BRETT GOLDIN MURDER: Call for ban on ultra-violent television


AS somebody who was acquainted with the actor Brett Goldin, I know that he would want us to do something about the extremely violent way in which he died. We are reaping the consequences of ultra-violent television programming that leaves nothing to the imagination, and a culture that is hooked on the mayhem wrought by competition over ratings and viewers.

Do we really have to see death faked on a daily basis, plastered over our screens in a zillion episodes of the Sopranos? Do we have to see Brett’s naked body, face down in the dirt, a death execution-style, in imitation of so much Hollywood “snuff”? Brett is not going to “wake-up”, he is not going to be there when we need him. His death is final, and his murder is brutal, like every killing depicted in so many mafiosi movies.

I am chilled at the prospect of our kids imitating what they see on television. This slaughter could have happened in Benoni, or Bontehewel. That it started out in the luxury suburb of Camps Bay, or ended in a Klipfontein road bloodbath, is just one of those strange facts of life that will inevitably and exorably shed light on the status quo in this country, and the vast distance between rich and poor, distances that will have to be crossed if we are to heal the wounds.

I call upon bloggers to Stop the Violence, and to demand a BAN on ultraviolent television programming, furthermore crime gangs and syndicates should be listed organisations, if they aren’t already listed under our nations Prevention of Organised Crime Act, making membership illegal and an offence in itself.

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22 comments

  1. garym

    No, not those! The Dutch Kind. The kind you are sticking your finger into now.

    I agree with your sentiment, and applaud your call to action, but I really think it is a waste of time. TV has to draw an audience. How else will they sell washing powder? One television series must trump another, or they can’t compete.

    Furthermore, I don’t believe they are creating anything new in us, merely exploiting a part of our quintessential essence, our taste for the macabre.

  2. dreadedoutsider

    your sentiments about TV. TV does not build that in people, it is already there and TV simply mimics. My justification for my opinion is that I have lost people to violent deaths and if you are in touch with his family tell them that there are people thinking of them.

  3. dex

    I agree with both of you. Violence has always been a part of society, long before TV was even invented. BUT, would it not be fair to say that TV does make it all a bit more acceptable?

    If you’ve seen people shot hundreds of times by your ‘heroes’ on TV, does it not make that final step to actually doing it yourself a bit easier? Perhaps not for you and me, but take into account the would-be murderer’s crime-ridden, gansta-wannabe background. Do you really believe the media had NO impact at all?

  4. davidrobertlewis

    Not television per se, but the ease with which we saturate our daily lives with images of violence and the not so subtle pyschological manipulation on Fox and HBO television. I’m not saying all violence must be done away with, just that some graphic details and motivations need to be looked at, for instances, would you watch a man actually shoot a bullet through somebodies head? Course you would, this image is reproduced countless times in Goodfellas.

    Sickening really!

  5. marco

    I’m sure you must have a remote why don’t you use it and change channels, why don’t you rather blame the violence on playstation games which are much worse for children.

  6. davidrobertlewis

    In addition to blaming Mafiosi movies, ETV, Playstation and the Media, I think THE AMERICANS should be a listed organisation and there should be a ban on membership making it illegal to join. Why should gangsters spoil our freedom? Let them fight for the right to organise instead of conductiong rituals that involve senseless killing!

  7. tafelberg

    I know I sound like a stuck record, but an enforceable and enforced fast-track death penalty is the only way forward.

    Violence on TV, computer games, etc, in an ideal world where violence did not exist, would also be banned, but patently this is neither realistic nor desirable. People need to be able to see what is bad in order to make their own decisions. Sweeping it under the carpet does not help.

  8. marco

    i totally agree with you on the death penalty, you know why, all the people that disaggree have never been to a funaral for a loved one, it’s easy to talk and shout your mouth off, but the pain and sorrow is very hard to forget.

