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March 02, 2005

Senator Ted Stevens Wants to Take Your Skinemax Away

As Charleton Heston would say: Out of my cold, dead hands, bub.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Tuesday he would push for applying broadcast decency standards to cable television and subscription satellite TV and radio.

"Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area," the Alaska Republican told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents most local television and radio affiliates. "I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air" broadcasters.

"There has to be some standard of decency," he said. But he also cautioned that "No one wants censorship."

This is going to sound like a joke, but it's not. This is real. It may sound funny, but this is a genuine political principle:

Any party that tries to take away the titty-channels from a red-blooded American man is a party that's looking to go the way of the Whigs.

Guys? Focus on public displays of indecency. Not private stuff.

And what comes streaming through someone's cables is private.

The minute you try taking away my access to the Spice Channel is the minute I start toying with the idea of comparing you to Hitler my own damn self.

Related Re-Post: Since new traffic is coming to this post, might as well throw a link to something else I've written.

You know, the next thing they'll want to regulate is video games.

And I won't put up with that either.

Not now that I've finally figured them out. And I share all my secrets with you here, in Ace's Generic Universal Walk-Thru For Every Fuckin' Video Game You've Ever Fuckin' Played.

But Seriously...

Let's rewind a moment.

I wasn't personally offended by Janet Jackson's baring of a fetish-gear adorned nipple on the Supebowl telecast. Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly supported the position of the traditionalists and religious in our society who said: "That crosses a line."

I agreed with them-- that they had a right to watch broadcast TV, during the dinner hour, and be free of seeing dirty images, especially without serious warnings that the program would contain such images.

It's one thing if she had run a special at 10 pm with warnings about "strong sexual content." Anyone watching would have been warned. It's quite another thing just to pop out a mommysac to millions of unsuspecting viewers.

I wasn't offended by the nipple myself; I was more offended by proxy, if you will -- offended on behalf of the traditionalists. I saw their point, even if I didn't quite subscribe to their view.

But that dispute, I thought, was one in which the religious right was resisting the imposition of the irreligious left's values on it -- through the public airwaves, during a program generally considered safe for family viewing, unwarned.

And I agree with much of the religious right's brief against the hypersexualization of our culture-- I don't think kids should have to walk to school with adult book stores displaying dildoes in the window, for example.

I agree with the religious right to the extent they want to keep out the profane, obscene, pornographic, or just plain dirty out of their view, out the public square, off the public airwaves.

But when they begin to agitate to regulate private behavior and purely private displays and private sales, that's where I, and millions more, split from them.


Because then I cannot see them as attempting to simply resist someone else's imposition of his values on them. Then I see them as attempting to actually do what the left frequently accusese them of-- imposing their values on me.

And I won't tolerate that. And millions more won't, either.

Our current winning coalition is made up of very religious people and not-so-religious people.

We disagree on many issues. But we have, generally, agreed on more: most of us think that there ought to be more controls on obscenity in the public square.

But not in the privacy of one's home.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

Because if the religious right really thinks this is the time to begin a general campaign to stamp out wickedness and vile images, they're wrong.

They don't have that sort of political power themselves, and they will alienate the non-religious conservatives they need to achieve the elements of their agenda we mutually agree upon.

Deadwood is one of the most profane and amoral shows I've ever seen. They use the c-word so frequently that I usually just call the show "Cocksucker Creek." And I love it. Can't wait for the new season (March 6-- whoo-hoo!).

It's on HBO; it's not broadcast unbidden into anyone's home. You have to actually sign up for HBO-- and pay for it -- to get it.

How the hell does Ted Stevens think it's any of his busines if I watch the show?

Careful, guys. Tread lightly. This is how coalitions fall apart.

Even over something as trivial-seeming as a television show about the uglier side of the Wild West.

A lot of conservatives are not part of the religious right, but we agree to help you pass parts of your agenda anyway. Not because we are strong believers in your agenda, necessarily -- sometimes we believe in the agenda, but weakly; other times we go along just to get along.

We help you because we're in this coaltion together, and we respect you.

But do us a favor-- respect us, too, huh?

You're not going to get everything you want. That's life-- we South Park Republicans, we Kid Rock Conservatives, don't get everything we want, either.

And if you push it -- if you actually try to force your values on us -- you may find you suddenly aren't part of a winning coalition passing the most-widely-accepted parts of its agenda, but rather part of a losing coaltion, and watching another coalition -- this one liberal-leaning -- passing much of its own.

NOTE: This post was bumped-up, just in case anyone's coming here off the CNN mention of the site.

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posted by Ace at 05:27 PM

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