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The breasts of freedom
February 7, 2004 2:33 PM   Subscribe

If you like breasts and freedom, you might want to check out a new movement to Boycott the Grammys. The site links to various essays in support of Janet and opposition to the FCC and corporate reactions to the event. I suppose they want to send a message to advertisers by skipping it but it'll probably be about as effective as the class-action suit at accomplishing anything.
posted by mathowie (90 comments total)

 
Class action suit?

Why this need/desire to punish Janet Jackson? I don't get it, and I've been trying.

Good article in the Globe and Mail this week by Russell Smith:

The least interesting thing about the Super Bowl entertainment was Janet Jackson's half-exposed breast. I watched it with a bunch of friends and we all saw it and no one commented.

We were too stunned by the weirdness of the rest of the spectacle. In the crazy quilt of visual references in this show, there were: a uniformed marching band, dancing hip-hop style, a gothy SM outfit, and a lot of jazz dancers wearing white overalls with braces and bowler hats that were inspired by Kubrick's 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.

posted by jokeefe at 2:44 PM on February 7, 2004


1. Pointless - aparrently Janet is already going.

2. Pointless - If you like breasts and freedom, boycott John Ashcroft.

3. Pointless - You can assume that anything that has to do with a pop star, the Super Bowl, or the Grammys is one big giant ratings mind fuck.
posted by severed at 2:45 PM on February 7, 2004




They both suck, A.Q. Khan vastly more mightily. (For the record, I dig both breasts and freedom quite a lot indeed.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:50 PM on February 7, 2004


Matt might be on to something with the title for this thread. What is the connection between breasts and freedom? Consider Marianne, symbol of freedom in France. And what does it really mean that now there's only one exposed boob at the Department of Justice. I wonder if the FCC's investigating that one?
posted by Zonker at 3:23 PM on February 7, 2004


I still don't get what this is all about ; this article does some dot connecting on FCC, Bono cleared of any wrongoing by FCC when he said "fuck" on TV, FCC now reconsidering if Bono could say "fuck" and blah blah.

Could it just be another attention rising scandal to keep media occupied with something or (ok tinfoil hat on the following) could it be an attempt to reinforce the feeling in media that they should steer clear of anything "population" (read, current government or future governments) think is sexual or excretory, therefore censorable ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:27 PM on February 7, 2004


If the breast baring was intentional, Timberlake and Jackson should be equally culpable. And if it was an accident, Timberlake should probably be more at fault. So unless the prior on intention is incoherrent, BBT (Bayesian Boob/Blame Theory) tells us that the people that control the Grammy's are being irrational.

It seems rather fishy to me that they'd take action against Janet without doing anything to Timberlake.
posted by Llama-Lime at 3:38 PM on February 7, 2004


Just seen this FCC press release (DOC format) in which FCC claims they have received more then 200000 complaints about the SuperBall thing. 200000 out of how many million viewers ? Quantitatively how many complains make a national outrage ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:42 PM on February 7, 2004


Which boob?
posted by homunculus at 3:54 PM on February 7, 2004


And what does it really mean that now there's only one exposed boob at the Department of Justice.

I see two in that picture, one up front and one in the background...
posted by clevershark at 3:55 PM on February 7, 2004


The picture is a couple of years old. Ashcroft rather famously spent several thousand dollars on a curtain that covers the statue these days.
posted by Zonker at 3:57 PM on February 7, 2004


Indeed boobs are weapons of mass distraction, or distruction depeding on who's using what for what purpose.
posted by elpapacito at 4:09 PM on February 7, 2004


breasts of mass destruction. i dig it.
posted by poopy at 4:11 PM on February 7, 2004


I love breasts, and I love freedom.

I also think there's a time and place for the former, and the halftime show of the Super Bowl ain't it.

I'm boycotting the Grammys anyway, just because they suck, but they're not going to notice since I didn't watch them prior to now either.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:21 PM on February 7, 2004


But shouldn't the boycott really focus on getting the Nielsen families out there not to watch the program? That's where all the data comes from anyway, right?
posted by ao4047 at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2004


I'm boycotting the grammy's because they're pre-empting Alias, and let's face it folks, which is more entertaining and important?

As for "breast-gate" or whatever, ENOUGH ALREADY. Don't people have some real things to worry about rather than whether or not someone flashed their star-clad-tit on TV. So. Bored.

Just goes to show, when the world's going to hell in a handbasket, it's all too easy to come up with pointless distractions.
posted by jearbear at 4:46 PM on February 7, 2004


A Tennessee woman yesterday filed a proposed class action lawsuit "on behalf of all Americans" who watched the Super Bowl halftime show and were somehow injured by Miss Jackson's adorned nipple. In the below federal complaint, Terri Carlin, a 47-year-old Knoxville bank employee, contends that Jackson's exposure and other "sexually explicit conduct" during halftime festivities caused viewers to "suffer outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury." Details of those supposed injuries were not further described in the complaint filed by attorney Wayne A. Ritchie II.

Violent game, violent commercials, violent nation.

But what we get is a class action lawsuit along with howls of outrage from the wingnuts, all because one of the nation's cultural "treasures" semi-bared a mammary gland.

Either we all missed the sub-etha time distortion that warped us into Ward and June Cleaver's rumpus room, or America's collective cerebrum really did get pithed off sometime around the dawn of the new millenium.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:47 PM on February 7, 2004


I think the Super Bowl lost its claim to dignity when they proceeded to show ads for two erection medications.

And people are freaking out about a tit? Come on, what about all these incredibly impotent football fans out there, they need all the help they can get apparently!
posted by clevershark at 5:02 PM on February 7, 2004


but it'll probably be about as effective as the class-action suit at accomplishing anything.

Well, it's just tit-for-tort, anyway.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:03 PM on February 7, 2004


To express my profound love for both freedom and breasts I hereby boycott all televised awards shows. To emphasize the depth of that love I will make my boycott retroactive to sometime in the Carter administration.

Also, if in anticipation of gratuitious and shocking displays of public nudity, I've been unable to watch a Super Bowl half-time show since, well, forever, can I get in on the class-action suit?
posted by TimeFactor at 5:24 PM on February 7, 2004


For A Bunch Of Guys Who Claim To Hate Gays So Much... They Sure Get Uptight Seeing A Boob Or Two...

