Monday, January 9, 2012

What The F@#%&*$ Is Happening At the Supreme Court Regarding Obscenity on TV

The line between obscene and acceptable behavior on television continues to get fuzzier with different rules applying to broadcast and cable programming. Yet technology has made both best available via a cable or satellite signal as opposed to an antenna, so why should the rules be different? Whether it is swear words, body parts, or even blatant euphemisms, some activities go unnoticed while others get fined. Some even mouth the words even though there is no sound to hear. It seems silly to fine such behavior when the rules are not consistent.

Unfortunately the days pictured in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" when couple slept in two twin beds is over. "South Park" and Comedy Central Roasts may bleep some words, but they are not fooling anyone who watches, including my 11 and 9 year olds. Would it make it funnier if these words were not bleeped; definitely not. It might make it funnier if these words weren't even used, but that is a subject for later. Regarding language, sometime curse words are necessary and sometimes they are a crutch to try to make an unfunny line funnier.

Language aside, nudity is another issue that causes great grief among families. Are cartoon butts any different from real ones, does a breast shown on a Super Bowl halftime show such a big deal. Like language, is the nudity with purpose or a crutch to draw ratings at the expense of quality? And does Freedom of Speech cover both language and nudity on broadcast TV.

No doubt, I am not in favor of fines or punishment. Cable has already done its part to relax those rules and to enable language and nudity to enter the TV screen. An end of these rules may push broadcasters to be more open in what they allow. At the same time, shouldn't the public have the freedom to decide whether it is what they want to view or not. The right to boycott a show or its advertisers should be just as present as the right to allow so-called obscene behavior on TV. With free will, one can only hope that it is used prudently with the most important piece being the quality of what is being put on the TV for viewers to watch.