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March 01, 2005

Conservative Censorship? (UPDATED) « Social Issues »

You know what? I could care less about what Sen. Stephens wants to try to do. The market can sidestep conservative controls more easily than liberal indoctrination.

My response to Mr. Green was:

Well, considering the lifeless, banal crap coming out of Hollywood these days (i.e., do we really need another remake of a 70s TV show?) along with the left-leaning activism, can we keep the Democrats out of our entertainment, too? I can see boobies anytime I want on the internet, I don't need it to distract me from the complete lack of plot or compelling characters in today's "entertainment".

I didn't spell it out, but if imposing a few more family values means people actually put a little effort into better plotlines, is that a bad thing? Not that I support the imposition of censorship, but Hollywood's way sure isn't working.

Need an example? "Titanic". Very nice boobies, very lousy story. Final analysis? Not worth seeing for either one.

UPDATE: I'm not trying to argue For the Children (tm) or anything...but in a society populated with people from age 2 to 92, why does the default *have* to be for the Beavis and Butthead level of maturity? Why do 22-year-olds (and people who might technically be chronologically older...) seem to think the world exists for them? Oh, yeah: that's what it means to be 22, I guess.


"imposing a few more family values"

My friend, this is where you and I will have to disagree. I love my daughter, and I don't want her to have to listen to the crap that's all over TV nowadays. But 'imposing family values' will backfire when those 'family values' aren't the values that you abide by. Who is to determine them? If Hollywood is making money hand over fist with the poop they shovel today, then that's what the market is asking for.

The market won't sidestep government intrusion. If we allow the government the rights to control the airwaves then when the market sidesteps into something else, the government will try to control that as well.

I am for separation of church and state for the very same reason - you don't want to be Protestant when the government mandates Catholicism, if you catch my drift.

Posted by: Sharp as a Marble at March 2, 2005 04:59 AM

Well, that was an ironic comment on the state of crap being put out by Hollywood, rather than a call for censorship...

Let me put it to you this way: were 1980 standards so bad? Were we living in a horrible theocracy in 1980? Were people punished for watching HBO to see some full frontal nudity? ("Morgan Fairchild...mmmmm")

What, exactly is wrong with standards? You say you don't want your daughter listening to the crap that's on TV nowadays...but these days, there isn't anything else. Last year's Super Bowl halftime show was not family appropriate even before the wardrobe malfunction. Do people who prefer not to have their children see sexual-themed dance shows just never turn the TV on? Do we have to pull our kids out of school?

No, wait, then we are phobic jerks who beat our children and are so scared of society we run away from it.

I don't want censorship (and I think I stated that pretty clearly). I'm just fed up with the argument that non-religious moral standards are somehow the second coming of the Taliban.

Posted by: Nathan at March 2, 2005 05:35 AM

Well, the biggest problem I seem to have now isn't with indecency on TV, but rather my own wife... ;)

I seriously have no problem ditching TV. There not much there any more worth watching anyway and would much prefer a total s la carte system where I purchase shows off the Net instead. But that's a long way away. Until then, I limit my daughter to channels I feel are appropriate. When Noggin starts showing 'Dora's Dyke Adventures' then I'll switch that off too. But I fear any Government involvment in setting decency, ever.

Posted by: Sharp as a Marble at March 2, 2005 07:00 AM

This really touches on both of your "standards of decency" posts, but I decided to post it here. Apologies if I ramble a bit.

How can someone who is generally so "right" about the necessity for standards of decency be so completely wrong (or "left" in the dark) about the plot of Titanic. Certainly you have a right to your opinion about the relative merits (or lack thereof) of the film, but to suggest that it's not worth seeing due to its "lousy story" seems a little odd to me. Millions of people did see it -- worldwide -- often in repeat viewings. It was an excellent film. And if you are going to use public support as a standard of exellence (which you did for Passion of the Christ), you can't ignore it for Titanic.

Second, not sure which version of Aliens you were watching, but mine was rated 'R', contained lots of graphic violence, gore and enough salty marine profanity to generate an 'R' rating without the addition of violence. It was a great movie, I agree. But holding it up as a paen of family-friendly entertainment is unfair.

Third, as a devout Christian, I also went to see Passion of the Christ, and was deeply moved by parts of it. Clearly, it was a film that needed to be made. But using your own standards, was it honestly improved by the addition of enough graphic violence to put Freddy Kruger to shame? The gore was so extreme, that I was often pulled out of the spiritual intensity of the movie, and either sickened by its carnage, or curious about how many gallons of stage blood they were going through in an average shooting day. I could be wrong, but I don't think that's what Mel intended. Regardless, the 'R' was well deserved.

As for Speed Racer, I never watched it as a kid...mostly because my mother felt that a child's cartoon should not focus so much on car crashes, wanton violence and people screaming in agony and horror all the time...

Posted by: Morgan at March 2, 2005 07:06 AM

Nice points. I stand corrected on lots of it.

I guess my badly-stated point was that things are appropriate in context. Marilyn Monroe was no angel, but I list her, too, right? But her sexuality was usually implied, rather than poking you in the eye.

And the thing of Aliens is context, too. It was necessary to tell the story. And it got an R Rating, which it deserved.

But the violence and language wasn't added in to appeal to a Beavis and Butthead crowd. It wouldn't be shown in prime-time on broadcast TV, and I see no reason why it should be then broadcast on Cable TV during primetime.

Even HBO used to keep its full-frontal nudity after 10pm on cable. Woah! You mean standards used to be tighter on cable, too???????

Yep. I guess the whole argument of Cable TV censoring itself well doesn't hold any more water than the banal "You can always turn the TV off!" argument does.

Heck, I'm not really trying to advocate anything, really, so I may not always make alot of sense. I'm just getting very angry that "standards" are being considered somehow "wrong". That if we don't have an "anything goes!" attitude that we are worse than the Taliban. I'm getting very angry that there's this double standard that not saying a$$ on TV is prudish and we prudes should just not watch TV if we don't like it...and simultaneously making fun of us for doing so, crying censorship if we want movies with profanity edited out, attempts to make 'homeschooling' illegal so we can actually attempt to help our kids avoid indoctrination of liberal low sexual standards, and a general refusal of Hollywood to even acknowledge that there is a HUGE market for family-friendly fare.

Another post soon.

Posted by: Nathan at March 2, 2005 07:54 AM
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