Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Protect Me From Things I Don’t Like!

Salon has a story about the upcoming battle over indecency on broadcast and cable television. This story always sticks in my craw. I am so tired of a few uptight prudes deciding what everyone gets to see. Haven’t they ever seen the archive footage of the Nazi bookburnings? (I know, I know, we’re not supposed to use Nazi references. Well deal with it, the shoe fits.) Does someone actually need to sit each of these so-called Christians down and read them the definition of freedom in the dictionary?

That aside, the story’s big punch in the stomach is that they are going to be attacking cable shows now. Cable - which you choose to have, pay for, and oh yeah, doesn’t go over the public airwaves, which is supposedly the purview of the Federal Communications Commission. You see, back when they invented television and radio, the government struck a deal with broadcasters - you can use the public airwaves for free, and in return, we get to tell you what you can and cannot put on the air. Hence the FCC. It kind of makes sense that the government would be all controlling about things that are broadcast to everyone. But cable doesn’t use the airwaves. It can’t be sent into a home that doesn’t want it. And have you seen the parental controls on cable boxes these days?

Back when I was a kid, my parents had this stupid lockbox between the TV and the cable box. They would lock the box before they left the house and then I couldn’t watch Cinemax and the rest (but usually Cinemax). Now, no offense to Mom and Dad but they should have hidden the key better because I knew right where it was, and even if they moved it I knew how to rewire the television myself anyway, (the only problem with that one was getting it hooked up again between the sound of the garage door opening and them coming inside). But today you can block shows based on their TV rating and you can block entire channels. You type in a code on your remote to lock and unlock et voila – your kid is safe from the irreparable harm of hearing swears.

But to the article, they are going to fine and shut down stations - even pay stations - that carry shows that some person, just any old person that isn’t you, decides is inappropriate. Why?

Nance founded the Kids First Coalition, a group that fights abortion, cloning and indecency in the name of "pro-child, pro-family public policy." She has long been one of the nation's leading anti-pornography crusaders, testifying repeatedly before Congress. During the last presidential campaign, she appeared on Fox News as a "suburban stay-at-home mom" to say that women believe President Bush will "protect our children."
As luck would have it, one of the internets contains a copy of the United States Constitution. Article 2 defines the Executive Branch, and looking around in there I see heading up the army, signing treaties... Let’s see – oh, appointees, of course! Nope. No, I don’t see anything about protecting our children from porn. Nothing in there about that.

Now, let’s look at the definition of the word parent:
1. One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother.
2. An ancestor; a progenitor.
3. An organism that produces or generates offspring. [doesn’t say anything about having intelligence]
4. A guardian; a protector.
Oh!! There it is! Funny, it’s not the president’s job to protect your ghastly beast-spawn, it’s yours. And it’s certainly not my job to give up the shows that I find entertaining because you can’t be bothered to play a game with your kid instead of plopping its fat ass in front of the idiot box.

I have had it with every goddamned policy decision in this country being about fucking children. Whatever happened to "seen and not heard?" What about all the adults? We run the place, why don’t we get to decide what goes on? In fact, let we who choose not to contribute to the overpopulation of this planet strike a bargain with the breeders out there. You don’t tell us what we’re allowed to watch, and we promise not to smack your whiny-ass kid upside the head when it throws a shitfit in the grocery store or the airplane or the movie theater or the furniture store or the baseball game or the restaurant or...

1 comment:

emeryroolz said...

Amen! You know what I hate? Well, a lot of things, but one of them is the idea that kids need to be "protected" from everything. No more jungle gyms and playground equipment! Rounded corners on everything! Nothing but a non-offensive test pattern on every channel! No video games except Pong! Let's just Nerf the entire world! Come on. "The media" or "society" don't turn kids into sociopaths. Their parents do.