Just Saying...
posted by Dreamghost at 5:29 PM on February 7, 2004


fold_and_mutilate, i hear what you're saying but wasn't this issue covered already on an old simpsons episode (or two)?
posted by poopy at 5:31 PM on February 7, 2004


clevershark:
I think the Super Bowl lost its claim to dignity when they proceeded to show ads for two erection medications

Ahaha well said, indeed your nick is appropriate :)

On a someway related digressive parallel: according to some historic research, in Ancient Rome (yeah Rome, Colosseum, Russel Crow(?) you know) the blood of gladiators was an highly prized drug , as they tought it had among other properties that of making your dick work.

Guess that Viagra is contemporary Roman Gladiator blood ; but it should be noted that the ones who actually fucked some roman wifes were the gladiators :) probably while their husbands were oh so busy trying to buy some gladiator blood.
posted by elpapacito at 5:33 PM on February 7, 2004


it should be noted that the ones who actually fucked some roman wifes were the gladiators :) probably while their husbands were oh so busy trying to buy some gladiator blood.

I'm so turned on right now...
posted by Cyrano at 5:53 PM on February 7, 2004


cyrano: I prescribe you a dose of Sarah ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:03 PM on February 7, 2004


It's funny -- I was able to switch channels briefly during the super bowl and watch Kim Catrall get banged doggy-style on HBO.

America is strange.
posted by drinkcoffee at 6:07 PM on February 7, 2004


No, really. If only they'd draped the mammary in question with advertising for NASCAR, Budweiser, or Chevy (Like a Rock!), that special segment of America would be belching contentedly over their TeeVee dinners tonight, instead of Freeping out.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:10 PM on February 7, 2004


I love breasts, and I love freedom.
I also think there's a time and place for the former, and the halftime show of the Super Bowl ain't it.


I've gotta second both of those sentiments. Adults have no problem with a flashed boob. Including the "Guys Who Claim To Hate Gays So Much". But believe it or not - there are Americans ... and a not inconsiderable number ... that still believes children should have a shot at a childhood. Maybe I'm just an old fart (in my mid-40's), but I remember being in gradeschool and not having the remotest thought about sex, or drugs (let alone getting advice about safe sex and just saying no).

I have a good number of friends in the suburbs (Republicans and Democrats) that carefully monitor what their kids watch (they actually think that is part of responsible parenting). They do not allow their 3rd or 4th graders to watch MTV or VH1. Are they fools? Or "uptight"? No ... and they fully realize that soon enough their kids will be exposed to all manner of subject matter requiring extensive conversations. But they do want to preserve the ability for their children to have at least a few years of carefree innocence before all of that starts. Most of them felt safe having the TV tuned to a major, non-cable network during the dinner hour ... it didn't occur to them that the kids shouldn't be in the room.

Probably the reason why "only" 200,000 called was that a good number of parents had changed the channel before the breast incident. A good deal of that halftime show - while tame for MTV - was nonetheless way outside the norm for primetime network TV.

True, it seems absurd to even discuss things like this anymore ... people should just accept the fact that the word "freedom" is now synonymous with "no standards at all". Kids today simply swim in an adult environment from an early age.

A friend of mine - who I was visiting a couple of weeks ago - was dealing with a family incident. Her daughter (in 3rd grade) has a very good friend at school. They walk home from school together, and generally hang out (remember childhood?). She had come home, and asked her mother what a "lesbian" was. Apparently a couple of boys in the school had started taunting her and her friend while they were walking. 3rd grade. My friend is a liberal (in fact, on some issues, a pretty extreme liberal), but she was pissed.

Just a suggestion ... before you just condemn anyone that complained about a dinner-hour, network TV S&M show, culminating in a man ripping a woman's clothes off, or write them off as uptight, because you don't see it as any big deal ... consider that there might be, for some people, at least some legitimate reason for thinking it was highly inappropriate, and represented a new low being reached. And if you cannot envision what those legitimate reasons might be - then envision yourself expalining that halftime show to your seven year old child.

Yes mathowie, I love freedom, but have always thought that it had to be joined to the notion of responsibility.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:36 PM on February 7, 2004


I say the following as a gay man: How much boob is too much boob? Is it a nipple showing? The nipple isn't showing. How do we determine when something goes from cleavage to exposure?

You know what would be nice? If this class action lawsuit went to the supreme court, and they finally ruled that a woman's chest is not some naughty private part, but just a part of her body. It's not genitalia, it's a breast. I've seen bigger ones than Janet's exposed, and many of those belong to men.

How is it we can't see a half-exposed breast, but it's a-ok to talk about four hour erections? Seriously folks, four hours. Which do you think kids would ask about more, some boob they've seen a million times before (mom has them) or a four hour erection. "Mom, what's a four hour erection?" "Well son, that's like what your father gets in our bedroom we he and mommy are alone. But we use the word second instead of hour when we're together".
posted by benjh at 6:37 PM on February 7, 2004


What Midas and crash said. If for no other reason than to agree with them both simultaneously. Except the better reason is that they're right.
posted by weston at 6:56 PM on February 7, 2004


As big as this trivial matter has gotten, you'd think that Janet Jackson lied about the reasons for- and started- a war that has killed thousands of people.


As for the yokel that filed this frivolous suit: get a friggin' life. It's a breast, not a doctored photo of WMD "evidence."
posted by drstrangelove at 7:03 PM on February 7, 2004


Props to you, MidasMulligan.

And as for everyone who is getting all in a lather about how ridiculous/predjudicial this is, consider the degree to which this sort of insistence that we should be able to have breasts in prine time empowers the religious right. Reinforces their perception that the culture itself is under seige. Prompts donations. And when that demographic finds itself aligned with the moderate middle who might not be quite as dogmatic but damn it, believe that the entire halftime show, the culmination of which was the Jackson-Timberlake incident, was over the line, then you've got a political force to be reckoned with.
posted by kgasmart at 7:24 PM on February 7, 2004


It seems rather fishy to me that they'd take action against Janet without doing anything to Timberlake. Yes, this has been an interesting angle... Most of the media has been going on about "Janet Jackson exposing a breast", with hardly any mention of "Timberlake exposing Janet's breast". It's just curious, it is, and perhaps somewhat telling. *shrug*
posted by thunder at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2004


I think that the take home message from this superbowl goes something along the lines of: It's OK to rip off a woman's shirt in public but Not Her Bra.

