Immodest proposal?

Condoleeza's place in the spotlight has been somewhat stolen by this ridiculous Monday Night Football stunt, in which a woman was, well, not covered sufficiently enough to satisfy the "religious police."

Surely, it's no coincidence that the Broadcast Decency Act is being ramrodded through Congress as I write this post. (Via Jeff Jarvis, who I see has already beaten me to Monday Night Uncovered Football coverage.)

More than killing two birds with one stone, they might even be killing three, or (depending on your political paranoia level) four:

  • steal the spotlight from Condoleeza Rice;
  • stir up those the left consider their best allies (the "ignorant and stupid red state moral conservatives"), thus encouraging infighting within the Republican Party;
  • make it appear that the Broadcast Decency Act was a huge "triumph" representing the final ascendancy of the far right "Republican religious police";
  • position the Democratic Party as the voice of sanity and reason.
  • The liberal media is still in liberal hands, so who can blame them for using it? The idea, of course, is to cause the moral conservatives to to what they do best: ORGANIZE AND GO BALLISTIC.

    It is an article of faith among liberals (and among many libertarians) that moral conservatives are the most stupid people in public life, and have nothing better to do than monitor the networks for the slightest sign of indecency. Thus, the merest hint of the "F" word, a misplaced towel, inappropriate or "suggestive" commenting, is enough to trigger an avalanche of phone calls, faxes, email, and more.

    And as Jeff Jarvis showed recently, three people can constitute an avalanche.

    It took only three people to sic the FCC on a supposedly filthy television show called "Married By America." I have never seen it, just as I never watch Monday Night Football and I missed the Superbowl. My TV watching of late has consisted of the relatively sexless The Sopranos and Six Feet Under (although frankly I'm afraid to know what the monitors think of them!). I already know how they hate Howard Stern, and I have posted about this topic many times.

    I got pretty steamed up when I learned (via InstaPundit) that three people can impose their tastes on the rest of us ordinary millions, and I started a satirical piece about it which I didn't post because I thought I might be seen as equating uptightness about sex with stupidity. I've gotten in trouble with my comparisons lately, so I may be getting gun-shy. (Well, not gun-shy; you know what I mean!)

    My "aborted" (now born again, I guess...) humor was along the lines of witchcraft -- and numerology. I speculated that because the evil Jeff Jarvis was (at least in the minds of the censorship crowd) most likely a godless liberal atheist, he might have missed the obvious numerological significance of the fact that there were THREE listeners:

    This is America's "moral values" army: three strong.
    And here (in red letters) follows the missing Satanic post -- the post I never published until now......

    An Army of three?

    Let's look behind the numbers, and see what this "three" really means.

    As we all know, 22% of the voters believed that "Moral Values" -- though undefined -- were nonetheless the most important issue in the election.

    Now, it just so happens that three is 22% of 13.6!

    And, if we divide 666 (the Mark of the Beast), by 13.6, we get almost 49 -- the very percentage of the vote which Kerry won in the election!

    Coincidence? Jeff Jarvis might think so.

    Well I think numbers are reality.

    And even Jeff Jarvis cannot deny that three is half of six. And from there it all builds, in classic pyramid style:


    6 is poor!

    66 is average!

    666 is worth playing to the ANCIENT ONES!

    Why can't he see the truth about these evil government agencies and the dark forces behind them?

    Need I spell it out as well?

    Let's look at F C C

    F -- the SIXTH LETTER in the alphabet!

    C -- the THIRD LETTER in the alphabet!

    C -- the THIRD LETTER in the alphabet!

    The SIXTH letter once followed by the THIRD letter, TWICE! Isn't it obvious why Jeff Jarvis saw the need to tell us that there were three letters to the FCC?

    And that's not all! In his original post, Jeff Jarvis used the word "three" exactly SIX times! After that, in an update, he used the word "three" exactly THREE more times.

    And none dare call it a beastly conspiracy?

    If there are still any doubters out there among you, this stunning admission comes straight from the files of the Satanic FCC itself:

    The FCC rejected that claim, timing the segment at six minutes in length and saying it is the focus of the episode.
    I don't think any further proof is needed.

    OK, back to reality based analysis.

    Today, the not-so-Satanic Jarvis states:

    I'm going to start a site that allows all us sane, normal, red-blooded Americans send thank-you notes to the networks -- and the FCC -- every time there's a hint of sex or colorful language on broadcast.
    I agree that what Jeff's "Gang of Three" would call the "immoral majority" is not being heard from. Surely, there are a lot of South Park Republicans among them! They certainly have at least as much right to be heard as a handful of people who spend their time forwarding around a prepared text and then scolding people into signing it and sending it in. Doesn't democracy work both ways?

