"Crossed The Line"
Apparently, the baring of Janet Jackson's breast
during the half-time show of the Super Bowl "crossed
the line." What I want to know is…..what line? Where
exactly IS that line, and why does it keep disappearing?
In the midst of a show that was tasteless, crude,
and sexually explicit, during which bumping and
grinding was the dance of the day and Justin Timberlake
sang, 'gotta have you naked by the end of this song,'
did anyone even catch a glimpse of that elusive
line? As far as I could tell, after being bombarded
with a series of commercials portraying everything
from a flatulent horse to a dog trained to bite
crotches, a monkey trying to seduce a woman to a
man tortured with a bikini waxing, what was it that
made breast baring any more obscene? There's going
to be an FCC investigation into a nipple. But where
is the inquiry into more than 50% of the commercials
that are aired, not only during the Super Bowl,
but during supposed family viewing hours every night
of the week?
I'm not a prude. Honest. I think the Victoria's
Secret commercials are incredibly sexy, and if Levitra
can help men maintain an erection, then I suppose
they have the right to let them know. But does a
ten year-old girl need to hear that "erections lasting
for more than four hours might require immediate
medical attention….but when the moment is right,
you'll be ready?" And how can ANY twelve year-old
boy (or 40 year-old boy for that matter) not be
affected by the barely dressed, totally seductive
women in the Victoria's Secret commercials? Of course,
I'm also not an idiot. I get it; sex sells. But
exactly how many teenage boys spend their money
Incidentally, I was actually more offended by some
of the seemingly less offensive Super Bowl commercials.
Like the one where the referee was being screamed
at by the coach "beating him like a rented mule,"
only to discover that his shrew of a wife "trained"
the ref at home to tune out her verbal abuse.
Spousal abuse, screaming, nasty wives….what a charming
picture. I wonder how many husbands, drinking their
twelfth bottle of beer, turned to their wives and
said, "See, that's what I mean," only to have a
major battle ensue in their own living room, fueled
by the alcohol as well as the content of the commercial.
Or how about the Sierra Mist commercial where the
guy in the kilt is found standing over the subway
grate with the air blowing up his kilt revealing…..well,
we all got the point. Amusing? Sure. But the little
boy in the ad who said, "That's just wrong, Dad,"
probably summed it up best.
Of course, commercials are just the tip of the
iceberg. Television programming in general has gone
completely over that (obviously) invisible line.
Now don't get me wrong. I have absolutely no argument
with, for example, HBO shows that are sexually explicit,
or that incorporate profanity into the dialogue.
In fact, I have no issue with shows on past 9 PM
that feature fornication, gratuitous violence, or
crude bathroom humor. If I choose to watch them
I can, and if I want to avoid them I also have that
choice. But it seems to me that we've gone from
the absurdity of a world in which Luci and Desi
slept in separate twin beds and couldn't use the
word pregnant, to the equally absurd world in which
EVERY couple dating for more than an hour has sex,
every other joke is a double entendre, a woman without
extreme cleavage is a rarity, every possible bodily
function is discussed incessantly, and very few
shows on at 8 PM are even vaguely suitable for family
In a world where moral relativism rules the day,
no one knows what the rules are, or even if there
ARE rules. After all, what one person finds offensive,
another finds liberating, and without any moral
compass to guide us, the bar seems to get lower
and lower every day. I guess that's the price we
pay for trashing "under God" and replacing it with
Viagra. Some of us are perfectly content to pay
that price. And, some of us think it's a shame.
me your opinions at LParis@netlistings.com