Re: Let Me Get This Straight . . .

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From: Jay Thomas (
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 17:17:30 PDT

Brian Clapper wrote:
> Jay Thomas ( writes:
> > I just want my kids to grow up in a world where they're not bombarded
> > with filth all day, every day. When you're watching "family" tv in the
> > afternoon with your kids, and an ad comes on for an R rated movie that is
> > so violent, my kid looks horrified, theres something wrong with our
> > culture. I realize people have a right to advertise, but there is such a
> > thing as an appropriate time/place. And if they won't police themselves,
> > the gov needs to set limits for them. Not censorship, not forcing
> > religion down anyones throat, just a bit of common courtesy.
> It's these last two sentences, in particular, that send a chill down my
> spine.
> - Don't you realize how ultimately dangerous it is to give that sort of
> censorship or ratings power to the government? Haven't you read enough
> history to see how easily that kind of arrangement can be abused?

I think folks are over reacting here, to wha tI said. Is it really that
sacriligious to suggest, only G rated movie ads during childrens shows?
Are you in favor of the ban on cigarette/liquor advertising on TV (I'm
not) How about the federal govmt giving subsidies to TV shows whose
script they approve for anti-drug content (loved the irony of Sorkin
getting busted with all those drugs, after the gov gave him money for
anti-drug content in West Wing)
> - Do you *really* believe that one set of standards or ratings will fit
> every situation?

No, but it's a good start. They've already adopted voluntary ratings for
TV shows (although I hardly ever see them anymore)
> - Whose standards would you have the government use to set these limits you
> advocate? Yours? The standards associated with "traditional American
> values?" (For extra credit, define "traditional American values.")

Sure. If I get to set them, sure. I'm pretty sure, what I'm proposing
wouldn't shock or offend, as a matter of fact, what I stated above
wouldn't even be noticied. People watching "Buffy" would still see ads
for "Scream". And I can't define it - just like "art" - I know it when I
see it ;-)

> - And, anyway, why are you willing to permit bureaucrats and politicians to
> make decisions about what you and your children can see, read, or
> purchase? Wouldn't you rather reserve the right to set your own limits
> for your children, preserving your own control and flexibility, instead
> of relying on some third-party, over whose standards and rating systems
> you have less direct control? Or is the need to exercise such
> finely-granular *personal* control, and the amount of constant vigilance
> it requires of you, what really bothers you?

Yes, I will regulate what I & my kids see. All I'm talking about is
community standards. Lets say, no unedited "Debbie Does Dallas" on
channel 4 at 3 p.m.? Oh, right, we've already got that. If JB or anyone
else wants to see that movie at that time, there's cable, pay per view,
etc, and I can lock those out. And do.

> - I notice that your web site has lots of pictures of and references to
> various gatherings in which alcohol is consumed--consumed in front of
> children, I might add. I'm not saying that's wrong, but what if Congress
> decide that sort of thing is "inappropriate" and decides to modify these
> "limits" so that images of adults drinking beer are deemed inappropriate
> for viewing by children? (Perhaps Congress would do so as a result of
> several widely-publicized events where young children die after drinking
> beer at a party, because they were trying to emulate the adults they saw
> drinking. Throw in a few outraged celebrity spokespersons testifying
> before Congress, and it actually sounds a lot like any number of
> well-meaning but misguided "get the government to STOP THE MADNESS!"
> causes that are so prevalent today.)

Hmmm...Well, that is on private property, and they are my children, and
I am the one who decides what they see, do, etc. Be kinda hard for the
gov't to enforce that one. But food for thought, as far as the personal
responsibility thing goes.
> If that were to happen, would you blindly accept the new rules, and
> modify your web site -- or even curtail beer drinking in front of
> children? Or would you just be pissed off that some politicians had
> decided to grease the squeaky wheel, putting into place guidelines and
> limits that implicitly criticize and demonize behavior that you consider
> to be perfectly harmless -- and, more important, behavior that you
> consider to be well within your rights, as an American, to engage in?

I would be very pissed off, for exactly the reasons you state. Hell,
thats why I hardly watch any TV at all these days. One example, every
movie/TV show out that deals with hunting, demonizes hunters. (yes,
Jeff, I know, that makes me a yahoo)

> You want to control how you introduce the world to your daughters. Fine.
> That's your right and your obligation as a parent. I doubt most sane people
> would argue that it's good to thrust the entire world at a child all at
> once.

Exactly my point.

> But, I, too, have a daughter; I suspect that my hopes, dreams, fears, and
> aspirations for her are every bit as lofty as yours are for your children.
> And I cannot stomach the idea that someone else's standards of morality or
> appropriateness will dictate what my wife and I can or cannot choose to
> introduce into her world, as she grows up. As rational, thinking adults, we
> prefer to make our own decisions. I sure as hell don't want you or the
> government making them for me.
> Brian Clapper,
> The truth is, as everyone knows, that the great artists of the world are
> never puritans, and seldom ever ordinarily respectable. No virtuous
> man--that is, virtuous in the YMCA sense--has ever painted a picture worth
> looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading,
> and it is highly improbable that the thing has ever been done by a virtuous
> woman.
> -- H.L. Mencken, Prejudices, 1919.

"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those 
with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig"
-Clint Eastwood, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" 1967

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