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Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

The media watchdog group Parents Television Council has issued a report which states that sex and violence are on the rise during what is traditionally called the “Family Hour” on network television. 

The group studied 180 hours of original programming on six broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, MyNetworkTV and the CW) during three two-week ratings sweeps periods in 2006 and 2007. It found that instances of violence had increased 52.4% since a similar study in 2000-2001 and that sexual content had increased 22.1%.

The Parents Television Council is hoping that the FCC begins to regulate violence on television the way they already regulate “indecent content.”

The network response is that with the vastly increased number of options available to families, with so many more channels now available in the basic cable package, there is less need to provide that type of programming. 

 To be honest, I agree with the networks on this one.  One of the reasons the FCC had the authority to regulate television was a combination of two factors – 1. the finite number of frequencies used to transmit broadcast signals were publicly owned and 2. there was a scarcity of options in broadcast television.  To the extent that #2 becomes less of an issue, the authority of the FCC to regulate broadcasting should be diminished. 

What the regulate-television-on-behalf-of-families crowd seems not to be able to understand is that television is a value neutral tool.  Like the internet, it has nothing to say about what it is transmitting.  It is not a substitute for parenting in respect to instilling values and exposing kids to what’s out there in the world.  Developing technology that allows “parental controls” to prevent kids from watching whatever they want while the parents are not around is appropriate.  

But the world is a dangerous place sometimes.  And people have sex all the time (at least that’s what I hear…).  I’d like my television shows to have something thoughtful to say about reality.  It’s an art.  Sometimes good.  Sometimes very, very bad.  But it should be free to tell stories that are important and relevant to all of us, even if often it does not.   

Artificial restraints based on someone’s notion of “sensible family” programming simply isn’t the appropriate role for the government.  Especially if there is a vastly less intrusive way to accomplish what is purported to be the goals of the movement. 

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See, what’s most sad about this is she doesn’t sound a whole lot different then a lot of politicians. Africa! Iraq! The future! …. at least she hits all the buzz words:

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The BET is catching a lot of heat with its new, edgy, hip-hop heavy video campaign to promote literacy and black pride.  I think it’s great and smart, to be honest.

And it’s a pretty bold move for a network that has had its fair share of criticism for perpetuating negative stereotypes.  This video campaign takes these stereotypes, makes them larger than life, and then uses them to make its points. 

I especially like the Lil Jon caricature when they start chanting “R-E-A-D-A-B-O-Ohhh-Kaaaay!” 

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The State of New Mexico is investigating the CBS show “Kid Nation” to see if it broke any laws in respect to work permits, contracts, and refusing to allow inspectors onto the property while filming. 

What caught my eye was the description of the premise of the show. 

Sisneros said officials became aware of the show — which places 40 kids, ages 8 to 15, in the New Mexico desert to build a society without any contact with their parents — when an inspector from the Department of Workforce Solutions notified the attorney general that he was not allowed on the property to inspect work permits.

I really have nothing to say about the particular legal issue. 

But if this were a sociological experiment, it would probably be considered unethical.  But since it’s television, I guess it’s perfectly fine to let kids fend for themselves in the desert.  And yeah, I get that the kids were probably not left completely unsupervised.  But 40 of them from the ages of 8 to 15? 

I saw that television show when it was actually a book called Lord of the Flies.  If it were real, it wouldn’t be appropriate to watch.  And if it’s appropriate to watch, it isn’t real.  So what’s the point? 

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“OMG! Talk about casual chic! He’s dirty. He’s sexy. He is so money. Only Jeremy Darling could make a formal occasion look like an after-party… and for him, it probably is.

Via Outta Mind Outta Site, the next step in online advertising: inserting ads directly into “the blogstream.” Sure, businesses and politicians have been trying to do this sneakily (with what level of success, who knows?) for years, but this brazen display of advertlogging (hey, if you people are going to persist in making “vlogging” into a word, then pardon me this one) by celebrity-blogger Perez Hilton is somehow more and less offensive at the same time. I mean, it is marked “advertisement,” but it’s also designed to look and sound identical to a typical Hilton post. Catherine writes:

perez hilton, what the hell is this? for a couple of weeks now i’ve noticed these oddly-written, oddly-imaged posts and wondered if you were on crack while writing them. and now in my slow stupor i finally realize they are ads for dirty sexy money, placed as posts, right in the blog stream.

In my limited knowledge of Perez, I’m not sure he’s ever claimed NOT to be a complete shill. But still. Keep this up, and people are going to start calling for some sort of professional-standards-inducing “blogger’s union.” Oh, wait

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I’ve decided that I’m taking a hiatus from libertarian posts. How often can I post that I’m against banning things and for individual rights? Don’t answer that. I’ll probably post something that irks me the wrong way soon.

So, anyway I like new techie things. Here’s a fun link to play with via my old friend from high school Jeff.

The link, Built With, has you identify a web site and it will tell you what it’s built with (ie CSS, HTML, AJAX, the list goes on).

Fun times had by all, really no joke.

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Oh my, what have we done to deserve this? A new Rilo Kiley album AND a new Wes Anderson movie being released this Aug./Sept.!?! If only Elliott Smith would come back to life, my little hipster heart would be complete.

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