Do you know who is responsible for your kids seeing violence and dead bodies on tv every night?

*** Update below

Did you know that what you watch on tv is largely controlled by one dude? Did you know that dude is not a congressman, creative type, or network executive?  He is not a story writer,script supervisor, or even a camera person. One guy has made the decision that your children should see a dead body at least once a day.  One guy wants your children  seeing nothing but violence and stories full of horrible characters every night.  Grab a clicker, I am serious.  Count how many dead bodies you see in one evening of prime time tv on a single network channel.  I would do it, for research purposes, but I can’t stand that shit.  If David Caruso wears another pair of sunglasses in an underground dark garage, and then takes them off to deliver a hacky line… it won’t be pretty.  You are gonna have another dead body on your hands.  Make sure Brent is there with his children to see it.

See, what is aired on television is basically a matter of what offends, and does not offend, one person. 98% of ALL content complaints to the networks come from this one guy. Brent Bozell. Brent Bozell decides what you will see and not see. Brent Bozell determines that 63% of your evening family television content is dead bodies and crime. Brent thinks this is good and family friendly. Don’t worry, I don’t think his goal is to show your kids corpses (though leave no doubt that is the direct result of his actions). His goal is make sure NO ONE sees a booby. That is it.

Think of the content you are seeing at night. Swear words, naked butts, INSANE amounts of violence and dead bodies. Apparently, those things are fine with Brent. Remember Janet Jackson and the nipple incident. Here is a screen cap if you forgot (link NSFW, dummy) during the superbowl. The Superbowl is when grown black men beat the unholy shit out of each other for the entertainment of the white masses. Don’t worry, that violence is fine. The overt and creepy homo erotic overtones are also cool with Brent. Nope, it was that nipple. Bent Bozell’s only goal in life is to eliminate the nipple from the earth.   Someone didn’t get a hug when he was a baby.

“I like nipples,” Zappa told the committee, deadpan. “I think they look good. If you are going to look at a woman’s breast, if you take the nipple off, which is the characterizing, determining factor, what you’ve got is a blob of fat there. And I think that when you’re a baby, one of the first things you get interested in is that nozzle right there, and you get to have it right in front of your face. You grow up with it, so to speak. And then you grow up in the state of Maryland and they won’t let you see that little brown thing any more.”

See, when tv shows air questionable or risqué content, they get angry letters. The understandably fear these letters. BUT… these letters don’t come from people or parents or churches or communities. They come from Brent. Strangely, they are still super duper effective. If I were a network guy, here is how the conversation would go.

Sir, remember how there was a boob accidentally briefly flashed on the screen during the Kid Rock benefit show on ABC last night?

Yes, Johnson. Did we get letters, again?

Yes, sir. Nearly 300. People are upset.

And how many of those are from Bozell and his corpse loving crew at the PTC?

Well, sir, it appears all of them.

So, no actual consumers or parents complained… just Brent… again?  Not one single American voiced a concern other than Brent?

Yes sir. Shall I line the bird cages again?

Nope. Tonight, put them in the letter fired generator. I am going to use them to power my laptop to watch porn. The irony is how I actually get off.

Now, I understand you are raising your children to be good members of society. I believe you are raising them to stand up for themselves and speak for themselves. Perhaps you want them to even question authority, to a degree. Let’s get involved then. If you and your family see questionable content, get engaged. If you see something sexual, and it bothers you, write your local TV station station and tell them of your disgust. Odds are, you won’t have to, though. It has been eliminated.

Similarly, if your child is concerned by the amount of violence and bad language on tv; send two letters. One to your congressman, and the other to Brent Bozell.

Oh, I should mention his company. I was brilliantly reminded of it tonight, on Family Guy. His company is called ‘Parents Televison Council’.

*** side bar – Brent Bozell has actually made tv content FAR worse. Look at it this way – have you seen how risqué and crazy cable shows have gotten? I am not even talking about pay tv, but basic cable. Have you seen Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Sons of Anarchy? Those shows are truly, and deeply, fucked up. Good serialized television used to be the province of network tv… where there were controls in place. Because of Brent Bozell, all of those programs have been driven to safe harbor… cable television. It would seem the big three networks are pretty much on their way out. See, it is just as easy for your kids to surf the remote to AMC as it is to NBC.

Actually, I think I would prefer that.  I would rather my little boy learn about making met rather than staring at dead people all night and watching storylines that only involve hookers.  Thanks, Brent.  This is your real legacy.

Update – we are not alone.  Rather see boobies than bodies?  I am certain your children would.  Free the Nipple!  Wait, that was just an article.  Let’s really free the nipple!