Thanks for clearing that up!

As for the kids: well when little Timmy gets older he's going to see more boobs. However he's not allowed to rip girls clothes off. I feel that distinction could have been made a little bit clearer.... possibly by oh, I don't know, not blaming the entire incident on Ms Jackson?? If she'd ripped JTs pants off, I bet he wouldn't be getting the heat for it.
posted by maggie at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2004


Midas, I so agree with your general point ... except this:

True, it seems absurd to even discuss things like this anymore ... people should just accept the fact that the word "freedom" is now synonymous with "no standards at all". Kids today simply swim in an adult environment from an early age.

Having standards is a personal issue, one which comes from unique personal belief. If you want to instill standards and values into your kids, then that's your job, not Janet Jackson's and certainly not PrimeTime TV's. Freedom means that you have the ability, within the great big free wide world, to teach your kids values, not to arbitrarily expect the media or nanny state to protect them from things YOU don't like.

Let me ask this; how many American homes contain guns, but yet the parents don't want their kids to know any thing about how they work, or what their function is? The more you hide children from the obvious, the more curious they get. Even my niece, when she was 2 years old, knew when my wife was wearing something that accentuated her breasts. She'd giggle and say "big boobies". Nothing we could have done (save locking her in a cave) could have prevented her awareness of the obvious physical attributes of human beings.

So really, are we supposed to lament the loss of innocence for our children, or are our balls sucking up into our body cavities with the fear that our role as parents has gotten more difficult? I'm sorry, but wailing "we must think of the children" is a weak and poor response to the Boobie Bowl.

For what its worth, I am boycotting the Grammys, mostly because I think most of the music from the last year is total crap. But the Super Bowl was about the game on the field. Two great teams fought out a helluva struggle, and I loved it. To any who willingly denegrate that contest, just because some clueless twit flashed tit, I would like to remind you that shock and profit takes place best in the purist venue. If she thought it would boost disk sales, I'm sure that Janet would have shown her "stardom" in St. Peter's Cathedral. That doesn't stand against the game, the sport, the Patriots or the Panthers. It was a terrific game. Forget the hype.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:45 PM on February 7, 2004


envision yourself expalining that halftime show to your seven year old child
After explaining erectile dysfunction to an 8 year old, explaining an exposed tit is child's play.
posted by mischief at 7:56 PM on February 7, 2004


hm. maybe we could stage a different kind of nationwide protest.

Midas, when my 6 year-old kid saw this on the news, he asked what the big deal was. He, like many of his classmates, sees his mom nurse a younger sibling every day. The point here is that exposure to breasts is not inherently sexual. The superbowl is gory and violent and laced with crude, sexist advertising, which I, and many other parents, find far more offensive than randomly exposed body parts.

kgasmart, silence would only imply agreement. The religious right is lining its pockets with our fear of change. But every point of view must be taken into account in order to determine the true status quo.

posted by whatnot at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2004


The religious right is lining its pockets with our fear of change.

Slight bullshit callout, here. The religious right is lining its pockets with donations from believers. I haven't passed them a red-cent. Have you?
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:06 PM on February 7, 2004


silence would only imply agreement. The religious right is lining its pockets with our fear of change.

I agree with that, but I suppose my point is that, in general, I detest the religious right... but I find myself aligned with them on this one. Read Cal Thomas last week and agreed with him:

It's easy for free-speech advocates to argue that if you don't like something, you shouldn't watch. But Sunday's halftime show came as a complete surprise to viewers and, I suspect, was unwelcome by many.

And that's it, I think. You may say, well, what do people expect from an MTV-produced halftime show, and I think the answer is, something that's risque, but not something that, in essence, pushes the boundary to this degree. And that's why this has resonated so, I think: It crossed a boundary, and you don't have to be a zealot to think this. You just have to have kids, I think.
posted by kgasmart at 8:12 PM on February 7, 2004


It's easy for free-speech advocates to argue that if you don't like something, you shouldn't watch. But Sunday's halftime show came as a complete surprise to viewers and, I suspect, was unwelcome by many.

The flasher,
The naked dancer,
the goatse,
the abductor,
the Columbine shooter,
the organ doner,
the highway-cellphone-usin' speeder,
the great idea investor,
the building dropping American hatin' flyer,
The Mars goin', country invadin, poppy avengin', marraige defendin' spender,
The God hates fags preacher,
The aneurism, the cancer,


The world is full of surprises, unwelcome by many. How you deal is the issue, not whether or not you can control your exposure.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:34 PM on February 7, 2004


If you like breasts and freedom, you might want to check out a new movement to Boycott the Grammys.

Hell, I've been boycotting the Grammy's ever since Jethro Tull got the Best Heavy Metal award over Metallica.

Now there's injustice for ya!
posted by jonmc at 8:37 PM on February 7, 2004


jonmc, your taste is all in your mouth. As a song writer, Lars couldn't reach high enough to kiss Ian Anderson's toes, much less his ass, which is where his lips should be. Yeah that's right, you heard me. Lars Ulrich should kiss Ian Anderson's ass, with tongue. Yeah, that's it, kissing with tongue.

(Umm, did you have a view of the issue presented in the post? Just wondering.)
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:43 PM on February 7, 2004


the goatse,

Bring back Goatse!
posted by homunculus at 8:52 PM on February 7, 2004


Wulfgar, my man, I actually enjoy Jethro Tull quite a bit (my vinyl copies of Aqualung, War Child, and Thick As A Brick sit proudly on my shelf), But Metallica was a truly life-changing experience for me, when I heard "For Whom The Bell Tolls" at age 14 (napster debacle aside). And they year Tull won, Metallica had cut a truly monumental record, whereas Tull had merely cut a solid hard rock album. YMMV.

As for my views on the Bra-Ha-Ha, I documented them on my own blog here.
posted by jonmc at 8:53 PM on February 7, 2004


I can't believe people are still talking about this.
posted by Slagman at 8:57 PM on February 7, 2004


Derrick Jackson is making a lot of sense about this right now.
posted by sudama at 9:24 PM on February 7, 2004


Having standards is a personal issue, one which comes from unique personal belief. If you want to instill standards and values into your kids, then that's your job, not Janet Jackson's and certainly not PrimeTime TV's. Freedom means that you have the ability, within the great big free wide world, to teach your kids values, not to arbitrarily expect the media or nanny state to protect them from things YOU don't like.

