Monday, November 20, 2006

Bleeping Is Not Enough

The Family Blah Blah guys are going to try to get TV to stop bleeping the dirty words. Turns out they realized they can still figure out what the guy was saying, by reading lips, y'know, and also by ... inference. So now, even though the cussing is totally inside the viewer's head, it's still got to stop.

From our favorite Christian right web site:
(AgapePress) - Recent television advertising that used "bleeped" profanity as to grab attention and shock viewers is being compared to the Bible's warning concerning seduction and deception getting worse and worse.

Dodge, Comcast, and Volkswagen have all run recent ads utilizing the "bleep" technique to indicate profane words banned by FCC regulations from television and radio between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. In a Dodge commercial for its Caliber model, for example, a Muppet-like character shares that the car "scares the [bleep] out of me." An official with Dodge tells USA Today the marketing ploy for its "Anything But Cute" car is an attempt to "straddle good taste and getting attention." He then adds: "We think we've straddled it quite well."

A Comcast ad promoting high-speed Internet service portrays a man who, after getting a "power boost" from the cable line, blitzes through a kitchen clean-up chore at lightning-fast speed -- to which his wife exclaims: "Holy ...." A spokeswoman for Comcast says the end of the ad is not for shock value but merely to support the idea of making fast Internet performance even faster. 'Implied Cursing' in TV Ads Concerns Christian Activist

They give a few more examples. I think we know what they're talking about.
It is unlikely that Bill Johnson, president of the American Decency Association (ADA), would agree with these companies' rationale behind the commercials. Besides pushing the legal and ethical limits, Johnson believes the advertising approach is designed to desensitize the general population.

"This degradation, this desensitization leads to an accommodation and causes an erosion of our ability to recognize the difference between what is pleasing to God and what is not pleasing," says Johnson.

That is why, warns the ADA leader, it is important that Christians strengthen themselves daily through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, and time with God. "Our nature is being changed and so, therefore, when we are exposed to innuendo and subtleties and deception and seduction, we want to have nothing to do with it," he explains.

With such discipline, he says, comes an ability to fend off advertising deception. "It doesn't serve as entertainment to us any longer," Johnson shares. "It's disgusting, and we see it for what it is -- and we do not play with it, and we don't let it play with us."

Citing a Bible passage in the third chapter of 2 Timothy, Johnson says he is reminded that deception will grow worse during the last days. He thinks Christians should therefore make choices in media consumption that keep them on "God's side" -- by remaining pure in spirit and being much more discerning than in times past.

I looked through 2Timothy, 3rd verse, and didn't see anything about bad language, never mind bleeping, at all. It's just saying that Christians will be persecuted and things will get bad in the days before Jesus returns. Okay, is this what the Bible is talking about -- bleeping cusswords on TV? That's not a stretch at all, is it? That's the deception and persecution they're talking about -- that people can still guess what dirty words somebody was saying?

Sometimes these nuts paint themselves into a corner -- it's tough being better than the rest of us. Like, drinking. The Bible is full of people drinking -- Jesus even changed water into wine, right? There is not Word One in the Bible telling anybody not to drink, but the betterthanyous are against it ... on principle. You might have fun, I guess, I don't know, but they're against it. So then they've got the problem that there's nothing at all in their religious scriptures to back them up.

Same here. There's a commandment about using the Lord's name, but it seems pretty clear He's saying, don't pray for stupid stuff. Still, we let them interpret it to take the "God" out of "goddamn." OK, who cares? They can have that, if it makes them feel better.

But here now, they want to extend the vague prohibition to all words that carry a negative social sanction, and then, amazingly, they want to prohibit the replacement of such words with beeps or even silence.

Can you imagine what life would be like if the rest of us played along with this stuff?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 20, 2006 7:01 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Uh, yeah, Anon, that would've been a good time for bleeping.


November 20, 2006 7:29 PM  

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