In The News

Fuckin’ A!

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the FCC’s indecency policy that proscribes, and fines offenders for, fleeting expletives, like the one Bono lit slip during the Golden Globes in 2003. In a unanimous decision the court ruled that the indecency policy was unconstitutionally vague.

As these examples illustrate, the absence of reliable guidance in the FCC’s standards chills a vast amount of protected speech dealing with some of the most important and universal themes in art and literature. Sex and the magnetic power of sexual attraction are surely among the most predominant themes in the study of humanity since the Trojan War. The digestive system and excretion are also important areas of human attention. By prohibiting all “patently offensive” references to sex, sexual organs, and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what “patently offensive” means, the FCC effectively chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive. To place any discussion of these vast topics at the broadcaster’s peril has the effect of promoting wide self-censorship of valuable material which should be completely protected under the First Amendment.

This will probably go back to the Supreme Court, but in the meantime, George Carlin (R.I.P.) would be proud.

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Christianity Today is reporting a new software blocking tool for your computer that supposedly spares the kiddies from the online violence and profanity of religion. Better yet, it also protects them

from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions

I find the latter function to be far more useful. If the FCC says it’s OK to drop the F-bomb, then a little sex and violence in the holy texts, while worse that the occasional ‘fuck’ (it’s only a word, after all), is still part of life, and with proper parental guidance, the damage can be minimized. But religious indoctrination, that’s pretty bad. It actually causes such things as abortion protests ( a total waste of breath), Sunday church attendance (1/7th of your life down the drain), and the occasional war. Oh, and let’s not forget suicide airplane rides and hypocrisy.

Of course, the whole thing could be a hoax, designed to make religion look silly, but how silly can you make something that is already inherently silly? In any event, if it is a hoax, it’s still a good idea, and perhaps an enterprising software coder will create the real thing.

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10 thoughts on “In The News

  1. What are you? A “talking head”? 🙂

    Yeah, it’s about time some court had the intellect to make that rather obvious ruling. They are right on target… if something is so “patently offensive” then it should be clear which FEW words you simply can’t say on public airwaves. Personally, I don’t see why any mere word should be so powerful that it can’t be uttered, but if the FCC does, then they damn well better make a great case for it, or STFU and get out of our lives. I hope the Supreme Court is as enlightened as I am. I’d love to see Sotomayor, writing for the majority, telling the FCC to STFU.

  2. “Patently offensive”? Hell, the patent office will patent anything these days. How about we patent some of these words? We could make a killing. Even the FCC couldn’t stop us: they’d be interfering with entrepreneurial capitalism, and that’s a no-no.

    How about a software tool that protects us from the Supreme Court’s violence against society and its profane treatment of citizens who aren’t rich corporations? It could even be a soft rubber chicken. “If you don’t recant Citizens United, ve vill beat you vit der rubber chicken and der comfy cushions!”

  3. Sunday church attendance (1/7th of your life down the drain)

    I wish it had been that small a percentage of my life. Fundogelical churches have activities nearly every night and day of the week and weekend. When I was a kid, I bet if I had compared the hours I spent in school with the hours I spent in church, the church attendance would have overwhelmed the school attendance by a huge margin. As an adult, and minister, I obviously spent most of my waking life involved in church activities until I resigned from the ministry in the mid-90s. After that, I still spent a fair bit of time in church activities until my enlightenment 3 years ago.

  4. All they’re saying is the “decency” laws have to be spelled out, for instance, the ol’ “prick your finger” is ok, but “finger your prick” is not. It’s absurd, but watch and see the FCC will do just that, and of course that would mean a regular meeting will have to occur to update the list, like how the French meet to keep foreign words out of their language.

    Anyway, just like how a trained killer can take someone out with a pencil or a squeak toy, anyone with half a brain can say or write the most offensive things without ever using “indecent” words.

  5. regarding protecting children from the harmful effects of religion:

    I don’t remember where I saw it, but I saw this somewhere and I liked it.

    Science flies men to the moon.
    Religion flies men into buildings.

  6. I realized something once: why don’t we agree with the religious conservatives that children should be protected from violence and sex, and take this idea to it’s natural extent: children cannot be exposed to the Bible or the Quran, because of the sexual and violent content contained therein?

    Oh, BTW, unfortunately I guess this would mean a study of the holy books would have to wait until late in high school or college. Too bad. I guess by that time they will be able to think for themselves. Darn.

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