I never said it was Janet Jackson's, or PrimeTime TV's job to instill standards. Nor do I arbitrarily expect the media or "nanny state" to protect them from things I don't like (and that, by the way, is an odd concept - where does it end? If someone put a half-hour program of weird old men fucking sheep on primetime TV, and people complained and called for something to be done, would they be accused of desiring a "nanny state"?). But I also don't expect the published, well known TV standards (and federal regulations) for primetime TV content to be "arbitrarily" discarded.

People were not really complaining about the content of the halftime itself - they were complaining about the context, and the fact that a generally accepted line had been badly crossed. We do have an FCC. It does set standards. Those standards do differentiate between network and cable, and do differentiate between primetime and latenight.

No, I don't expect the media to conform to any values I have - but it is generally accepted that the media does have a responsibility to permit the vast range of value systems people have to be equally acknowledged ... and that is accomplished by the use of well known standards. Most of the parents I know that are upset are not upset because there is sleazy crap in the media. Cable channels are full of any damn thing anyone wants - including pay-per-view hardcore porn. They don't care if you watch it, but they don't let their kids watch it.

But if the FCC has set standards for primetime network TV (that are more restrictive than MTV), and parents whose values systems do lead them to try to protect their young children use those standards as a guide ... then when those standards are broken - damn right they complain. Quite legitimately. If the standards of primetime TV are going to sink to the level of that halftime show - fine - it means many parents would start considering primetime TV as offlimits as latenight MTV for their kids.

But the thing that parents, and the NFL, and the network, and the FCC are all pissed about is that widely understood standard was seriously breached ... and breached during a program with an unusually enormous audience.

Welcome to middle America. Strange as it might seem to those in New York or LA, or to the peculiar world of left-wing bloggers, or to those that believe "freedom" means anyone can do anything at anytime or anywhere with no thought of anyone else ... there's a pretty sizable number of people in this country that do believe a dry-humpimg, crotch-grabbing, shirt-ripping performance on dinnertime network TV was way out of line. And if you want to try to complain that they are imposing values on you ... then it might be worth it to envision two parents watching the game during dinner with their young kids ... and ask who exactly had values "imposed" upon them.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:29 PM on February 7, 2004


So, what I gathered from that peice is that the Common Dreams folk are all steamed about the same stuff as the Freeper crowd, they just give different justifications for it. Both seem to be hysterical about sexual content on TV. This is one of those moments where I get the feeling that the cultural right and left aren't so different after all.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 PM on February 7, 2004


People who are worrying more about the breast than the incredibly sexist advertising and the whole grinding dance routine that went on before the Boob tore its violent, morality-destroying way out of Janet's clothes should probably spend a few minutes thinking about their priorities. Why would it be okay to let a kid watch the sexy crotch-bumping but not the Boob? It's all well and good to think of the children and their innocence, but when you're more concerned about a breast than you are about offensive negative stereotyping then you might want to consider what, exactly, you're protecting the children from. Frankly, I'd find it quite easy to explain the Boob to a kid, to most kids it's no different than someone's pants falling down, unless you turn it into something different (as my husband says "the lady's shirt got ripped and her breast fell out, isn't that funny?"), I wouldn't want to have to explain that "shrieking like a ref" Budweiser ad, and I see that ad and others of its ilk as far more damaging to children than Janet's breast could ever be.
posted by biscotti at 9:33 PM on February 7, 2004


The nipple wasn't the sexual content; the cheerleading is sexual enough if you want to make a fuss about that. I was offended by the violence.
posted by sudama at 9:34 PM on February 7, 2004


but when you're more concerned about a breast than you are about offensive negative stereotyping

The nipple wasn't the sexual content; the cheerleading is sexual enough if you want to make a fuss about that. I was offended by the violence.

Again, one side is all fired up about "obscene sex," the other side is riled up about "negative stereotyping," and "violent imagery." End result is people getting their shorts in a knot over what other people are allowed to see. What do both sides have in common? They're offended by something that clashes with their sensibilities. Get over it, nobody has a right to go through life un-offended.
posted by jonmc at 9:39 PM on February 7, 2004


End result is people getting their shorts in a knot over what other people are allowed to see.

Nope. Not at all. Just pointing out how weird it is to get more riled up about a harmless body part than about actually harmful things like violence and sexism. I said nothing about what I think other people should be allowed to see, in fact, I think it's nobody's business what other people watch, as long as there's clear labelling so that people can make those decisions in an informed manner for themselves.
posted by biscotti at 10:02 PM on February 7, 2004


Isn't there a big misunderstanding that this is all about the boob? Rather than about a half time performance that, among multiple other bits of tastlessness, included a dance number that involved a man ripping the clothes of a woman (even if the choreography was intended to leave a lace panel behind)? I think that most of the people who are objecting would comfortable with a naked breast presented in another context. What people are not comfortable with is the particular intersection of sex and violence turned into a fashion statement inserted into a context that traditionally has been the domain of rather tame cheerleading performances and marching bands.

Of course, as a supporter of freedom of speech, I don't feel that the FCC should get involved in this. On the other hand, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism. In fact, a traditional position within the free press is the omsbudman, a person who's only responsibility is to be the audience's advocate. Which is why johnmc is being amazingly clueless when he writes:

Get over it, nobody has a right to go through life un-offended.

It seems to me that the complaints to CBS and MTV is free speech at work. Granted, nobody has a right to go through life un-offended. On the other hand, people who give offence have no right to go through life without criticism. Every other day of the week, this is what makes up a large chunk of what we do on metafilter, the BBC , FOX News, Nader, Dean, Georgia state school supeintendant Kathy Cox and Bush have all been lampooned, blasted and criticized here on Metafilter.

In fact, I would argue that the whole boob thing is rather unfortunate because now rather than being an example of the decline of television programming, the whole situation boils down to "are you for the boob, or against the boob." I'm still waiting for the "change the channel" advocates to pull a Nader and claim that criticism=censorship.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:15 PM on February 7, 2004


Again, one side is all fired up about "obscene sex," the other side is riled up about "negative stereotyping," and "violent imagery."

Um ... I think you forgot the third side - which is actually close to a majority on this particular discussion board - which is the side that says "it's no big deal, get over it". They seem just as "fired up" about their position ... because apparently the complaints themselves, and the big deal being made of it ... clashes with their sensibilities. And aqctually appear - themselves - to be a bit offended by the hoopla. Weird. In a sorta house-of-mirrors kinda way.