    And is it really paranoid to suspect a political operation in any of this? I can't prove a thing, but tend to agree with FDR's assessment that in politics there are no coincidences, so I very much enjoyed the last paragraph of the Philadelphia Inquirer's front page story:

    For the record, the Eagles-Cowboys game scored 17.1 million viewers, ranking it fifth among the 11 Monday Night Football telecasts this season.

    Locally, it delivered a 34.3 Nielsen rating, which translates to almost one million homes. It rated No. 3 among the nine Eagles broadcasts.

    Monday Night Football bits this season have included actors Dennis Hopper and Sam Elliott, as well as the New York Jets' Curtis Martin and the Miami Dolphins' Jason Taylor.

    Bill Clinton, no stranger to forward passes, did one when he was president.

    ABC is no stranger to such shenanigans either. If what's good for ratings is also good for their political agenda, should anyone be surprised?

    This all touches on an issue which I've discussed before and will have to be addressed sooner or later. When sex and sexuality are politicized, and when sex becomes politics, at what point does sexual speech become politically protected speech?

    It's not a silly question. The enemies who attacked us on September 11 were at least as concerned about sex as they were about things like support for Israel. And even while we're at war, there's talk of cracking down on sex as an appeasement strategy.

    (In debating this topic, might it behoove us to take into consideration that we are fighting a war against people who object to our sexual freedom?)

    posted by Eric on 11.17.04 at 07:38 AM










    Comments

    As long as the broadcast airways are "public property" you are going to have this conflict, especially when T&A is served up in a family primetime arena.

    Look how fast Los Angeles county board of Supervisors have bowed to mere threats from the ACLU about a small cross on the county seal (which was representative of CA's mission past).

    I'm not that happy that so many have substituted "legality" for "morality." It's as if things like "appropriateness" are from another age.

    Darleen   ·  November 17, 2004 10:05 AM

    Thanks Darleen.

    I am even more opposed to censorship of religion than I am censorship of sex. (The right to free exercise of religion is spelled out in the First Amendment, but the right to free exercise of sex is not.)

    There's certainly a big difference between the broadcast airways and subscription-only programming, but this appears to be a distinction that those clamoring for censorship ignore. Here's a site (I don't know how typical it is) complaining about "South Park" and "The Sopranos":

    http://www.moralityinmedia.org/index.htm?mediaIssues/rogues2002.htm.

    Eric Scheie   ·  November 17, 2004 10:56 AM

    Hmmm... not having seen the scene itself, but I just heard that the actress in the towel was wearing a crucifix.

    Let me rhetorically ask

    Wassup w'that?

    Darleen   ·  November 17, 2004 3:55 PM

    The promotional shot was so shocking that it has been played non-stop on the news and the cable channels since it originally aired. Eric, thanks for your kind remarks below.

    bink   ·  November 17, 2004 4:37 PM

    Here's something interesting... the flipside "gang of three"...

    A school district's long-standing policy banning Christmas songs with religious references is under scrutiny after officials clarified that it includes the prohibition of the performance of instrumental numbers without lyrics. ...
    Superintendent Peter P. Horoschak explained the brass ensemble's Christmas carols have slipped under the radar since the policy was adopted in the 1990s. A few have complained about it, he said, and this year the district is trying to be proactive.

    Stuff like this makes me want to privatize the public airways AND the schools.

    argh

    (shamelessly, I rant about it here)

    Darleen   ·  November 17, 2004 9:54 PM

    666!!! 666666!!!!!! Hmmm.... I prefer: 69

    333. 4444. I love the number 3. I love the number 4 even more. 3+4=7 I also love the numbers 8, 12, and 16. I love these pairs: 1 and 0. 2 and 5. 3 and 4. 6 and 9. 7 and 8.

    But, most of all I love the look of the number 38.

    Eric Scheie wrote:
    "It's not a silly question. The enemies who attacked us on September 11 were at least as concerned about sex as they were about things like support for Israel. And even while we're at war, there's talk of cracking down on sex as an appeasement strategy.

    (In debating this topic, might it behoove us to take into consideration that we are fighting a war against people who object to our sexual freedom?)"

    That is absolutely true. That is why I say, and why I have been saying for the last two years, that the Enemy within is the same as the Enemy without. In the face of either, appeasement will destroy us. We are at War and we must fight to _WIN_. Nothing less will do. This is a spiritual War every bit as much as it is a military War.

