Tuesday, February 15, 2005

THIS JUST IN!

CHRIS ROCK plans on doing the same thing he's been doing for years!

In a shocking development, the would-be host for the upcoming 2005 Oscar Awards was documented as having said that the Oscar ceremony was akin to a fashion show, and that only gay black men would watch it. He later went on to swear a lot!

For the uninitiated, Chris Rock is the continuation of a comedy legacy. Before him, there was Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. There was George Carlin and Sam Kinison. Through the last thirty or more years, these men have made a living by speaking their minds with whatever language they feel most suits the subject matter, and not asking for apologies. This isn't any different with Mr. Rock, whose comedy routines are far from 'Politically Correct'.

Waning ratings for the ceremony have led the producers to seek more and more edgy hosting over the past years, casting aside the likes of Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. No one is safe from the current hosts, and verbal mudslinging is often just par for the course.

Our culture is on the cusp of being completely censored. This all started with the banning of books. Books were the first mass-media available to any person in any place. Anyone could go into a library looking for a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook or any other number of 'flagged' materials. Eventually, certain people began raising a stink because they saw these materials were available for anyone, and they were promptly banned.

Before long, the same censorship was weaving its way into the radio and television airwaves. No more "swearing"; a loose term whose definition seems to be made up by the FCC alone. No more "indecency"; something which at this point includes the naked rear end of cartoon characters. Porky Pig will now have pants, folks. That is the extent of the change our culture has had to go through to appease the more conservative amongst us.

Censorship, to me, is a problem. I dislike being told what I can or cannot watch, listen to, or do. I understand there is an inherant moral code to the world, and also a code of decency, but I also understand that those people out there raising a stink about these sorts of issues are too busy to change the channel.

When they were kids, Porky Pig didn't have pants, and they had to get up (OUT OF THEIR CHAIRS! EGADS!) to change the station. Now, with the flick of a button, they are able to police the airwaves from the comfort of their favorite La-Z-Boy. Now, with the click of some computer keys, they are able to write the FCC and tell on those wicked, wicked television producers; those horrid DJs on the radio...

Granted, in the past two years there have been some very tasteless things in the public arena. Janet's boob... Howard Stern, in general... Bono's F-bomb... however the only case most people have against these people seem to be that they are waiting like vultures for these people to screw up. Maybe it's the everyman's way to feel important; even though they feel like a nobody, they can still write a letter to the FCC and be useful, and be noticed. They're protecting the whole country, after all! Aren't they?

For those of you who have been following this inevitable chain of events, I would ask that you turn a deaf ear to those who seek to continue to censor media. Whether it be art, music, movies, or television, we are a progressive culture because we allow our fellow citizens the right to say and do what they please within the letter of the law. When the letter of the law begins to contract around us, we have a problem. Don't write letters if you see something you don't like on TV, change the channel. Don't write letters if you see something you don't like at a museum, just stop going there until the exhibit changes. Don't write letters if you hear something you don't like on the radio, just change the station or turn it off. Chances are in the long run we'll all be a lot happier if you take the easy way out and flip a switch. After all, nobody wants to write a long, drawn-out commentary on censorship... right?

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