Cartoon Obsession Drives Kid to Attempted Murder

It's a shame we don't know what cartoon he was watching.

It's normal for kids to be fascinated with cartoons, but this 10-year-old's obsession with colorful two-dimensional creatures nearly drove him to murder.

In Guizhou, China, a kid was watching cartoon shows in his eighth-floor apartment when two construction workers were installing lights on the building. Irritated by the constant noise of their work, the kid cut off the safety rope for one of the workers (named Liu), and then went back to watching television as if nothing had happened.

Meanwhile, the worker, now dangling from the facade in midair, battled for his life for the next 40 minutes until help arrived and pulled him to safety. His partner later told the press that they were both assigned the task to install outdoor landscape lights, and were doing their job when the child severed Liu's safety rope.

"When I was using the electric drill, I felt my lower rope shaking. Then I saw the boy cutting the rope with a knife", Liu said, "I shouted at him to stop but he didn't listen and soon after, the rope was broken. That's when I called to my workmate for help."

The child was questioned over the incident, and after initial resistance, he admitted to doing what in legal terms was attempted murder.

The incident brings up the age-old debate of whether violence in cartoons desensitizes children. For years, psychologists and social scientists have argued that cartoon characters' violent behavior, which is masked in the veil of humor, stimulates aggression among the yet unshaped minds of young children.

At the same time, however, another school of thought says that violence on TV acts as a moment of catharsis for the viewers. While both the sides' arguments have weight, it's nearly impossible for a common parent to decide what's in their child's best interests.