Feb. 18, 2013 | 2:25 p.m.

Cartoons, characters linked to kids’ bad behavior: Power Rangers again

A new study on children’s behavior has found that certain TV programming beats other programming when you’re trying to calm aggressive, violent behavior in preschoolers. And once again, the Power Rangers were among the evildoers.  Power Rangers bad. Dora, and presumably her monkey Boots, good. What it comes down to is, less violent programming equals less violent preschoolers.  Parents who are always in search of quality animated films and TV shows for their kids may be tempted to reply, “Duh.”  What’s different about this new study was the emphasis on switching channels rather than simply pulling the cord out of the wall. As the Los Angeles Times’ Monte Morin reports, researchers are saying parents should steer children in the right direction. “It is a variation on the ‘if you can’t beat ’em join ’em’ idea,” Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at […]
Feb. 18, 2013 | 10:44 a.m.

Max Allan Collins’ ‘Seduction of the Innocent’: Read exclusive excerpt

With his latest literary endeavor, “Seduction of the Innocent,” Max Allan Collins writes a hard-boiled detective novel inspired by the 1950s witch hunt against crime and horror comic books. He took inspiration for the story from the real-life crusade of Dr. Fredric Wertham, who in 1954 published a nonfiction book also titled “Seduction of the Innocent” in which he accused comic books – especially violent ones such as those distributed by “Tales From the Crypt” publisher EC Comics – of corrupting America’s youth. Collins sets his book in 1954, though it’s fictional EF Comics that is the target of concern. Would-be censor Dr. Werner Frederick meets a gruesome demise on the way to a Senate hearing, and it’s up to private eye Jack Starr and his beautiful boss Maggie to solve the case before the crackdown comes. Collins, of course, […]
Feb. 15, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

Violent video games: Pushing wrong buttons in blame game

Critic’s Notebook: Yes, unrelenting carnage is a problem in video games — but not in the way most people might think. Twice now I have failed to finish the 2011 film “Drive.” The first time I left the theater. The second time, encouraged by friends who love the movie, I tried to watch it at home. Shortly after Ryan Gosling smashed a man to death in an elevator, I was out. Bottom line: I avoid ultra-violent entertainment. Unless it’s a video game. It’s not because I write about them for a living. It’s because the modern, big-budget game that doesn’t celebrate the art of shooting is as rare these days as an original Intellivision console. THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE:  Art | Film | Television | Hollywood In the wake of last year’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Vice President Joe Biden met with representatives from the video game industry. […]
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