Podcasting – the last frontier

I have a new addiction, Podcasts.  I feel this is the last untouched forum of both expression and entertainment.  I also know someone will ruin this.  So, I want to document and capture it’s awesomeness before we lose it.  The reason why I love podasts, and listen to at least one a day, is they are ungoverned and unregulated… for now.

At least with what I listen to, they are the province of comedians.  Adam Carolla just received the ‘guniness book of world records’ for most downloads.  I love his podcast, and have been listening for almost 2 years.  He is a huge pioneer in the field.  He is also incredibly funny and insightful.  Most importantly… he is entertaining.  Each podcast, no matter who it is from, is usually about an hour.  There is no MPAA, no ratings board, no Christian Right… nothing.   yet.

He sits with other comedians and they just riff.  chat.  Whatever you want  to call it.  These shows are rarely if ever edited.  Because the interviews are long form, unedited, and uncensored… you really get a feel for the guest.  I listen to about ten podcasts regularly.  half are comedians, and the other half are NPR.  They are:

WTF with Marc Maron

The Adam Carolla Show

Fitzdog Radio – Greg Fitzsimmons

Proopcast – Greg Proops

This Week with Larry Miller – Larry Miller

Ace on the House w/ Adam Carolla (home improvement podcast)

and these are all NPR podcasts.

Car Talk

This American Life

Fresh Air

Stuff you Should Know

Stuff you Missed in History Class

RadioLab

the other thing about Podcasts is they are generally free, and generally updated once a week.  You can listen online, but it’s way easier to do it through your iPod.  They update automatically.  Adam’s podcast also catapulted him to being a New York Times bestseller with ‘In 50 years, we’ll all be chicks’.  Anyhow, it is true freedom of expression by funny and interesting people.  This simply can’t last.  You can say on a podcast “I want to kill puppy dogs and then screw them in the eyehole”.  No one is going to stop you, especially if they understand you are joking… or using hyperbole.  Adam used to be able to say whatever he wanted, because only Adam fans were listening.  Well, once he started getting press for being the most successful podcast in history, I guess other listeners came in.

Adam took a modicum of shit for some riffing he was doing on transgendered people.  Specifically, he said ‘since when did we start giving a shit about these people?’  This didn’t offend me.  I didn’t even notice it when I heard it until the press caught it.  Adam Carolla has always been pro gay, and pro gay rights.  So, I don’t much care if he makes some tasteless jokes.   He is a comedian and it is his job to say thought provoking things.  I don’t see the scandal here, but others do.  That is fine, but here is what scares me.   Adam Carolla had to apologize.

I’m sorry my comments were hurtful. I’m a comedian, not a politician

I don’t care that he had to apologize.  His comments were dumb and mean spirited.  But, I do worry that he will have to censor himself going forward… or that interest groups will make iTunes rate their podcasts and rate their content.  This is coming.  He will  be told what is and what is not appropriate to discuss.  This, then, will neuter the podcast.  Anotyher dumb bomb dropped when Andy Dick was on Greg Fitzsimmons podcast last week.  Andy is on pretty often, and Greg’s podcast (like a suprising amount of others) is broadcast from his garage.  LoFi, low budget, two comedians riffing.  Then, for some reason Andy Dick went off on Howard Stern calling him a dirty jew bastard.  Obviously, a petulant and unwise comment to make.  However, if I am listening to a conversation between Fitzsimmons and Andy Dick… I am bound to here things like that.  I mean, Andy Dick is insane.  You know this.  He has no peerage in the self destruction pantheon… except maybe Courtney Love.

So, I expect to hear these things.  I like that volatility in conversation.  It makes it real.  Want to see real famous people talking in the olden days?  Watch this.  It is brilliant.  They are all getting tanked on live TV, and smoking… even Carson.  Watch what Dean Martin does at the two minute mark.  That is funny shit, and that would NEVER be on tv today.  Maybe it shouldn’t be.  If it were, though, I would watch it.  For now, the podcast is it… until whitey *gets a hold of it.

* Parents Television Council were resonsible for 98% of the content complaints the FCC recieves.  this is the guy, a single guy, who would rather your kids see dead bodies on all those cop shows instead of a boobie.  Who pissed in his cornflakes?

um… was that just a dildo commercial?

 

450

I am pretty sure it was.  Of course, I have NEVER seen a commercial for dildos or vibrators.  Even when I am up at 3 am and they are showing those party line commercials to talk to hot available singles in your area.  Sometimes, they do commercials late at night for adult videos stores.  Even then, they try and be discreet.  Also, they don’t advertise dildos.  I think it implied they have dildos and vibrators.

