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March 02, 2005

More on Censorship « GWOM »

Digger's Realm has more on the issue I weighed in on here.

I'm going to use that as a pretext to continue ranting.

I'm also going to clarify once more, I don't support Sen. Stevens. But I'm growing ever-more incensed at the reaction to it.

Does Sen. Stevens not have the right to let his ideas be put in a public forum to be voted on? Some of you people are acting like he's trying to tear up the US Constitution.

We're getting lots of witty sayings out of this, like, "Keep the Democrats out of my wallet, and the Republicans out of my entertainment industry -- Stephen Green." Yeah, that sounds cute, but like that old saw says, a clever saying doesn't constitute an argument.

Hollywood is strongly aligned to the left. You know what you get with that? Marxism, socialism, PETA, ELF, anti-gun attitudes, anti-religion attitudes.

So Republicans would want to keep curse words out of entertainment. Does that make the entertainment worse? Only if you think gratuitous use of obscenities is funny in and of itself.

Leaving entertainment in the hands of Democrats (which Mr. Green and his supporters apparently have no problem with) means that The Passion of the Christ would never have been made. I guess you guys care nothing about that sort of censorship, eh? It went on to be one of the highest grossing movies ever, because when given a choice, people will watch better stuff than Hollywood wants to give us. But the "Democrat"* standards which are supposedly so free, in reality are only free to reach the lowest common denominator.

It means that Fahrenheit 9/11 is held up as a shining example of "truth". It means that Culture of Death movies are made without concern, perhaps in a conscious attempt to shape opinion, like Million Dollar Baby.

People, if we leave entertainment to Hollywood, we get Caillou.

Let's look at some of the things that "Republican" Standards brought us:
-Star Wars
-The original Star Trek
-The Honeymooners
-Scooby Doo
-The Flintstones
-Marilyn Monroe
-Speed Racer

Excellent stuff there, no? Would any of those been improved with the addition of boobies and cusswords? What do more relaxed standards bring us? A live-action remake of Scooby-Doo, complete with Scrappy Doo urinating on Daphne. Nice job, there, guys. I don't see how the addition of Sen. Stevens' standards wouldn't have made that better by subtraction. Or another example: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was a most excellent movie. Was it improved by the contrived scene of having Napolean fall down and say "Merde!" with the expletive appearing in subtitles, just so it wouldn't get a G rating? When Hollywood adds profanity and obscenity to get a PG rating, how are we served? Sure, it might make a few adolescents giggle...but the vast bulk of our society does not consist of adolescents. I see no reason why we simply must set our standards on the basis of adolescent attitude.

Let me restate my premise, if it has gotten lost in my ranting:
Entertainment was better 30 years ago. It is not because they had more restrictive standards, necessarily, but the looser standards become, the more crap they offer us. "Lowest Common Denominator" entertainment seems to invariably be worse. If (and only if) imposing Sen. Stevens standards would result in better entertainment, I would be all for it. But since that's an impossible proposition, I'll fail to give my support and just complain about all you people who think using the word "a$$" 10 times in half an hour is funny in and of itself.

*I say "Democrats" in reference to "Keep Republicans out of my entertaiment", okay? I don't actually think Democrats are setting the standards.

Posted by Nathan at 06:04 AM | Comments (2)

I have no problems with him putting forth the legislation and he should have no issue with the outrage from the public at his suggestion.

I'm a firm believer in the public decency laws as they pertain to publically (i.e. everyone can get them) available sources like the networks,PBS and the radio. However I draw the line at the government censoring something that people are opting into. People actively seek out and sign up for cable, it isn't forced on them.

There are no laws for cable decency, they have imposed that on themselves and there isn't a lot that is overly indecent on the non premium channels. Sure you can find some things like nip/tuck and the like but parents do have the option with cable these days to lock out those channels.

The laws aren't applied to cable currently and it is fairly well self regulated. It isn't porn all the time or constant cussing like Steven would suggest it is becoming. Cable's been with us for nearly 25 years and all of the sudden it's an issue that needs to be addressed for decency?

As for your assertation on Republican standard brought movies I guess you wouldn't lump things like Black Hawk Down in there because of the incessant (and realistic) cursing. Being an ex-sailor myself, war movies without cussing or blood or actual reality in them are just candy coated banter trying to hide the actual horrors of reality.

30 years ago entertainment was more "good" as you put it because that is your taste. I still love I Love Lucy, but I also love a little Platoon or Saw or *gasp* national geographic channel that occassionally shows some guy in the jungle in a groincloth and his ass hanging out.

If something isn't to your taste just don't watch it. Don't try to force everyone to watch only what you like. After all if you don't like your kids watching all the cable channels you can get basic cable and lock out every channel but PBS, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney channel so they can't accidentally see anything offensive at all.

Posted by: Digger at March 2, 2005 06:45 AM

Good points.

I think you're wrong. I think you want to impose standards just as firm as the ones you decry, you just want yours. That's fine.

Simple fact: in many places in this country, if you don't get cable TV, you don't get TV.

Simple fact: cable TV had looser standards because it was the only alternative to broadcast TV in the beginning. Right now there is another alternative: the internet. And Cable TV is part of the standard entertainment package for most people.
Simple fact: I can't even watch all NFL broadcasts without cable TV.
Simple fact: I can't even watch broadcast NFL games without indecency.

And when a company tries to give people what they want by editing profanity out of movies, people get up in arms about "censorship".

So while there is nothing objectionable about your response, the endless glib statements of "you can always turn your TV off" and facile, self-serving comments of "No one forced you to get Cable TV" are really starting to make me angry.

Posted by: Nathan at March 2, 2005 07:46 AM
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