PM »
What kind of religious beliefs actually teach that demons are beings that would try to associate with people? I think the only interaction between demons and people that I ever heard of in religion is possession?  They don't bother to form relationships with people.

What I meant was that Luckett was basically saying demons don't exist. There are many Religious that believe demons do exist.

The point I was trying to make is that demons are from hell and it is wrong to try and make them sympathetic characters that kids would find entertaining.

Why does it have to have a "ray of light" at the end to be a decent "message"? 

Without some sort of hope or message at the end of the movie, what is the point to all of it? It's just 2 hours of darkness and violence with no purpose, nobody learning anything about their actions, or no real message about how to triumph over evil. When Batman gave his little 'what were you trying to prove? That deep down everyone's as ugly as you?' speech to Joker, that could've been a good message to make some sort of sense to all of the horrible things occurring in the film and tie it all together. 'People will die, things can get ugly, but you don't have to give in to darkness' should've been the message to the film, But then Joker tells Batman about Dent, basically adding a "JUST KIDDING" to that statement.

Also, let me repeat myself: This topic isn't meant to be preachy, or start a boycott of stuff, It's just meant as discussion to morals/messages in entertainment that you find questionable or don't agree with.

April 06, 2009, 02:21:23 PM
Reply #23

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2009, 02:21:23 PM »
But Batman doesn't give in to the darkness.  He keeps fighting, and he sticks to what he believes in. 

Honestly did you even read my whole post.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 02:25:36 PM by Terrance »

April 06, 2009, 02:23:28 PM
Reply #24

Keith Stack

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Re: Terrible morals in entertainment.
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2009, 02:23:28 PM »
Myst, I find your anti-demonic views very closed minded and offensive to Satanists.