Nope. Not at all. Just pointing out how weird it is to get more riled up about a harmless body part than about actually harmful things like violence and sexism.

Actually, the boob made headlines in the media, and is what the talking heads and press seems to have siezed upon ... but the parents I've talked who were most upset didn't focus on that at all ... it was the whole performance (in fact, more than one had already turned it off before the boob came out). Women tied to poles for goodness sake? And I don't think it showing a breast that got people riled - what happened in that performance was not the same thing as a child seeing her mother breast-feeding. A guy pretty dramatically ripped half the shirt off a woman at the end of a highly sexualized performance.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:28 PM on February 7, 2004


MidasMulligan: I find your liberal use of Italics offensive.


In any event, it's a boob. Presumably most of these kids breast fed when they were little right? Do you really think the fact that the boob was exposed in whole was any more 'adult' then rest of the song? I mean the lyric was "I'll have you naked by the end of the song." And lo, she was naked. I mean, really.
posted by delmoi at 10:36 PM on February 7, 2004


Slight bullshit callout, here. The religious right is lining its pockets with donations from believers. I haven't passed them a red-cent. Have you?

no, sorry, the thought pattern was that the religious right is capturing a number of "swing-believers" by playing to their fears.

kgasmart, your point is well taken. biscotti crafted a much better response to this than I can.
posted by whatnot at 10:39 PM on February 7, 2004


MidasMulligan: I find your liberal use of Italics offensive.

Please - it is a conservative use of italics. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:41 PM on February 7, 2004


I'm much more interested in this Timberlake guy.

Isn't this some kind of assault on Ms Jackson? Why isn't she pressing charges? Does he go randomly ripping the clothes off other women in public?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:12 PM on February 7, 2004


What do both sides have in common? They're offended by something that clashes with their sensibilities. Get over it, nobody has a right to go through life un-offended.

Go jon, Go jon ...

Midas, I think you're being disingenuous. Television exists to push boundaries based on ratings. If you haven't figured that out by now, then ...

Seriously, what you're calling for is censorship of belief. We should be more noble, more worthy of something that you define and then redefine as your view is called into question. Can that really be the answer? Should it?

The world has changed. I would say its for the better, precisely because the retched have a venue in which to express and the rest of us have a venue in which to decide. This isn't about coercing based on our desire to brainwash the young. Protecting the children? From what? Reality? No. This is the price we pay for a free society. I don't like it, but I will defend it with my life (should I have to). Teach your kids, and this display of boobies/violence will go away ... along with the acceptance of war as a method of profit, and the belief that violence is okay in metaphor as well as real life. But don't decry the exposure of Janet's tit as a harm to our children from rampant sexual expression and then try to expand it to be about violence. That's just silly. Its one or the other. Choose. Unless you really believe that sexuality is violence, in which case I'd say you're pretty fucked up.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:46 PM on February 7, 2004


Isn't this some kind of assault on Ms Jackson? Why isn't she pressing charges? Does he go randomly ripping the clothes off other women in public?

He's laying the groundwork for a future gubernatorial campaign.
posted by homunculus at 11:58 PM on February 7, 2004


As someone who watches TV about two hours per year, I find the outraged cries over Janet Jackson's breast to be almost incomprehensible for the fact that TV - both the ads and the actual content - is generally so offensive to me that I think a bombardment of breasts would be far healthier for children than current television fare.

I think "boob TV" would be far, far less morally corrosive.

And I think that - over this fact - mainstream society is in a denial which is close to psychotic.

Have a nice day.
posted by troutfishing at 12:30 AM on February 8, 2004


I figured Janet Jackson's boob would be.. oh I dunno. Prettier than that. For all her dancing and prancing and whatnot. Just seemed rather anticlimactic. Kinda like when we found out the beep in Johnny Cash's song "Boy Named Sue" was to hide a rather unflattering use of the word 'damn.' Censorship blows things out of proportion that are really much smaller than the imagination wills it. ...Except of course in the case of Richard Hatch. I imagine that blur is hiding something so small, it threatens to become a black hole.

I agree with troutfishing. What passes the censors today is more offensive than what doesn't. CSI Miami can have computer generated closeups of bullets bouncing around inside people's bodies, and no one's offended. Threaten to expose a naked breast though, even if it's one of a corpse of a dead old lady, and the world is up in arms.

We're a disturbing little race of creatures, if violence is not offensive but mammary glands are. Our excretory and reproductive organs are disgusting, but our respiratory and circulatory organs are not? I'd say under close scrutiny they're equally disgusting, and when measured objectively to one another, are not gross or beautiful -- they're simply there. It's past time when we should just accept the shitting and fucking of our humanity. No matter how much we beep and burn, shitting and fucking ain't going nowhere. We're stuck with shitting and fucking. Sexuality and excretion of human waste cannot be prevented. Postponed temporarily but not prevented. Violence however, is something we CAN prevent.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:07 AM on February 8, 2004


But I also don't expect the published, well known TV standards (and federal regulations) for primetime TV content to be "arbitrarily" discarded.

Then call 1976 and ask for your idea of the standards back, because in 1977, there was full display of more than one woman's breasts in the miniseries Roots and there have been glimpses of breasts here and there ever since, including the episode of ER which re-ran two weeks ago and the episode which aired this week, though NBC went chicken and mosaic-ed this week's set in the light of JacksonBreastGate. We broke the boobie barrier more than 25 years ago, no arbitrary discards in action here.

A guy pretty dramatically ripped half the shirt off a woman at the end of a highly sexualized performance.

Yep, a highly sexualized, not meant for children performance in the middle of a highly violent, not meant for children sporting event punctuated with a frenzy of occasionally sexualized, occasionally violent, frequently crass and classless and typically brainless advertising that was also not meant for children.

Yet in the midst of all of this stuff that was never ever conceived for nor presented as entertainment for the kiddie set, almost every single complaint, from class action lawsuit lady to nepotism boy at the FCC centers around how offensive the boob was to children.

And therein is the fourth side to this argument. There are the obscene sex people, the negative stereotypical violence people, the get over it people, and the "the hypocrisy of the 'think of the children' argument in this case is so sickening as to cause vomiting, shut up, shut up, just shut up already you idiots!" people, like me.

