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September 17, 2007

Obligatory Sally Field Thread

Eh, who cares?

Although a general-audience entertainment forum may not be the best place for political statements, let's not overreact. Most celebrities are 1) naive and 2) possessed of the belief that their words can move the world away from injustice and nachos, or whatever it is they oppose this week. So they feel like they have to spout off about complicated subjects -- sans nuance -- if they are to be good, conscientious citizens who shelter as much of their money from taxation as humanly possible.

By and large they're dopes, dancing hurly-burly monkeys really, and if the monkeys fling poo on occasion, well that's what monkeys do. They're still entertaining, at least once in a while, sometimes by accident.

Sally Field and the left will cry censorship, of course. Let them. It's important for very comfortable, pampered people to feel as if they're being oppressed; it gives their lives some kind of meaning. When you're not only fantasically rich but on top of that almost never have to pay for the simple costs of entertainment, eating, drinking, travel or blow, one may tend to develop Hardship Envy. Let us not be too begrudging of their desire to at least feel like the rest of the human population who actually has to worry about money and who's going to pay the bouncer at the Viper Room for the thirty tabs of X and bovine growth hormone.

Every celebrity a Sakharov, every singer a Solzhenitsyn. It's a silly conceit, but they're living in such a state of utter unreality anyway it seems small-bore to challenge this particular delusion. By sheer fortune, they're separated from the great mass of humanity which has real troubles and real "oppression" in the form of less lavish lifestyles in which simply reality sharply delimits what we are capable of doing at any time; I sort of view this as a rather cute and forgivable impulse to "be like common people."

99.999% of the human population would never even have been in a position to deliver a rather dumb cheap-applause line about Moms Who Hate War. She's as oppressed as I am. But I guess it's important to all of us to feel a little oppressed, to feel a little bit the rebel and contrarian. Even when someone is as rich and establishment and "part of the problem" as our spectacularly fortunate celebrity class.

Hey, if I'd been on that stage, at least at the point where I was comfortable in my career and had enough f-u money to survive a blacklisting, I would have said something about our brave servicemen. And maybe I would have whined about having my words censored by "The Man" too.

Of course I'll never be on that stage. I just think Sally Field has gotten so used to her life being positively extraordinary she now considers it perfectly normal, and the minor bit of nannying from overly-eager network censors now seems to her to be some major crisis.

Censored For Language Not Content?: Slublog points out, very rightly, she used the word "goddamn," which seems to be accepted by a lot of people as a meaningless bit of vulgarity but is in fact historically a true, bona fide, dictionary-definition profanity, as in "profaning against God."

Indeed, most networks are pretty skittish about this word. They'll routinely dub out the "God" part of it and leave the damn in. It's not as flagrant a curse as "fuck," but it is considered by many to much more profane than a minor league vulgarity like "bullshit," and bullshit itself is usually censored on TV.

I think this is bang-on right: It wasn't the PC applause line that got the guy in the seven-second delay booth to push the red button. It was the word "goddamn."

Not saying that makes Sally Field and potty-mouthed whore or anything. I've said the word often enough. But this is a much more likely explanation for the censorship. She just doesn't spend enough time with people who take God seriously to realize that this word is up there, in many people's minds, near the top of the list of unacceptable public profanities.

Even while I curse a lot, there are three or four words I give special consideration to before writing, and this is one of them. I'm pretty sure it's my least used major curse word, and often where I've initially written it, I've either deleted it or changed to the less-objectionable (yes, less objectionable) ""fucking."



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posted by Ace at 12:21 PM

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