This, though, was a vibrator/dildo commercial. I know because it was on the DVR, so I re-winded.  Yup.  There it is.  So, here is the other crazy thing.  When was it I saw this commercial?  3 am on HBO?  No.  It was on TBS during a Will Ferrell movie at 6:30 pm on a school night!  Here is the product in question.  I know for sure because they put this URL up at the end of the commercial.  The dildo commercial. I am not offended at all.  Mostly, I am puzzled.

Quick, someone alert Brent Bozell.  He is the guy who makes sure, for all of America, that your kids only see murder and dead bodies on TV… instead of cleavage or butts.

Christianity is becoming the problem

Christianity is becoming a problem


It is true that we are at war right now. Not just a traditional war of guns and tanks, but a cultural war is afoot as well. When President Bush said “they hate us for our freedom”, I think he could have been talking about this enemy, the Christian Right.

Uuch, strong statement eh? I had to get your attention, because I believe the Christian Right is a bigger threat to decent Americans than radical Islamist. In fact, to many, the Christian Right is known as the ‘American Taliban‘. I think that is a fair description. Let’s begin with a baseline of the term, so we are on the same page. This isn’t an official designation of the term ‘Christian Right’, but it is mine: To me, they are not simply people of Christian faith. I got no beef with anyone of simple religious faith. That is their own weakness. No, they are people who are working full time to inflict their faith and their values on you and me. They are the decision makers working behind the scenes. They look just like us, they walk amongst us, and they pretend to care about us. What scares me is they aren’t out there, they are right here in our own community. The call is coming from inside the house, if you know what I mean.

The war is on a few fronts for me:

1. is how they influence what I can and can not see (media censorship)
2. is how they place their values on us (the gay marriage issue)
3. they are an extremely big business, and aren’t contributing to the tax base (taqx deferments)
4. they don’t have to use the same rule book that we are held to (public health care codes)

I am concerned that they are forcing their will upon me. For example, let’s look at television. You know that tv has become more heavily censored every year since nipple-gate. The fines for indecency have raised four fold just in the last year. Does this come from the outrage of families or tv watchers? No sir, 99% of all indecency complaints come from one organization… the Parents Television Council. This group is single handedly deciding what every single person in America is to watch. That isn’t Democracy, nor is it the free market.

Lono, you say, someone must police these smut peddlers or they would just put anything on the air. While indeed the boundries are often being pushed to a increasingly desensitized youth, I submit the PTC isn’t getting shit done. Know why? I picked up the TV guide and looked at the prime time line up of tv tonight on the big networks. The shows are almost entirely crime based shows.

A kid watching tv on CBS tonight will see about 11 dead bodies before he goes to bed. So this is the protected content? For whatever reason, this guy L. Brent Bozell isn’t worried about violence on TV. The whole Itchy and Scratchy premise on the Simpsons is to critique that we teach our kids violence on tv is funny and doesn’t count. Similarly, the entire premise of the South Park movie is that America would rather go to war against an ally than allow someone to cuss on tv. So, Brent believes dead bodies are ok but nudity is a capital sin… and the FCC agrees with him. Here is what I think about that, buster > I would much rather my child see a boobie than a dead body any day. Ever seen a dead body in person? It is a pretty fucked up thing that stays with you, even if they get the bad guy.

How about marriage? I am married, and I think gays should be able to get married. I think Al Shapton said it best (a sentence I rarely lead up with). The Reverend said that the ability to marry is a civil right. To say gays can’t get married is, in my eyes, to say blacks or tall people can’t get married. Marriage is a commitment between two people, not God or society… just two people.

No one is going to turn anyone gay if we allow gay marriage. In fact, wanna know another great (and very Republican) reason to allow gays to marry? Weddings are crazy good for the economy. My wife and I tried to do everything on the cheap, making our own centerpieces and all that business. We still blew $10,000. $10,000 is a lot of cabbage. Let’s do some quick and crude math. America is about to hit 300 million people any day now. Let’s assume 1% are gay (instead of the more common number I hear of 10%). 1% of 300 million is 3 million people. If those three million gay people got married to each other, that would generate 1.5 million weddings. 1.5 million weddings at $10,000 a piece is 15 billion dollars spend in the economy. With all these wars and tax cuts, 15 billion bucks sure would help out.

