Sunday, March 09, 2008

My favorite euphemism for breasts

Cut the casual profanity in half”. That’s the memo we received every week for every script for MASH. Network television may change but Standards & Practices have always been there, are there today, and will be there long after Global Warming has destroyed every living thing on this planet other than AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS.

Thanks to a very vocal group of insane zealots, the major networks are obliged to broadcast only material deemed “acceptable” to the public. Of course what is acceptable and by whose standards? What is “looking out for the public’s best interests” and what is censorship? And what about changing times and mores?

It would be easy to portray the Standards & Practices people as villains but the truth is, they’re caught between a rock and a hard place too. Where do you draw the line when the line keeps shifting?

So it becomes a bullshit game producers and S & P people have to play. Every week when we’d receive the “cut the casual profanity in half” memo (casual profanity being hells and damns) we would comply. Then we would add twice as many to next week’s script so we could keep the ones we wanted.

We once tried to slip something by. Radar was showing a visiting general to the VIP tent and we had him saying, “Right this way your VIPness.” The CBS censors flagged us. It was a big deal and we caught hell (actually we caught hell hell but I cut the casual profanity in half) Now on TWO AND A HALF MEN Charlie Sheen can’t go four speeches without saying penis.

Remember the ruckus when NYPD BLUE showed partial nudity? Major arguments occurred over just how much of Dennis Franz’s ass they could show (I was on the side of “none”). The Janet Jackson wardrobe “malfunction” resulted in a naked breast being shown on CBS for five seconds during the Superbowl and it caused a national uprising. And yet, recently, I saw a CSI where they were performing an autopsy on a beautiful young woman and she was completely naked. Her bare breasts were clearly visible for three minutes (and even dead they were spectacular). That was okay. So do you criticize the S&P guy for letting that go through or applaud him?

Years ago CBS had lists of euphemisms for unmentionable body parts and I had the S&P person read off the list over the speaker-phone while my writing staff rolled on the floor in silent laughter. Okay, it’s one thing to call breasts “boobs” or “jugs” or “cans”. I’ve heard of those. But “sweater meat”??? Which hood was CBS getting their street slang from? Sweater meat??? That's my favorite euphemism.

Like I said, this is a network issue that is not going to go away. And it’s the zealots more than the networks that are causing it.

But I’ll leave you with this – my favorite S&P story. Way back in the 70s on MAUDE the censor had a big problem with a certain joke. The producer fought him until Mr. S&P finally said, “Okay, let’s compromise. You can do the joke on the 8:00 taping but if it gets a laugh it has to come out.”

How the fudge do you argue with that??

A number of commenters say there is now too much profanity and sex related fare on TV and there should be more family oriented programs.   I don't disagree.  I just think there's room for both.   And if you want to go for family fare, there's a huge audience out there for it.   Just ask the Disney Channel.


Anonymous said...

Great blog Ken. I often agree with you, but not this time. I have to say that it concerns me as a parent that there are almost no shows we can watch anymore as a family without foul language or references to sex. If its not the shows, its the commercials. Is all the profanity and talk about sex really that necessary? Can't we be entertained without them?

Besides, sex jokes are too easy. It might sound crazy, but maybe tighter restrictions (even if they seem silly) would force a writer/artist to come up with more clever--and more entertaining--humor.

Great blog overall though. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

I just wish TV could go half an hour without somebody mentioning 'car insurance'.

Anonymous said...

Like Cedric said about family concerns. You tube videos for children are oft times converted into cuddly bears engaged in porn positions

Anonymous said...

Sweater meat? I have not heard that term since junior high school. So, a group of 14 and 15 years old now work at S&P after school?

As parents of two children, we rarely let our kids watch television. Their viewing habits are limited to some shows on the Science channel, National Geographic, and Animal Planet. When the portions of the show include sex and/or death, we use that as an opportunity to discuss the cycle of life.

As to the shows on network television, 99% are dumb and the rest are dopey. You can actually see your IQ dropping while watching the Jim Belushi Show.

Cedric, turn off the television because the shows are horrible not because someone said feltch. We will not let our kids watch Bob the Builder because it represents a terrible form of entertainment and sends a lousy social message.

Judge entertainment by its value, not by whether a character made a double entendre.

If you want to do something as a family, then go to the park, play a board game, read a book a loud, build a house for Habitat for Humanity. Do not blame writers, actors, producers, and/or executives because you cannot sit in front of the television set as a family. Other forms of entertainment do exist. That's why an off button exists.

blogward said...

Then there's the Cockney rhyming slang term, 'Throupnies', short for 'threepenny bits'.

Adam said...

bodacious tatas is a fav from an officer and a gentleman. large tracts of land is a fav from ninth grade greek translating some poet or something.

Anonymous said...

"Network Standards & Practices!" Ha, ha, ha! That's the best one I've heard all year!