Boycott, sue, complain until the cows come home, but the next person to do so on the grounds that the delicate sensibilities of their child were trod upon deserves a swift and deadly boot to their empty head.
posted by Dreama at 3:10 AM on February 8, 2004


Dreama: Then call 1976 and ask for your idea of the standards back, because in 1977, there was full display of more than one woman's breasts in the miniseries Roots and there have been glimpses of breasts here and there ever since, including the episode of ER which re-ran two weeks ago and the episode which aired this week, though NBC went chicken and mosaic-ed this week's set in the light of JacksonBreastGate. We broke the boobie barrier more than 25 years ago, no arbitrary discards in action here.

Which points to the fact that most of this IS NOT ABOUT THE BOOB!!! It is about a specific act in which a man rips the clothes off of a woman, in the context of a halftime show that was already quite offensive in content. To spin off of what someone said earlier, so the message of this is that it is fun to rip off a woman's shirt as long as you don't rip off her bra as well?

Wulfgar: Midas, I think you're being disingenuous. Television exists to push boundaries based on ratings. If you haven't figured that out by now, then ...

No, television exists to transmit audio-visual content from point A to point B. What types of content should be transmitted is certainly a matter worthy of public debate, correct?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:45 AM on February 8, 2004


Boob-shaped pixels! (Kid dies waiting for organ transplant) Unscheduled boob! (Kid dies of malnutrition) Godless boob! (Kid dies of preventable disease) I got values! (Kid dies in bombing) I got kids! (Kid dies in war) I'm gonna put my energy and outrage where it'll do the most good!

Fuckin' clowns.
posted by Opus Dark at 5:57 AM on February 8, 2004


Boob-shaped pixels! (Kid dies waiting for organ transplant) Unscheduled boob! (Kid dies of malnutrition) Godless boob! (Kid dies of preventable disease) I got values! (Kid dies in bombing) I got kids! (Kid dies in war) I'm gonna put my energy and outrage where it'll do the most good!

Comments on MetaFilter! (Kid dies of another preventable disease) I'm gonna speak out against values discussions I find irrelevant! (Another kid dies of malutrition)

Check your facepaint.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:31 AM on February 8, 2004


that still believes children should have a shot at a childhood.

Strangely enough, there is no evidence suggesting that human nakedness and childhood are mutually exclusive.
posted by rushmc at 7:41 AM on February 8, 2004


Midas - Speaking for myself, I see BoobGate as quite symptomatic of the sort of cultural denial you are bringing up. It is a distraction, yes, but to mainstream American culture at large rather than here on Metafilter.

[ So how's the MidasMulligan foundation to save the children going? ( just kidding ) As an aside, it's worth noting that American evangelicals - those perhaps making the loudest outcry over Boobgate - donate more, per capita, than most Americans to charitable work to relieve the suffering of developing world children, although sometimes this aid comes wrapped in an overtly religious bun which is also topped with a dressing of religious conversion. But still....a funky hot dog still fills the hungry belly when no other food is available. Meanwhile, I don't think the problems of the developing world are completely absent in discussions on Metafilter though they are less common than titillating ones such as this. ]

Boobgate is relevant as the pus which comes from a deeper infection or as a grape-sized growth which produces shrieks of disgusted outrage - "The growth! It's appalling! Immoral! Think of the children! Cut it off! Cut it off!" - despite the fact that it's growing on top of a bloody, oozing tumor the size of a basketball which - in those who actually turn their attention from the little growth to look at it - an almost uncontrollable urge to vomit.

But the little growth looks really, really gross too - if studied up close, in minute detail through the magnifying glasses of societal outrage. It looks as enormous and disgusting as that huge tumor it's grown out of.

American kids, observing as their parents shriek and rail against the little tumor while apparently failing to notice the enormous one, learn valuable lessons in denial, hypocrisy, and cultural schizophrenia - which they will tend to pass on to their children as well.

And they also learn that even though the lewdest displays of crotch thrusting and fetishized sexuality, even the sexual exploitation of young children in advertising are perfectly acceptable within their customary ritualized contexts ( oh - and naked women's bodies can be shown on television, even, if they are dead and even mutilated ) - in print and television advertising, in approved football cheerleading displays, in titty bars, and so on.....oh, I almost forgot - on public beaches, where kids get to ogle much more than breasts - just don't flash any non-approved body parts in non-societally approved contexts, because this is immoral.

And the human body is deeply shameful, except when it is not.
posted by troutfishing at 8:09 AM on February 8, 2004


Strangely enough, there is no evidence suggesting that human nakedness and childhood are mutually exclusive.

Oh good grief. For the last time - it isn't the boob that has people upset, it is the whole performance, occuring on primetime network TV. C'mon rushmc, you're a pretty balanced, reasonable guy. Do you really consider that performance suitable for a six year old?

Then call 1976 and ask for your idea of the standards back, because in 1977, there was full display of more than one woman's breasts in the miniseries Roots and there have been glimpses of breasts here and there ever since, including the episode of ER which re-ran two weeks ago and the episode which aired this week, though NBC went chicken and mosaic-ed this week's set in the light of JacksonBreastGate. We broke the boobie barrier more than 25 years ago, no arbitrary discards in action here.

Oops. They aren't "my" idea of the standards. They are mainstream America's. And they aren't just standards - they are regulations (one of the reasons the network is pissed is that they may be facing considerable fines).

And the very examples you use demonstrates that the mainstream - and those standards - are capable of far more nuanced thought than you are demonstrating. They do differentiate between the Venus de Milo and hard-core porn. Between breasts on Roots, or Schindler's List, or during a drama dealing with breast cancer (each of which, by the way, also displayed parental warnings - advising parents about what was coming, and giving them the chance to remove children from the room if they chose), and what amounted to a soft-core S&M performance (that was accompanied by no warnings at all).

Boycott, sue, complain until the cows come home, but the next person to do so on the grounds that the delicate sensibilities of their child were trod upon deserves a swift and deadly boot to their empty head.

Really. Very interesting attitude. You consider that motive for complaining to be not only invalid, but deserving of derisive insults? I'd probably keep that attitude to yourself if you happen to stumble into a PTA meeting ...
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:22 AM on February 8, 2004


Sure, I'll boycott the Grammys! Um, when are they on?
posted by Nelson at 8:30 AM on February 8, 2004


On the beaches of Europe and Australia, children freely cavort around topless or nude women, and I haven't heard any complaints about their childhoods having been ruined.
posted by drstrangelove at 8:33 AM on February 8, 2004




MidasMulligan: "C'mon rushmc, you're a pretty balanced, reasonable guy. Do you really consider that performance suitable for a six year old?"

