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February 26, 2004
Hint of Hypocrisy - My Own
Damn, I hate when that happens. But here it is.
My reaction to Howard Stern's free speech limitations was much different when it was Michael Savage. I was more than glad to see Savage disa-fucking-ppear.
I detest both of them, but I wasn't of the same frame of mind when Savage was fired for telling a homo he should die.
Imagine. < /sarcasm >
My reaction was different and I think I have to admit that initially that's because Clear Channel is involved - a company that has shown many clear examples of stifling dissent and firing people whose opinions they didn't like rather than basing it on who's making them money.
Even right-wing idiots (a subset) can tolerate most crap they don't like by switching over or switching off.
I am of two minds about media regulation in general. I feel there should be some limitations on what is broadcast to the American people. But most of the limitations I would like to see cannot be regulated.
I like naked women in sexual situations (not necessarily fucking, either). I don't want them on TV though, knowing kids could be watching.
I don't have kids, but I know what's appropriate and it's not so much the act, but they don't need to see the various situations that get people into bed with each other - most of them are cheap and unloving. Naked men and women on a beach or in the shower I don't have a problem with, for instance, because that's natural and how they got there has no "back story." (The less "back story" the better -- da-da-boom)
My limitations on TV would include:
-- Less stupidity. Most shows on TV are just dumb. An insult to my intelligence.
-- All reality shows banned. An insult to my intelligence. Panders to the lowest common denominator of humanity.
-- Bring back the equal time Fairness Doctrine. For Cable and all media.
-- Less violence. Sex is taboo in America. Unnatural violence - and shown as gory as anyone can get away with - is OK. There is something wrong with that picture.
I wince at the tolerance of violence in this country. I think of the thousands of Americans who have been some type of victim of rape, suicide (the family is the victim) or gun-related violence. They must watch "Touched by an Angel" or nothing.
TV shows, in between commercials do hit important issues and they often do it well. Don't get me wrong on that. But knowing somebody died and perhaps showing them lying there once with blood all over them should be good enough. You have to include the blood because otherwise kids get the idea that guns (or knives or whatever) don't cause damage.
But CSI - despite lame acting and much lamer story lines is the most popular show on TV. You really have to ask, why? Is it because of their "lovely" cinematic shorts where you hear and see a bullet going through tissue to hit the brain, with accompanying squelchs?
I think it is. And it's popular so we get more of it. It's an ever-escalating cycle of violence, much like an abusive husband.
As an aside, I also detest Touched by An Angel because of its message that guardian angels can protect against all the world's ills. That's my impression of it from brief glimpses of hordes of phantom angels walking toward a garage. It's vision of America is too naive.
In many ways, the American people DO need protection against themselves. The government is in the best position to regulate this. We know industry doesn't give a flying fuck - unless they face $275,000 fines instead of $27,500 per offence.
We know people will only be as good as their options.
The real question - and I haven't answered it adequately for myself, yet, is how far should regulation on speech go?(Free speech should not include money donations, but that's another story).
As a test I was just about to list all kinds of funky phrases "Jenna Jameson sucking," "cum-soaked panties" "headless corpse" - and report on the traffic increase - but you and I have both seen examples of this from other blogger's reports of sick fiends who find their site through such Google searches as "feces decorated Barbie dolls."