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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What's the F***ing Problem?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second District has told the FCC that they can't impose fines on the TV networks just because some dingbat blurts out the occasional expletive on an awards show. My guess is that this decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will rule in a 5-to-4 decision to limit free speech and uphold the ability of the FCC to tell the networks exactly what kind of shit they can allow people to say on their fucking shows. And this will come from the justices who think of themselves as being libertarians, which just goes to show what a load of horseshit these labels that people hang on themselves really are.

Of course, that will probably just encourage the networks to show unexpurgated versions of censored shows on the Internet as a way of generating more hits and therefore more ad revenue from their websites. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.

The thing that always strikes me about these controversies is the way that the use of profanity and nudity is always put forth as being somehow groundbreaking and sophisticated. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Breaking down these barriers has led consistently to the production of works that are more puerile and less sophisticated than those that preceded it.

I don't know whether or not it is a good thing to break down these barriers, although I suspect that the indiscriminate disposal of taboos is ultimately unhealthy for a society, just as is too strict a code of them. A society has to try to strike a balance in what it allows and what it restricts. We live in a country in which Bono accidentally used the F Word while accepting some meaningless award and in which children can buy assault weapons at the murderous equivalent to the boat show. Neither shows, to my mind, much balance, however, one must wonder which imbalance is more harmful to society as a whole.