No matter how depraved and disgusting a comedy gets, it only becomes “offensive” or “inappropriate” when the creators attack something you love. Even a comedy show as respected as The Daily Show can fall into this trap. There are few men in America that are as beloved among young adults as Jon Stewart, but he just questioned the wisdom of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Brown vs EMA…
Jon Stewart is dead to me now.
The Daily Show host made his point by splicing clips of the latest Mortal Kombat game in with his own reactions to the gratuitous violence. But before showing the clip, he prefaced it with the following warning: “It’s like an interactive, animated snuff film.”
That’s just going too far Mr. Stewart! Why, I’ll have you know, the Mortal Kombat series is a historic and… OK, he’s right. Mortal Kombat is horribly violent and should never be played by children. Hell, I’m almost 30 and I can’t believe how far the developers at NetherRealm went.
That said, making it against the law to sell an M-rated game to a minor is just stupid. Not even an M-rated game, a “violent” game. And Senator Leland Yee (the bill’s sponsor) never hashed out which games would be considered too violent and which would be considered just violent enough. So, essentially, California would have to have a separate content rating system.
As for Stewart’s rantings about the violent content in Mortal Kombat, let’s go back to 1999 and remember a little movie called The Faculty. In this cinematic masterwork, Jon Stewart’s character, Edward Furlong (no, I’m not making this up), was killed by a group of teenagers after his hand was sliced off by a paper cutter and he was stabbed in the eye with a pen. Oh, and then the drugs inside the pen made his face pop like a balloon.
Quality family entertainment for sure. And just remember, no movie theater could legally stop a child from buying a ticket to The Faculty. Or Saw. Or Hostel. Or Showgirls for that matter. The MPAA ratings come from an industry-sanctioned rating board. No more, no less. Exactly the same as the ESRB.
But wasn’t Jon Stewart just railing about the lack of legal prohibitions in relation to video games? Wouldn’t that make him a bit of a hypocrite? Man… comedy’s hard.