    "ignorant and stupid red state moral conservatives"

    1) They, the Enemy, are not ignorant nor stupid. They know what the real issues are, and they know exactly what they are doing.
    2) This is an issue of ideology, not merely of geography.
    3) They are not conservatives but radicals. And I refuse to surrender morality, values, religion, to the Enemy.

    "Republican religious police", "position the Democratic Party as the voice of sanity and reason."

    This is not an issue of political parties, Republicans vs. Democrats. It is a spiritual War between fundamentally antagonistic philosophies and religions. Sex, in its very essence, is _sanctity_ and _passion_, and therefore cannot be defended with mere "sanity and reason".

    "It is an article of faith among liberals (and among many libertarians) that moral conservatives are the most stupid people in public life, and have nothing better to do than monitor the networks for the slightest sign of indecency."

    It is an article of faith among Marxists, New Deal liberals, and many libertarians, that the "real" issues are economic. The so-called "moral conservatives" (totalitarian radicals) know better. So do I, from an opposite quadrant of a spectrum. The real issues are precisely the spiritual issues, the religious issues, the ultimate origin, meaning, value, and destiny of the self, and, therefore, of sex as the deepest and highest expression of the self.

    "The degree and kind of one's sexuality reaches up into the very pinnacle of one's spirit."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Joyful Wisdom"

    No truer words were ever written.

    "I am even more opposed to censorship of religion than I am censorship of sex. (The right to free exercise of religion is spelled out in the First Amendment, but the right to free exercise of sex is not.)"

    I am equally opposed to censorship either of religion or of sex, and the two are one and the same thing.

    "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."
    -Justice Anthony Kennedy, Lawrence and Garner vs. Texas (June 26, 2003)

    Darleen asked:
    "Hmmm... not having seen the scene itself, but I just heard that the actress in the towel was wearing a crucifix.

    Let me rhetorically ask

    Wassup w'that?"

    Sex, by its nature, by its very nature, must be either a desecration or a consecration. It cannot be neutral.

    The spectrumology of it all, as I see it, is this:

    In terms of a 3-fold spectrumology: A profound philosopher, Dr. Kelly Ross (Web site: Friesian.com), noted that, from a religious point of view, all things are divided into: 1) the merely secular, worldly, mundane, everyday, or 2) the profane, defiling, desecrating, Devilish, or 3) the sacred, consecrated, consecrating, holy, Divine.

    Directly tying into this, that other profound philosopher, Dr. Murray S, Davis (book: "Smut: Erotic Reality/Obscene Ideology"), shows that there are fundamentally 3 opposing sexual ideologies, divided by how they approach the gap between "everyday reality" and "erotic reality":
    1) the "Naturalists", who blur the distinction as much as possible, who see sex as merely secular, worldly, mundane, everyday, ordinary, trivial, a joke.
    2) the "Jehovanists", who see sex as profane, defiling, desecrating, corrupting, "dirty", perverted, and perverting, and who seek to suppress it as much as possible, or to subordinate it to the social (and in their view, cosmic) order of everyday reality.
    3) the "Gnostics", who see sex as sacred, consecrated, consecrating, holy, Divine, and who seek to exalt it over against mere everyday reality.
    There are many variations and permutations of these three primary ideologies, but that is the basic conflict.

    In terms of a 4-fold spectrumology: Ayn Rand once noted that the Marxist/New Deal "liberals" see economics as the most important realm, which they seek to control, and ideas, including or especially ideas about sex, as unimportant, a mere game, which they leave free. Conversely, the "social conservatives" see ideas, especially religious ideas and ideas about sex, as the most important realm, which they seek to control, and economics as less important, and which they leave free.

    Therefore, from that observation, I therefore see a spectrum with 2 dimensions:
    1) Whether it is the economic, the material, or the spiritual, the religious, the sexual, the realm of ideas, which is the most important,
    2) Whether that which is the most important must be controlled, censored, regulated, prohibited by society or the state, or must be left free and in the hands of the individual.

    Thus, 4 quadrants:
    1) the Marxists and New Deal or modern, Left, liberals, who see economics, particularly the distribution of wealth, as the most important, and which they believe must be controlled, regulated, and redistributed, equalized, by the state for the good of society.
    2) the classical liberals or libertarians, who see economics, particularly the production of wealth, as the most important, and which they believe must be left free, in the hands of individuals or associations of individuals, for the good both of those individuals and of society.
    3) the "social conservatives" or spiritual collectivists, who see ideas, religion, morality, sex, as the most important, and which they believe must be controlled, censored, regulated, and prohibited, both by church and state for the good or protection of society.
    4) the spiritual individualists who see religion, sex, values, ideas, ideals, morality, as the most important, and which they believe must be left free and in the hands of the individual for the good, the consecration, of that individual and of that other individual man or woman whom he or she most values.

