The potential for violence lives within all of us, and I'm no exception. Violence in my novels is contrived--it's pure fiction--but reflects a core truth about human nature. It's never meant to be gratuitous, but rather serves the story.
Ultimately, what kids watch isn't up to the MPAA. In truth, the responsibility for monitoring children's viewing of films lies with parents, who should investigate movies thoroughly before introducing them to any underage child.
The most important instrument we have for formulating and controlling everyday action -- our imagination -- has been off-loaded to screens and boxes with industrial abandon. This is the underpinning of our cinematic culture and it sustains the abuse of guns.
The children I am teaching need to feel inspired and supported, not hypnotized by high budget movies that reduce human values to who can stay alive longer. Hollywood should offer a better vision for the future.
For his part, director Paul Verhoeven joyously showcases ultra-violence in Total Recall, sticking it in the audience's face. Indeed, the entire milieu of the film is as downbeat as it is shot through with glee.
Should we limit all violent movies altogether for our children (go with me here) because those children will one day grow up with the propensity to murder? Maybe not. But isn't there something we can learn from it?