  9. andreas

    that Crazy Monkey was a terrible movie. Appallingly bad, actually. I didn’t watch it because paying 35 bucks to be insulted by morons trying to cash in on a stupid gimmick would make me want to….I don’t know, maybe tie up the bastards responsible for it and then shoot the fuckers in the head?

    But then I’m a Sopranos fan who’s had Tarantino, Scorcese and Peckinpah-inspired images on continuous loop inside my own head since about 1990, so maybe I’m not the best person to comment on this.

  10. tafelberg

    … that is utterly irrelevant to the discussion.

    The point is that two young men have died needlessly, and have been added to the statistics of violence, and there are a lot of us out there who would like to see some real action being taken to stamp this out.

  11. theprocreationpages

    I am fed up with all the violence on South African TV. I refuse to watch it. I am all the more sensitive to it since the violent and brutal murder of my brother. Who wants to see all this violence on TV? Do people really consider this to be entertainment? Its always one or other nasty murder plot or another. The programmers seem to be obsessed with it! I prefer uplifting, light hearted entertainment. I fully endorse the call to ban violence on TV!

  12. shaunbrian

    Please don’t embarass their memories by this useless dialogue. This “stand together campaign” is going to make ZERO difference, and the death penalty, please go and do some research! Do you think that parents in the dark ages went around saying ” oh, we must stop these traveling minstrals who are exposing our children to such violence and depravity”? Of course they did, and books were evil, the phonogram was evil, the wireless was evil, as is television and the god-damned internet. For heaven’s sake, the evil in human nature manifests itself whenever certain socio-economic conditions occur. You go live in hell for a couple of years and then see how caring and loving you are towards your fellow man.

    By the way, both victims had been guests at my house, and they were both intelligent human beings who, I am virtually positive, would have found the death penalty abhorant.

    REVENGE, HOWEVER IS ANOTHER STORY…

    SANI se boetie, HOSS VIR DIE NOMMERS BRA!

  13. davidrobertlewis

    For the record, although I’ve made statements regarding ultraviolent television and especially programmes like the Soprano’s, I am 100% against the death penalty. I agree with ShaunBrian on this one, it is a socio-economic issue, however there also seems to be a link between low-education and literacy levels and the influence of television.

    Normally I would support freedom of speech, but the are limits and the Soprano’s is one of them. Some of the images I have witnessed on ETV lately have been alarming, and I’m certainly not the only one to worry that we’re creating a generation of kids who want to wreak havoc like Al Pacino.

  14. shaunbrian

    If one supports freedom of speech, at what point does censorship have a role, and is there a difference between written, spoken and graphic information? We always here how rapists, serial killers and the like are users of pornography, and that argument is extended and used by peopel such as STOP, Errol Naidoo and various other mentally challenged guardians of morality. If Pornography caused deviant behaviour, then most men would be deviant – now there is a point one could argue!- However, common sense tells us that “graphic” porn that potrays violence, rape, children and the like, whether written, spoken or pictorally graphic, is something that no-one has the right to use as fuel for a sick fantasy.

    We also know that there is the herd instinct in man and a brilliant orator can lead a nation to justify and perform the most terrible of deeds, so at what stage does it stop?

    Personally, I think the Soprano’s is the least of our worries, there are far more important issues. Parents have a responsibility to educate children as to right and wrong and to only expose them to such programs at a stage that is appropriate.