CM said...

Ew. "Sweater meat" sounds so much more offensive and degrading (and gross, and unsexy which I guess is the point) than just saying "breasts"

Mary Stella said...

I'm a romance writer. We've been forced to euphemize body parts for years. Anything goes now in some sub-genres of romance, but there are still plenty of cases where we can't call a penis a penis. There have been many creative (and some not so creative) alternatives used over the years. I wrote an entire Ode to the Pulsing, Bulging Manhood a few years ago. I don't think there are any restrictions on breast.

As far as language on television, like most things, if it fits the character, it fits the character. I'll never forget Dennis Frantz's character in the NYPD Blue premiere grabbing his crotch and saying, "Ipso facto this you pissy little bitch" to the Asst. D.A. (Whom he later married.) That one line helped define that character for me.

If off-color language is thrown in for no good reason, it annoys me more than offends me.

The Curmudgeon said...

Re: your postscript to today's entry:

Don't sentence us to the Disney Channel! Have you ever watched any of that stuff?

I would like to be able to watch quality, funny programming with my wife and kids in the room without being embarrassed. Heck (and, yes, that was on purpose), I can't even watch the Bears games on Sundays without blushing during the promos for upcoming Fox TV shows....

Honest. I know all the words. I know how to use them. Creatively, I've been told. And I had five kids. I eventually figured out how that happened, too.

But I don't need profanity or sexual references or -- worse -- bodily function references to be entertained. At least not all the f#$*ing time....

Now to go off topic: Are you going on the Dodgers' China trip and, if so, will you be able to blog during the trip?

Joseph Thvedt said...

My favorite from, naturally, Norm on Cheers:

Coach: Beer, Norm?
Norm: Does a rag doll have cloth knobs?

Anonymous said...

He slipped his pulsing blog into her moist website...

Anonymous said...

More than the profanity I wish the networks would cut the commercials for erectile difficulties during family time programming... like the superbowl and other sports shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I like to watch the occasional game with my two boys, 12 and 10, and it makes me real uncomfortable, dreading the questions they might ask. Of course the free market takes us there. Bless that free market. Not that it has an ear for even the most modest levels of good sense in community propriety and the ears of children... hmmmm.


Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentence: "I just think there's room for both."

If you don't want your children to be exposed to certain language or scenes, don't let them watch it. And if the same offends you as a viewer, change the channel.

This reminds me of what a big deal Roseanne's kiss with Mariel Hemingway was and how "no big deal" it would be now.

Anonymous said...

i'm still offended that the i love lucy writers couldn't say "pregnant."

but seriously folks, i'm more offended by republicans and those goddam 'creationists.'

they can all kiss my ass.

Bitter Animator said...

I really don't mind what they're called. Boobs rock and there should be more of them on television.

Anonymous said...

I miss Bob Hope...

Anonymous said...

I'm always baffled by a system that stands firm against anything but the most moderate sex and swearing - two acts that don't hurt anyone, and often brighten an otherwise dull day - but allow a remarkable level of violence.

You can watch a pretty girl be bludgeoned to death, hacked into bits and Fed-Exed to Vermont...but careful how you show her making out with her boyfriend. One nipple-slip and you're history.

British TV's priorities are generally the other way around - excessive violence is a concern, but after the 9pm watershed the limits on sexual content and bad language are relatively few, and sensibly used.

I'm biased by nationality, maybe, but this seems the right way round to me. Sex = okay, violence = not so great. Pre-watershed TV is 'safe' for anxious parents, and post-watershed characters get to talk and act like people actually do!

Before I forget - 99 words for boobs. And you thought 'sweater meat' was obscure (NSFW, by the way):

Bitter Animator said...

Yeah the acceptance of the level of violence compared with skin paranoia is quite baffling. I don't get it at all.

Unrelated to the genius that is the breast, I remember watching Halloween 3 years ago two nights in a row (I like that film) on two different channels. One channel left in all the gore but cut all the swearing. The other channel cut the gore but left in the swearing. Odd.

And, actually, over here (UK) Paramount Comedy often run some sitcoms that have the most inoffensive words cut out like 'ass' and so on. Whatever tapes of Becker they have are full of holes.

Oh, and I remember years ago here, loads of episodes of Married With Children were cut and some weren't broadcast at all just because Peggy's maiden name is 'Wanker' and she was from Wanker County.

Anonymous said...

"Your VIPness" Good one

Anonymous said...

“Hell hell.” Hehe, hehe.
Golleee, this was an enjoyable blog. My alabaster breasts were heaving melon-heavy with mirth.