    That is how I see the spectrum essentially. Once again, there are various variations and permutations within this basic spectrum, but those are the basic parameters.

    Whoa, Steven!

    I'm going to further mull over what you've written, but I'd like to add that my rhetorical question "wassup" was more to alert, again, how the MSM views religion. That the religious are really nothing more than hypocrites because here is a married woman wearing nothing more than a towel and a cross ready to commit adultery.

    :::sigh:::

    The only "non-hypocrites" out there are the ones that proudly say they don't believe in morals and standards ... which is why such things as "appropriateness" is something these people either have a real blind spot about or just dismiss out of hand as "old fashioned."

    Darleen   ·  November 18, 2004 9:57 AM

    In terms of a 4-fold spectrumology: 4nication.

    triticale   ·  November 18, 2004 11:46 AM

    Fine. Ya'll want a slut world? Fine.

    Give me my money back. I don't care if it works out to 1/2 of one cent - I want my money back.

    Out of simple courtesy, taxpayer supported airwaves should cater to general standards of basic decency. If you can't do that little tiny bit - give me money back, vile thieves.

    Courtesty, respect and dignity are NOT bad words.

    Persnickety   ·  November 18, 2004 12:14 PM

    Eric & Steven, I love you like brothers but on this issue you're all wrong, short-sighted, and other bad things, too.

    I can't make my point well without being very rude, hateful and obscene - which is what I find the ABC broadcast to be (& don't even get me started on Timberlake/Jackson).

    Just consider yourselves having been treated in a vile, hateful, rude and obscene manner - on YOUR tax dollar no less - and see how you like it.

    In a just and perfect world, all people who think such broadcasts are okay would at least have the courtesy to send me vast sums of money to make up for the taxpayer robbery.

    It's especially egregious in a sports broadcast. Sports are such an integral part of American life - and yet I'm coming to believe that anyone who watches professional sports is sadly deficient in personal morality and in long-term concern for their country and society.

    Cable is a different matter, though.

    It's past time for the feds to put the airwaves up for sale.


    Persnickety   ·  November 18, 2004 12:22 PM

    Darleen:

    Good point. Thank you. Yes, the mass media, to the degree that they lean "Naturalist", treat religion as a joke just as they treat sex as a joke. That the religious are all hypocrites is taken as a given, even as they ignore their own hypocrisy.

    Persnickety:

    Thank you, and good points also. I do support time, place, and manner (as opposed to content) restrictions on free speech, which the courts have always found consistent with the First Amendment. E.g., you can broadcast Communist propaganda, but not from a sound-truck in a residential neighborhood in the middle of the night. And certain bookstores and theaters are rightly restricted to adults only. Parents have a right to decide what their children can see.

    I myself am very conservative as far as children are concerned. I'm glad that I didn't know sex even existed when I was a little boy. Precisely because sex is a deep and high expression of one's selfhood, one has to have developed a high degree of selfhood in order to really understand and experience sexuality. It's not something to be thrust on children.

    I need to elucidate a bit more on those spectra, the slopes of the triangle, the sides of the square.

    On that first spectrum I described:
    A "Naturalistic-style Jehovanist" would suppress sex as much as possible while denying its significance.
    A Naturalistic-style Gnostic" (wicked Wanda and her women [Wendy, Cindy, Sandy, Candy, Brandy, Brenda, Glenda, Stella, Hannah...]) would free sex from all restrictions, promote open and explicit pornography, glorify promiscuity and adultery.
    A "Jehovanistic-style Gnostic" (holy Dawn and her holy wife Norma) would strive to keep sex sacred, mysterious, taboo, want pornography or erotica to be suggestive rather than explicit, glorify monogamy and holy marriage as total commitment.

    On that second spectrum I described:
    Between the first and the second quadrants emphasizing economics would be purely pragmatic, range-of-the-moment businessmen who like economic freedom but also want government favors.
    Between the third and the fourth quadrants emphasizing moral values would be religious conservatives torn by conflicting premises or seeking a balance between freedom and authority in the realm of morals and faith.
    Between the first and the third quadrants advocating collective controls would be the consistent totalitarians, Nazis, Stalinists, Maoists, the Politically Correct, for total control over everything.
    Between the second and the fourth quadrants upholding individual freedom would be Ayn Rand, integrating the free economy with the free mind and stressing the importance of ideas and values.


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