Monday, September 5, 2011

Diagram for Delinquents Update #18: Grimmness


In April of 1963 two men sat down to discuss the controversial topic of "violence in the media."

One man had dedicated his life to the study and eradication of it. The other manipulated it to get at the core of the human experience of fear.

These two men, both intriguing minds of the first half of the twentieth century, civilly sparred on the appropriateness of violence in the media and where responsibility for its filtering lies.

Both expatriates, they made lasting impressions on their new home: the United States.

Alfred Hitchcock and Dr. Fredric Wertham.

The back and forth between the experts is gentlemanly, but forceful. Passionate and intellectual. Neither yielding to the other's strong opinion, but reasonable enough to hear and respect it.

Here is a glimpse of what happened on that day:

Many "thank you's" to Stephen O'Day, the great completest and archivist, for the audio recording.


  1. This was freaking great. Got me genuinely excited.

  2. Dear RA Emmons: Definitely I think Hitchcock won the argument as look at the violence today. Not to say it is a good thing. What is needed would be electronic devices that lock out the violent material until the person is mature and "crystalized" enough (as the film mentioned) When and if humans are able to "handle" excess violence is a moot point, in my opinion, they are not. Not if we want a society that is raised on the fear of violence or violence. However, neither Hitchcock nor Dr. Wertham mentioned anything about adult onset PTSD in adults when the violence happens during adulthood nor is light shed on the undue human suffering of excess violence in society as a whole. This argument should have lasted for days. How to manage violence in the media and in life? Why should anyone have to tolerate violence at all? Unless one is being desensitization to violence for therapeutic reasons/purposes. Quite a connundrum! Your documentary videos are totally mind-expanding and absorbing! Chiccoreal