tv rant

<tv_rant_beware>Once again, we were engaged in a coordinate change, shooting from the Planet Ann Arbor up to the Great White North. We were too lazy to plug in an iPod, so we were rolling along idly listening to NPR. The program was about the FCC and its rather haphazard approach to handling profanity and other so-called non-child-friendly crap on TV, crap being the operative word imnsho. What to do about Janet Jackson’s boob. Why it is okay to air the f-word in a prime-time network TV broadcast of Saving Private Ryan but not in a PBS documentary about the history of blues music. And something about a televised teenage orgy that I didn’t quite catch. After 45 minutes, the GG finally had the presence of mind to hit the OFF button. I don’t know how long the program droned on after that. Sometimes silence is golden.

You know, I do understand that people don’t want their small children to be exposed to the f-word and other explicit language and images. But, honestly, the NPR folks interviewed some parents who write to the FCC every week. And, as one of the “experts” said, if a kid hasn’t heard the f-word by the time they get to be, oh, 10 or 14 or so, they’ve been living in a closet. Which, of course, would bring up a whole ‘nother set of child welfare issues. I’m sorry folks, but gimme a break and get a blasted life!

Back in 1991 we bombed Baghdad for the first time. In those days, I was a young, naive shadow of the jaded old bag I have become and I was quite distraught about the whole thing. Not to mention that it happened on my birthday, of all things. I mean, really, couldn’t they have waited just one more day? But then I started watching the war on TV. I was mesmerized to the point of neglecting some of my other responsibilities. Mouse, who was going on four, got pretty sick of the whole thing and she would say, “Mom, turn off the war!”. I’d say something lame like, “in a few minutes.” A few minutes would pass and the war would still be on. “MOM! Turn OFF the WAR!” One day, she took matters into her own hands. She studied the remote control unit until she figured out that the letters O-F-F spelled “OFF” and proceeded to push the darn button herself.

You guys, if a 3-year-old can turn off a television set when there is something unsavory on it, why can’t a 30-something parent do the same? There are a whole lot of things in this world that children need to be protected from and the average everyday soccer mom doesn’t have a whole lot of control over most of that stuff. The television is one thing that you CAN control. Not only can you control it, you can control it from the privacy and comfort of your own home. So TAKE control. Three letters. O-F-F. OFF!</tv_rant_beware>

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