I'm not rushmc and I'm not a balanced or reasonable guy, but I don't consider most violent sports suitable for six year olds. I don't see the Superbowl as suitable for most people, and yet it's displayed annually for the world to see. Janet's boob is the least of our worries, I'll grant you that, but that's all that the media is putting on trial here, metaphorically speaking.

Your argument Mulligan is that it has nothing to do with Janet's breast and everything to do with the entire performance. That's wrong in the eyes of the media. I happen to agree with you on that score but the only thing the media is putting on metaphorical trial is the bit at the very end of the halftime show. As far as the media, and for what it's worth most of the viewing audience is concerned, the rest of it was acceptable. Certainly nothing that they hadn't seen before.

That's what I find personally unacceptable. That everything from the stupid commercials to the act of football itself is deemed acceptable. In the first quarter some player got his nose bloodied because another player literally put his knee through the guy's faceplate. This is deemed acceptable behavior, but Janet's boob being revealed to the world is not? I find this absurd beyond the point of laughing at it, or rather I continue to laugh at it to keep myself from crying.

It disturbs me that such a sad presentation of rap and country and metal can be seen as entertaining by anyone's standards, but Janet can't display her boobs? My dislike for that spasmodic charade passed off as halftime entertainment may come down to personal opinion, but if someone wants to cry censorship, they shouldn't start with Janet's boob. The whole concept of the Superbowl should be thrown on the pyre, and should have been set ablaze decades ago.

It's why ultimately I'm against any kind of censorship, particularly on the absurd notion of protecting children from their own kind. Once you start cutting, there's no place to stop. Besides, if the conservative viewers get their way, next year's half time show will consist of some boring Christian group wearing T-shirts and fake smiles prancing about the football field for fifteen minutes saying something politically correct like UP WITH PEOPLE or God knows what, all to the tune of Sammy Davis Junior's Candyman. I suspect the suicide rates of children six or under will escalate on that day.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:58 AM on February 8, 2004


Your argument Mulligan is that it has nothing to do with Janet's breast and everything to do with the entire performance. That's wrong in the eyes of the media. I happen to agree with you on that score but the only thing the media is putting on metaphorical trial is the bit at the very end of the halftime show. As far as the media, and for what it's worth most of the viewing audience is concerned, the rest of it was acceptable. Certainly nothing that they hadn't seen before.

That's not my impression of it. Most of the commentary I've read has treated the exposed breast as the straw the broke the camel's back in this case.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:23 AM on February 8, 2004


...it isn't the boob that has people upset, it is the whole performance, occuring on primetime network TV.

Yep. Exposed boobs are no big deal on network tv at midnight.
posted by liam at 11:10 AM on February 8, 2004


You consider that motive for complaining to be not only invalid, but deserving of derisive insults?

Dunno about dreama, but I do. The idea that your children will be enriched by watching large men hurt each other at the direction of some other men, and that they'll be enriched by watching horses fart at women, and that they'll be enriched by seeing how women are screaming harpies, and that they'll be enriched by hearing about how Mike Ditka can't get it up, and that they'll be enriched by hearing about the unfortunate side effects of four-hour erections, and that they'll be enriched by seeing a fat man who had his balls waxed...

but that they'll be harmed if they see Janet Jackson's breast...

is indeed so completely stupid that it is not merely invalid, but ought to be derided.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:17 AM on February 8, 2004


they'll be enriched by watching horses fart at women, and that they'll be enriched by seeing how women are screaming harpies, and that they'll be enriched by hearing about how Mike Ditka can't get it up, and that they'll be enriched by hearing about the unfortunate side effects of four-hour erections, and that they'll be enriched by seeing a fat man who had his balls waxed...
In a SuperBowl environment defined by ever-increasing outrageousness, the Boobgate incident was merely the tipping point...

Either that, or the burner under the pan of water with the live frog in it acidentally got turned up from low to medium, and the frog noticed.

::dons tinfoil hat::
Of course, I think Janet did it just to draw attention away from her brother...
::waits for first snarky comment about Tito::
posted by wendell at 11:53 AM on February 8, 2004


Dunno about dreama, but I do. The idea that your children will be enriched by watching large men hurt each other at the direction of some other men, and that they'll be enriched by watching horses fart at women, and that they'll be enriched by seeing how women are screaming harpies, and that they'll be enriched by hearing about how Mike Ditka can't get it up, and that they'll be enriched by hearing about the unfortunate side effects of four-hour erections, and that they'll be enriched by seeing a fat man who had his balls waxed...

It is interesting. I have yet to see one single piece of criticism of the Superbowl that did not argue that large portions of the programming were in bad taste. I don't see anyone saying that the boob was bad, and everything else was good. Perhaps defenders of the boob are more obsessed with the boob than the critics?

My impression is that even without the boob, lots of people would still be expressing strong dislike of what went on.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2004


R. Kelly and Britney Spears are dancing together.
Suddenly Kelly rips open Britney's blouse exposing her breast.
Riots break out all around the country.


What tripe. Riots? What is this, 1885?

Male singer sings "It's getting hot in here. So take off all your clothes." Female backup chorus responds in monotone, like a robot, "It is getting so hot. I will take my clothes off."

And we obsess about tits instead? Is it because we don't have to do any thinking? We just like our stable rule that says boobs are bad? That since Janet Jackson's mammaries enjoy fewer First Amendment protections than song lyrics, we target what's convenient?

There's an easy remedy to bad speech that doesn't involve censorship. All it takes is different, better speech. It is pretty damn lazy to try to get existing crap to better conform to middle America standards. Get out there and produce something better. I thought that's what this country was all about, anyway.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2004


My impression is that even without the boob, lots of people would still be expressing strong dislike of what went on.

That's counterfactual, so we'll never know, but I disagree. Without TEH BOOB, you might have had people grumbling about it, and an editorial or two from rural nowhere that nobody cares about, but not lots of actual complaints and an FCC investigation. Certainly there's no obvious history of mass complaints about farts and jokes about ball-waxing.

Consider two hypotheses.

