Quit pushing your luck
Looks like the Christian right isn't going to be as successful in running over the country as they thought. First James Dobson, who sees homosexuals lurking in every corner, decides that Spongebob Squarepants is the perfect character to use in a coded attack on anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, pro-religious tolerance groups. There are many amusing theories as to why Spongebob drew Dobson's ire. My personal theory is that cheery little Spongebob insults Dobson's sense that everything he sees should be spiritless and dour. After all, the mere sight of a dachsund cheerfully sitting where it pleased has been known to drive Dobson into a rage; a sponge who lives cheerfully in a pineapple must make him bonkers with the desire to extinguish joy.
And now even the newly paranoid FCC has decided that people who see depravity everywhere on their tubes but just can't make themselves change the channel or throw it out have gone too far. Thirty-six indecency complaints against various network programs have been tossed.
"In what community in America are graphic terms for genitalia decent?" said Lara Mahaney, a spokeswoman for the council. "The commission's ruling added no clarification and added more confusion."
Mine, for one of millions. I agree that shows like "Friends" are not for children (and not for adults, either), but I guess I do feel sorry for the wingnut patrol. I mean, if your kid can't watch Spongebob without learning Satanic lessons like not to kick the shit out of gay kids for no reason, where will you go for your entertainment needs? You clearly have no choice but to plop them in front of a tedious sitcom about a bunch of bed-hopping morons in NYC who spend too much money on coffee.
Of course, we know this has nothing to do with protecting children and everything to do with not offending the sensibilities of adults, who, being adults, should be able to know when to turn the channel when something offends. But I do have to wonder at some of the programs these groups decided were so bad that they had to be blocked from those of us who don't turn into thumb-suckers at the very idea that our neighbors might be engaging in sodomy this very minute.
One complaint involved an episode of NBC's "Friends" that aired in May 2003. In it, a female character, her husband and the husband's ex-girlfriend talk about a fertility treatment at a medical office.
Why is that so offensive to the people that David Brooks praises for being "natalists"? They wanted a baby so badly they were willing to go through these sort of medical humiliations to get it. Considering the pro-life stance that most "pro-family" groups take, one would think they would stand up an applaud a positive depiction of embarrassing medical procedures that result in adorable babies. Unless of course the real problem is depicting women taking charge of their fertility through medical science, that is.
A complaint over "The Simpsons," which airs on Fox, included a scene from a November 2003 episode in which students carried picket signs with the phrases "What would Jesus glue?" and "Don't cut off my pianissimo."
I saw that episode! The school cut off funding for the arts to save money, something that is genuinely happening under stingy Republican policies. Not that defending the bankrupting of our public education system would have anything to do with the conservative outcry against the lurid depiction of children holding signs outside of a school. What other depraved things will liberals think of next? Children sitting down outside of a school? Boarding a bus? Playing with their friends?