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article imageOp-Ed: On Indochine's violent music video: 'Art' not above goverence

By Marcus Hondro     May 5, 2013 in Entertainment
Some artists get it into their heads that being an artist makes them arbiters of social conscience. Solvers of world problems, crusaders. That's the case with a band and director who insist their graphically violent video is being censured.
The music video in question is being considered for an age restriction because, likely in the name of sales, it uses excessive violence beyond what France will tolerate. The governing body controlling that in France, the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel, is debating making it only for those 16 or over. It's something the band and director should have seen coming.
French band, Quebec director: looking for sales?
The background is this: the French band, Indochine, and Quebec director Xavier Dolan, created a video of the band's song 'College Boy'. In this piece of art a boy, studying at college, is bullied, eventually beaten to a bloody pulp, crucified and finally shot to death. I've seen the video, it's on Youtube with a warning about violence, and it is very graphic, very violent and bloody.
The band and Dolan naturally say this is in the name of getting the message out that bullying is wrong. Laudable perhaps, only violent images are disturbing to young people. Adults, hopefully, presumably, can handle it. Kids can't, or many can't. The violence in this video is excessive and I am not convinced it's all about the band and Dolan being anti-bullying crusaders, I feel they're toadying up to an element of society that is drawn to the sensationalistic aspect of such violence in order to help Indochine increase sales.
Xavier Dolan: Self-appointed educator
Here's what the CBC quoted Dolan saying about his 'art' and the reaction to it in France: "I’m not surprised there is a reaction," he said. "I’m surprised we’re talking about censorship because I think there is a crucial age and that is 11, 10, 13, 14, 15 – the teenage years, when things still have a strong impression on you. This is the age you need to be educated on violence and the true consequences."
This might surprise Mr. Dolan, but I'm not interested in giving over to him the decision as to what my children, or grandchildren, will view online or on television, and I wish Canada would restrict the video's viewing. I don't care if he thinks his 'art' is the most important thing on this planet - I don't. I'd rather there were less horrific, violent images for my kids and grandchildren to view, not more.
Further, there are other ways to teach young people that bullying is unnacceptable. And I very much doubt the kind of kids who bully, kids having trouble at home, kids being hurt themselves in some way and turning to an appreciation of violence, will watch the graphic violence in this video and suddenly alter all that which has accumulated in their lives to help make them who they are, and turn into peaceful kids. Kind of a stretch, Xavier.
Society has a right to restrict this kind of violence and 'artists' don't get to make decisions as to what our children see online or on television. Thankfully.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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