EvilDustBooger wrote:...sounds like an absolute H(o)(o)T !!
K-mom wrote:Will there be booby traps at the booby bar?
the brillient SF Chronicle columinst, Jon Carroll wrote:On PBS recently there was a four-hour documentary called "China From the Inside." It was a little ponderous and didactic, but it was also in many ways a revelation. One part of the documentary addressed the problem of pollution in China, specifically toxins in the rivers. The combination of human waste and industrial effluent has made a third of the rivers useless for drinking, bathing, fishing and irrigation.
One of the primary effects of river pollution is cancer. The documentary showed some cancer victims. One of them was an old woman in the final stages of esophageal cancer. She was skeletal; her skin had shrunk away from her ribs, leaving her looking like an anatomical drawing. She was suffering, hardly conscious; the narrator said the woman died a few days after the segment was shot.
But here's the thing: The woman's breasts had been digitally blurred. Because she was so thin, she didn't really have breasts, but she had nipples, and those were apparently arousing enough to cause the PBS censor to step in. See, it's not prurience that's bad; it's not sexual exploitation that's bad; it's breasts that are bad. Any breasts, even the breasts of an elderly Chinese woman dying of cancer. Your breasts are bad. Speak to them severely.
I don't think that the government had to order this documentary altered. The FCC probably didn't know anything about it before it aired. No, PBS is so terrified that it didn't need a cautionary letter; it went ahead and did it anyway, just in case someone's mother somewhere writes the FCC saying, "My son saw the breasts of a terminally ill Chinese woman, and now he's playing in a heavy-metal band."
It's this whole Janet Jackson thing. She showed her breast -- not even her whole breast; a pastie was involved -- on national television, and the world exploded. Part of the argument was, she did it at the Super Bowl! The wholesome American God-fearing Super Bowl, where brain damage is just part of the fun! And ever since then, over-the-airwaves breasts have become verboten, no matter what the context.
The FCC doesn't do context. It has a fundamentalist Christian view of nudity, that it's always bad because it's always erotic. Leaving aside the loathsome equation erotic = bad, the reasoning is adolescent. Adults are able to hold several views of the body simultaneously. Certainly naked bodies can be used to attract sexual partners, but bodies spend a lot more of their time as machines, processing air and water and food, breaking it down into necessary chemicals, excreting the rest. Eventually the machine breaks beyond repair.
Doctors and nurses deal with this reality every day, and they are able to make the distinction. They have normal sex lives, or at least as normal as the rest of us.
Our culture fetishizes breasts; other cultures choose other parts of the body for erotic attention. The particular irony here is that breasts are also a common locus for cancer. Extreme modesty about them can actually be dangerous, even as extreme modesty about sexual intercourse is a hindrance in the fight against AIDS. But all that is context and, as I said, the FCC doesn't do context.
And it's all so beside the point. Premium cable television is not under any strictures, nor does it voluntarily censor itself. Therefore, the same TV set that cannot broadcast pictures of an old sick naked Chinese woman can broadcast pictures of naked healthy women of all races doing all manner of things, many of them erotic. The government and the industry may see the distinction, but it's hard for the consumer -- it's all available on the same screen in the same room at the same time.
Censorship is based on a totally fictional Edenic concept of the American home. In that home, the home that is referenced in the phrase "family values," everything is pure and wholesome, and children are innocents whose state of grace is constantly being threatened by the media, which puts the idea of sex into their minds. (However did people go about procreation before television?)
And the seductions of sex come in many guises. It's not just pornography, it's suggestive lyrics in rock songs, it's salacious halftime shows, it's sitcoms where gay people appear to be living happy and fruitful lives, it's the breasts of female adults constantly tempting, tempting, tempting. It's a view very much like that of conservative Islamic societies, where women must be covered because their bodies are so alluring that men cannot help themselves when exposed to their full power.
And because so many American children are likely to watch four-hour documentaries about China, vigilance is necessary there too. It's just lunatic, and it seems unlikely to change.
They're all over, hiding, waiting for you to let down your guard just for a second. Then they will appear as if out of nowhere: breasts!
I was a stand-up tomato: a juicy, sexy, beefsteak tomato. Nobody does vegetables like me. I did an evening of vegetables off-Broadway. I did the best tomato, the best cucumber; I did an endive salad that knocked the critics on their firstname.lastname@example.org.
pinemom wrote:BREAST CANCER and its survivors, its fighters, and unfortunately its loses.
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