(1) Complainants really were offended by the whole schmeer, and not just the boob. But there's no evidence that the mass public was notably offended by similar conduct before, so there are only two ways this hypothesis can be true. One, it might be the case that the rest of the show really was substantially more offensive than prime time programming, but I can't think that's true; I don't think much of the rest of the content was much ``worse'' than That 70's Show, or than the long-term tendency of beer commercials. Two, it might be the case that large numbers of people came to the sudden realization that they're actually offended by all that stuff, but the probability of so many people having the same epiphany at the same moment is essentially zero. Which means we can reject this hypothesis because it is inconsistent with observed behavior over time.

(2) Complainants were really just offended by the breast. Obviously, people's behavior over time is far more consistent with this hypothesis than with the first. Why the talk about how this just isn't so? We all know how stupid it would be to be offended only by the breast in that vast sea of crap, and few people would want to admit that they don't mind seeing women get farted on, or large men running into each other and fondling each others' buttocks, but that they do mind seeing a breast pop out because they're irrational prudes who think that violent bloodshed is acceptable viewing for a child, but a woman's breast isn't. So people lie about their motivations. You, or any other randomly selected individual? Maybe not. But the mass of people? Yup.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2004


Perhaps defenders of the boob are more obsessed with the boob than the critics?

I suppose I might actually be a defender of the boob, since I'm pretty absolutist on free-expression stuff. I dunno about showing weird old men fucking sheep on tv, since the sheep can't consent to it, but if NBC wants to run a show about weird old men fucking each other on prime-time tv, that's their business, though they won't count me as a viewer.

But most of the comments here have not been defending the boob, but pointing out the essential hypocrisy of asserting that a Superbowl would be expected to be ``family'' programming, since it consists of violence interspersed with misogynistic beer commercials (even including ones that don't feature horses farting on women).

You're right that you don't see many writers complaining only about the boob. But all of the writing I've seen has been complaining about the boob, and, oh yeah, the rest of it was bad too. And you certainly didn't see headlines or talking heads on tv about Cedric getting his balls waxed, or horses farting on women, or about the whole thing being a spectacle of violence.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:07 PM on February 8, 2004


it isn't the boob that has people upset, it is the whole performance, occuring on primetime network TV.

That is not the impression that I have gotten from anyone, online or off. Some people have complaints about the entire halftime show (I'm one of them, but mine are based on the fact that it was utterly without entertainment value), but they are always in addition to and dwarfed by their complaints about the flashing.

And what others have said above about football being appropriate for a 6-year-old in the first place. I actually was watching the halftime show with a 7-year-old, and he gave a nervous giggle at the breast-flash and promptly forgot about it. Would that all the rabid adults could be as mature about it.
posted by rushmc at 2:20 PM on February 8, 2004


Metafilter: Defenders of the Boob
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2004


I suppose I might actually be a defender of the boob, since I'm pretty absolutist on free-expression stuff.

I'm pretty absolutist on free-expression stuff as well, which is why I suspect that just about everyone that has invoked "free speech" and "free expression" here really does not have a clue as to what they are talking about. Free speech does not equate to freedom from criticism. In spite of what Defenders of the Boob and Ralph Nader might have to say about it. No one is denying freedom of speech by arguing that perhaps MTV should not have used that choreography, or by arguing that CBS should have exercised some restraint regarding the social content of the commercial advertising.

Of course, there has been criticism about programming such as That 70s Show and beer commercials all along. Heck, didn't we hash out Joe Millionare and Temptation Island here once upon a time? However, with the insertion of the Boob into the argument, suddenly criticism has been less about declining good taste in television programming, but about who is and who is not neurotic about breasts.

But most of the comments here have not been defending the boob, but pointing out the essential hypocrisy of asserting that a Superbowl would be expected to be ``family'' programming, since it consists of violence interspersed with misogynistic beer commercials (even including ones that don't feature horses farting on women).

I would certainly agree with you that football is not one of my favorite sports because of the high level of violence. (Besides, as a born and breed Hoosier, football is just the intermission between the end of summer and basketball.) However, I would argue that most of America does consider football a family thing. It is perpetually one of the more popular youth sports, and at Thanksgiving and New Years, watching football is presented as what the family does while digesting holiday meals. For pete's sakes, how can you get more "family" than the whole Festival of Roses thing!

If your argument is that football is inherently unworthy of being the great American sport for most of the U.S., I would agree with you. But I don't find that it is hypocritical to prefer that the NFL programming and advertising be less edgy and more comfortable.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:30 PM on February 8, 2004


Free speech does not equate to freedom from criticism.

No, but it does equate to freedom from government investigations and freedom from being punished by the state. With one underway and the other the likely outcome.

However, I would argue that most of America does consider football a family thing.

That's exactly the point that I see most of the "boob defenders" trying to make -- that the mass public thinks that violent displays mixed with misogynistic beer commercials are family programming, but that a breast isn't, and that this is a patently silly way to think.

It's just a particular example of the larger pattern in which extremely violent movies end up rated pg or pg-13, but movies with boobs get rated r, because it's good for kids to see people killing each other, but it's bad for them to see nekkid people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:54 PM on February 8, 2004




Typically sensationalist but perhaps something-to-it report on Drudge that FCC thought about going after CBSViacom's broadcast licenses. So let's see, the Bushies are rounding up war protestors for the grand jury, trying to knock CBS off the air over a tit... I know middle america is conservative and scared of terrorists and all, but I gotta think this is some serious wackshit overreaching in an election year. The public is often stupid but it ain't crazy. The FCc wants to take Survivor and Letterman off the air?
posted by Slagman at 8:46 PM on February 8, 2004


FCC, investigate these.
Clothed, but probably not safe for work.
posted by Slagman at 8:53 PM on February 8, 2004


If, in a thousand years, America's reaction to this tiny incident isn't regarded as painfully melodramatic, it will only be because Janet Jackson's breast somehow managed to achieve religious significance.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:12 AM on February 9, 2004


For the last time - it isn't the boob that has people upset, it is the whole performance, occuring on primetime network TV.

Then the fact that your child was still watching by the time the titty flopped out is your own bad parenting. If the entire performance were truly so offensive, then why weren't the children removed earlier, as soon as the bumping and grinding ensued?

Your hypocrisy is astounding.
posted by archimago at 10:23 AM on February 9, 2004


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