Also, the gay people I know (just like the stereotype) really do have nice taste. I would hazard a guess that they aren’t going to marry on the cheap. Simply put, in conservative terms, gay marriage creates jobs! Oh, and the church telling us about virtue is comical. The divorce rate in America is about 50%, so who are we to tell people what a successful marriage is? We all know how well that turned out for the Catholics, didn’t we. They fucked little boys, in a scandal so stinky it makes Mark Foley look like a saint. In fact, I think he now is a Catholic Saint. These Catholic church officials knew for decades, and shifted the offenders around the country. Guess what, Mr. Dobson, boinking is a biological imperative. It is mandated by nature, and to repress that only creates horrible and sometimes lethal consequences. Did you know that the Catholic Church is the largest landholder in the world? I heard that somewhere, but won’t pretend to have data on it.

The church does not do this for us, they do this to us. We are moving to a Christian dictatorship, folks… so how do we differ from the Fundamentalist Islamic culture then? You want to say that the American Taliban doesn’t represent the majority of Americans. Sadly, you are wrong. This is because James Dobson from Focus on the Family is a close adviser to President Bush. James Dobson is a radical hate filled nutjob, and he is calling the shots on our Supreme Court justices. You may be reading this thinking that I am a radical hate filled nutjob. Well, I have no authority, and no secret agenda. I believe in self determination for everyone, and that is where I differ with Islam and Catholicism.

Now we are getting at my big point, and my most serious beef… the non profit business. I do not think that churches, unless they are functioning as schools, should be tax exempt. These churches and their constituents, use the same roads, tapwater, fire department, and sewers that we do. On top of this, they guilt their flock to tithing 10% of their income back to the church. Why this frustrates me is that I have to pay my taxes to cover my share…. AND their share. I don’t even go to church (obviously), so why am I buying the church government services? They are rich, can’t they kick in?

These organizations and their leaders still rely on public services — police and fire protection, street lights and storm drains, highway and bridge maintenance, food and drug inspections, national defense. But their tax exemptions shift the cost of providing those benefits onto other citizens. The total cost nationwide is not known, because no one keeps track.

In an eye opening piece this week in the New York Times business section, they examined the ever growing role of Faith Based Initiatives and their damage to our taxbase. See, churches are getting past the churchin’ business. They are opening day cares and restuarants too. Guess what, though? These businesses (I underline that these are businesses, not community outreach or faith based initiatives) are not just tax exempt… they are exempt from all regulations. Do you know how complicated the food safety regulations are for a restuarant? The rules of food preperation for the public are extremely meticulous, and for good reason. Religious organizations are exempt from these rules though, because of freedom of speech. Department of health can not go into a church run restuarant. So who is keeing your food safe? God, I guess.

The church is also in the child care business. The church has a very interesting loophole, though… they do not have to be licensed. The licensing of a day care is seriously stringent. It involves background checks for every single care provider. It dictates that every day care have a certain number of staffers per child. It dictates that every day care facility have two sinks, one just for preparing food. It dictates the kind of toys and the activities of the different age and development levels. These are things in place so that your child is safe in their hands. That is, unless your day care is a religious one.

Religious day care institutions do not have to be licensed. So, they can hire and fire without concern for labor law… and the Government can not even step foot in them because they are protected businesses. It is probably about the same, though, right? Wrong!


The rate of abuse in Christian day care centers in Texas was found to be TEN TIMES that of licensed day care providers.
Why, because the Christian (and other religious) day care providers do not have to follow safety rules or protocols. They don’t have to run backround checks on staffers, or have a minimum amount of staffers on hand to watch the children.

The argument that religious groups are victims of discrimination drew a sigh from Ms. White, the day care director in Alabama, where licensed day care centers are finding it harder to compete with unlicensed faith-based centers that do not have to comply with expensive licensing requirements.

Nope, because this would be impinging on their religious freedom of expression.

Let’s read that sentence one more time before we close out.

“the rate of confirmed cases of abuse and neglect at alternatively accredited facilities in Texas is more than 10 times that of state-licensed facilities.”

So, who could possibly be against licensing day cares in the Churches? Yup, the Christian Coalition. Come on, really? The Christian Coalition doesn’t want day cares to be licensed for our kids safety? It sounds like I am misleading the reader, so let’s quote their lawyers:

John W. Giles, president of the state’s Christian Coalition, confirmed that his organization supported the exemption, noting that state oversight would be intrusive and was unnecessary

Unnecessary? It is unnecessary to protect our children? I disagree.

Society “treats Christianity like a second-class superstition,” Tom DeLay, then a Republican representative from Texas, told the crowd. “Seen from that perspective, of course there is a war on religion.”

What? That is the most retarded statement ever, and ignorant as well. AS John Stewart said “Christianity, you won! It is over, you have all the government and the holidays and schools and the songs too”. We treat Scientology as a second class superstition… becuase it is. Oh, and they (Sceintologits) are afforded all of these protections we just discussed too.