An angry old man re: Buffy

This letter appeared in the May 8 issue of The Salt Lake Tribune. The accompanying photo is the one he’s referring to.

The photo published in your May 1 issue, showing Buffy the Vampire Slayer throttling a demon with a piece of barbed wire, was grotesque in the extreme, most disturbing and does not belong in a newspaper that is accessible to persons of all ages. I happened across it while waiting for my car to be serviced. I’m a grandfather and it disturbed me. I can’t imagine what it would do to a child who saw it.What’s worse, the accompanying article extolled the “virtues” of this television show and praised the “values” that it transmitted. Sorry, that holds no water at all. Next you’ll be telling me that “South Park” or “The Simpsons” have redeeming social value. Reason enough for us to have thrown out our televisions years ago, and a good reminder why I do not subscribe to The Tribune.

Christopher C. DeSantis

This letter amuses me to the point of urination. First of all, the picture itself is not especially grotesque. The demon himself is ugly-looking, I suppose, but the barbed wire isn’t drawing blood; it’s not a particularly violent picture. But hey, we’re all bothered by different things.

The funniest part is where he says the idea of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” containing any virtues “holds no water at all” — and then later says he hasn’t owned a TV in “years.” Which means he’s never SEEN “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which means he has no way of KNOWING whether it advocates any virtues. Maybe all he knows about the show is what he sees in that photo, and surely a program that depicts Good defeating Evil can’t be good … no, wait. Maybe it’s the idea of women working outside the home that bothers him. Or maybe he’s a vampire, and so the notion of “vampire slayers” offends his sensibilities.

Whatever the reason, a man who has never seen a particular TV show is in no position to say whether that show does or does not present valuable messages.

He’s also certain that “South Park” and “The Simpsons” have no redeeming social value, and I would bet money that he has never seen either of those, either. He read about Bart’s iconoclasm in 1990, and “South Park’s” vulgarity in 1997, and that’s all he needs to know! Never mind that entire BOOKS have been published on the positive religious, social and familial messages presented in “The Simpsons,” or that “South Park” is known for being one of the most trenchant and astute social commentaries of the day. Both of those shows have cartoon characters who sometimes say dirty things, so they’re both OUT! The world is black-and-white, remember?

So basically, here’s another old man who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I hope I still know what I’m talking about when I’m his age.