Maybe it's my not having a TV (that's a subject for a whole separate series of posts), or maybe it's living and teaching in South Florida (where sunbathers are topless and students are highly variable in their clothingness), but I have to wonder whether the almost always unnamed supposedly outraged critics who call this pornographic or even “indecent” exist in any substantial numbers. So far I've seen one, just one, name beside FCC Chairman Powell's—that of Jan LaRue, chief counsel for a group called Concerned Women for America, whom AFP quoted as calling it a “pornographic show”.
Pornographic? One breast for a few seconds? Compared to who sits in corporate stadium boxes and why? Or who paid for the stadium and how? Or, for that matter, compared to the various teams' cheerleaders?
Yes, Miami is different, and there are no doubt colder places around where people dress up more, and where undress is more of an issue. But even there, I gather that the sales of skin mags and skin vids are high. I'd sort of gotten the sense that the country was getting over its neo-Puritanism.
So even if these hordes of shocked football fans are more than a creature of the newswriters' imagination, I have to wonder to what extent they are representative of this great nation, or just rather unusually prissy.
If asked, I'd say that the pornography on the air is the violence and cruelty that forms staples of many TV shows. The mean-spirited humor, the portrayal of so many characters as morons, the willingness to serve up news shows that swallow political lies whole or, worse, produce new ones. I could go on and on and on, but you shouldn't take my word for it, I don't have a TV set. Instead, visit Billmon's nicely redesigned Whiskey Bar, and see what he has to say.
Who knew football fans were such wimps?
P.S. The Concerned Women for America are something. I guess the site is real, but you have to wonder about a group with that name whose homepage defines its “core issues” as:
– Definition of Family [being against gay marriage and the ACLU]
– Sanctity of Life [against all abortions & morning after pill]
– Education [for 'abstinence' education, against 'homosexual agenda', for 'accurate biology texts'—i.e. opposing 'Darwinist activists']
– Pornography [against]
– Religious Liberty [10 commandments must be posted everywhere]
– National Sovereignty [against gay rights and against the UN]
– Miscellaneous [“Gibson’s The Passion of Christ Faithfully Presents the Gospels” and support for GW Bush's judicial nominees]
Hmmm. Wasn’t that the reaction the producers of that media event wanted to create? Seems like a provocation to me not an act of creating art, beauty or whatsoever.