  15. thinkinastraightlineplease

    Those opposed to the death penalty in SA are missing the point – completely.
    This is not about revenge anymore. Not even about it being a deterrent.
    SA has a murder rate of 18 000 PEOPLE per year! (government figures)
    This is the only society where the law-abiding live in jails while the lawless flourish outside.
    (Taiwan has a society of 22 million people – SA 44 million – and Taiwan has a murder rate of 50 per year. In the 1950s the Chinese anti-communist army fled here and took control of the island, brutally suppressing the inhabitants and murdering hundreds of those who rebelled. Nobody here is using that as an excuse to fuck up their country’s future by murdering for the heck of it.)
    The SA issue has become one of the survival of a society. Crime in SA has become an epidemic that encourages the growth of every aspect of it: “The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed upon the world and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.”
    Opposers look at the death penalty as a savage act of cruelty, but in the process they are making a massive mistake of reasoning that is aiding and abetting those who are the impetus of the murder and crime cycle – in so doing they become fellow perpetrators of a savage and cruel society that shelters criminals and nurtures the conditions that create more criminals.
    SA is not Europe. Once you have reached the point of no return the time has come for desperate measures.
    Execution is a terrible thing, but we are at war with a criminal class that has spiralled way out of control – and in war all bets are off.
    Once the bloody war is won and society has stabilized there will be a chance to help those who would otherwise have murdered – but right now there simply is no island to build on in this sea of insanity.
    Let the healing begin.

  16. thinkinastraightlineplease

    True, the death penalty is a flawed system, and over the course of decades a few innocent people could probably be executed.
    The alternative is a “slightly” flawed system as well: Letting thousands of murderers run free to kill 18 000 innocent people and policemen every year – leading to a slide into anarchy where only corrupt, ineffective policemen stay on the job while the surviving honest policemen leave because it’s just too dangerous out there and if you’re not corrupt, there simply is no incentive to stay.
    The result is a slow but sure slide into a hell called the Congo-effect, and the only reason why Zimbabwe has remained a functioning state is because, while the prez did everything else wrong, he at least clamped down on crime by boosting the police and dealing with murderers through the death penalty. And let’s face it: while government incompetence certainly destroyed Zimbabwe’s economic fundamentals, crime certainly was not part of that nightmare.

    When you think about it, does the fact that 120 people on death row in a country of 280 million have been found innocent over 33 years, in any way support abolishing the death penalty in a country of 44 million people where 18 000 people are murdered every year?

    And remember: the US is the country where anyone with a good enough lawyer can keep on casting relativistic doubt on solid forensic evidence until there is so much confusion that even an OJ Simpson must be allowed to go free!

    Also, the fact that most death sentences are given in the Southern States of the US merely reflects the fact that these states have always been the most violent parts of America – a part that was relatively “left behind” while the rest of America grew at a rapid pace in the post-depression years.

    There are ways to lessen the chances of wrongful convictions to death row. Death Penalties should only be for clear-cut cases of callous murder. Women who kill their husbands in fits or rage after they were abused over long periods of time obviously do not deserve death. Extenuating circumstances should weigh heavily in a murder case – but blaming society for becoming a violent murderer is no reason for sending YET ANOTHER callous murderer to a jail system that has been bursting at the seams for years. (And the serious lack of jail room – and the let’s-link-up-when-we-get-out-of-jail-soon-and-kill-more-efficiently effect – are yet more reasons why the slide into criminality must be checked before critical mass is achieved.)
    The law should state that only the most vicious of murders should be punishable by death. In post-Apartheid SA there is a lot of sensitivity about racist judgements and this will ensure that the opposite of the implied Southern-US effect is achieved. The death penalty should not be for all murder cases, only for those cases that are clear-cut cases of callous murder, without extenuating circumstances.

  17. shaunbrian

    This type of thinking is what allows entire nations to go to war. FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF MAN. BRILLIANT!

    I tell you what, you be the one we wrongly convict, OK? Then let’s talk again.

    You also shoot your own argument in the forehead by saying:
    And remember: the US is the country where anyone with a good enough lawyer can keep on casting relativistic doubt on solid forensic evidence until there is so much confusion that even an OJ Simpson must be allowed to go free!

    Exactly, so how many more innocent people will die in a country where a cop can be bought for a few rands and prisoners swap identity, voluntarily or through force, daily. Oh, and the forensic labs run a year behind schedule.

    Let’s take this example: Karla Faye Tucker, mad drug-whore, low-life waste-of-Oxygen has a speed and coke psychotic trip and hacks friend and friend’s bit-on-the-side to death with an axe in 1983. Stone cold guilty. The wheels of justice turn. She gets the death sentence, but because there are appeals etc in place to make sure no “innocent” are lethally injected, she eventually hits death row 1n 1998.

    Only now, she has a degree, she has written books, she runs an inmate rehab centre, and has, I kid you not, married the frigging prison Chaplain. (Oh, and found Jesus, who didn’t even know he was lost).

    Unyet, no last minute pardon, and that, my friend, is cold blooded, pre-meditated murder. But it is the law. Oh, and she was not pardoned by George W. who undoubtedly has a warm welcome on the other side. Hell-are-you-here? Praise the Law!

    By the way, have you ever seen a human being die at the hand of another?

  18. thinkinastraightlineplease

    You end your reply with:
    “By the way, have you ever seen a human being die at the hand of another?”

    I don’t get it.
    In case you have forgotten:
    After 16 years of a MORATORIUM on the death penalty we now have a situation where 18000 PEOPLE are being killed every year (in a country of only 44 million people!) by a burgeoning criminal class that is creating a slow but sure slide into the “Congo effect” (complete, machete-hacking anarchy).

    The point you are attacking:
    It is time to accept the fact that this is not Europe, not the US, not even China – this is the biggest crime figure ever seen per capita in any country in human history. If somebody doesn’t do something, this country’s economic growth will run out of steam (maybe after the buzz of the 2010 world cup is over and the international media marvels about the crime and murder rate that tourists were subjected to). Maybe our gold reserves plummet further while the gold price plummet again as investors return yet again to the more solid fundamentals of the dollar (or any currency that’s linked to the economic fundamentals of a massive economy).
    With a little bit of bad luck this country may just be nudged into a situation where the last few years’ PHENOMENAL growth ends, followed by prolonged disinvestment as venture capitalists run to the next investment hotspot.
    If these callous murderers, who are killing 18000 people per year now, can blame the present killing spree on “a bleak outlook and a lack of opportunities”, imagine what the bloodbath when REAL hopelessness hits this country!

    Don’t you get it? Can’t you see the BIG picture?
    18000 PEOPLE have been dying every year for years now because of lawlessness that is spawning more lawlessness. Yes, these murderers have wonderful reasons for torturing their victims before shooting them, but that does not change the fact that we are at war with lawlessness, we do not have room left in our jails and REAL LEADERS have to stand up and say: Fuck this man, I am the government, my people are suffering, I have been given a sword with which to defend them, and by all that is BIG PICTURE in this world, I will use it!

    You use the example of a woman who hacked 2 people to death and in death row got rehabilitated and became a Christian. Do you really, seriously suggest that governments should reverse a death penalty decision for religious conversion?

    Stop passionately fighting for the rights of the “poor murderers” on death row. Stop using the exception to the rule to attack a rule that has always been governments’ most profound burden.
    Stop thinking in an overly emotional way about an issue where emotions have no place – where emotions will ALWAYS lead to the wrong decision.

  19. shaunbrian

    You have neatly side-stepped all of my arguments.

    I do not disagree with the current situation with regard to crime in this country. It is out of hand and rampant.

    So what has that got to do with the death penalty? Do you truly believe that reintroduction will solve all our problems? To call the posible decline “congo syndrome” is both racist, and eurocentric to the nth degree. It is called “human nature”.

    I will deal with each of your statements one-on-one in a later post, but in the mean time, your dismissal of emotion is fine and well, but devoid of merit. If I could torture you and end all crime, would you volunteer? I think not.

  20. shaunbrian

    You have neatly side-stepped all of my arguments.

    I do not disagree with the current situation with regard to crime in this country. It is out of hand and rampant.

    So what has that got to do with the death penalty? Do you truly believe that reintroduction will solve all our problems? To call the posible decline “congo syndrome” is both racist, and eurocentric to the nth degree. It is called “human nature”.

    I will deal with each of your statements one-on-one in a later post, but in the mean time, your dismissal of emotion is fine and well, but devoid of merit. If I could torture you and end all crime, would you volunteer? I think not.

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