“Car insurance,” equally good. Does it scare the bejeezus out of anyone else that, if you go by TV, the rest of the world is killing us on the SAT’s but all our scientists seem to be able to come up with is a revolutionary new concept in room air fresheners every week? Maybe I travel in the wrong circles, but I don’t think I know any family that uses and air freshener – or needs to. Hey, maybe that shows how good they are. Although there may be some class consciousness involved. How come you can compare and contrast potpourri in Beverly Hills, but Glade is so Peg Bundy?

Actually the erectile difficulties commercials do perform a network function. It’s how they time their miniseries. (Hold that mental image just a bit longer, it gets better.) Anonymous, we had a similar policy with our kids. Whenever portions of a show included sex, we used it as an opportunity to discuss death. The scary part at my age is watching sex on TV with your children, and they have to explain it to you.

Charlie Sheen probably can’t go four speeches in real life without saying penis. And another thang, I still think that’s one of the better shows on every week involving a protagonist in a bowling shirt. As you indicated, to be fair, NYPD Blue only gave us backal nudity. They didn’t even let us vote on which character. I agree with you about Dennis Franz, but if it had been David Caruso, his ass on the screen …would ….have far exceeded…. the network time limit........ before………………………… he could finish a single…sentence.

As to sweater meat -- or meat substitutes for you vegans out there – were there writing room office pools on who could introduce a completely new, totally unrelated word for body parts that would eventually become part of the public lexicon? Your example wouldn’t count because there is a “love connection”, but what about, “Yeh, but she’s got a really great set of Tupperware?” Oh wait, actually that does work. Or creative distortions that add to the metaphor, “ S&P is really caught between rocks and a hard place?”

And with this Criminal Minds an CSI stuff, why is it always “raped and dismembered,” “raped and dismembered?” This is America for God’s sake, why can’t you have one without the other!

With regard to Janet Jackson, I also agree there was room for both. Incidentally, my friend Joe in San Jose has been married more nearly 30 years to a lovely Philippiness from Manila – a country that is aparrently also given to wild abanddon in arbitrarily deciding when to double a consonant.

So ipso facto, e pluribus unum, and veni vidi Vicky. And to be fair there was no harm done. After Dennis Franz’ outburst the ADA waived her tort. Again, fun blog.

Unknown said...

I gotta say, this is one of the things I love about the new Battlestar Galactica-- "frak" wouldn't work on any other show but works there because they've created such a rich world. And that show wouldn't work if those people weren't cussing and, uh, fraking each other all the damn time.

Ken-- I have a very vivid memory of watching MASH with my father when I was a kid and hearing a general call Hawkeye a "son of a bitch", on prime-time television, at a time when that just wasn't allowed. I was shocked. But in the context of the show, Hawkeye had just told the guy that his son was dead, and in the real world that (or stronger) language is exactly what would have been said. Any idea how that battle went, and how they finally got away with letting it over the air?

Tim W. said...

Happily, we don't have as many restrictions up here in Canada. No one I know understood the controversy over `nipple-gate'. I mean, in a game where grown men smash into each other over and over again, and the only women shown are scantily clad and sex objects, five seconds of a nipple, which nearly everyone has, really isn't going to harm anyone.

I have two young kids, and I have a sure-fire way of preventing them from seeing objectionable material on television. I don't let them watch television. Amazingly, they find other things to do to amuse themselves.

On the kids being exposed to sex issue, I like to tell the story about how I loved the movie Grease when I was a kid. I had the soundtrack and loved listening to it. Years went by and I saw the movie in my late teens and couldn't believe all the sexual innuendo that went completely over my head as a kid. In other words, unless it's graphic, chances are, a young kid isn't going to notice it anyway.

And why are American censors more worried about talking and nudity than violence? Which one is most harmful?

Jim Donahue said...

Ken, how about the MASH episode with a fleeting glimpse of Radar's naked rear? Did the S&P guys even realize it was there?

Anonymous said...

I think the dirty little secret of writing dirty is that it's so much easier. Even a bad double entendre will get a titter (ahem) out of somebody.

As for the Disney Channel, I appreciate that they're keeping the 3-camera sitcom alive, but they may be simultaneously killing it. Pretty painful to watch. Their current sitcoms strike me as aggressively dumb, at least for the few minutes I can bear to watch. I suppose the craze for niche marketing makes it difficult for shows with broad appeal to get made.

I did some story editing for them a few years back and wrote a couple of episodes of the tween-targeted dramas "So Weird" and "In a Heartbeat." The shows were deliberately derivative of adult network fare, but appropriately toned down for a family audience. And they seemed to go out of their way to attract top talent like "Heartbeat" showrunner Pat Green (Emmy-winning veteran of "Cagney and Lacy," "China Beach," "L.A. Law," "North and South," "Chicago Hope," etc.). Of course that show didn't make it past one season, while "Hannah" is a cultural phenomenon.

I also think the "FCC-friendly" rules are death to creativity. Looney Tunes never had to worry about squeezing in some educational content or delivering a message. They just made you laugh, because the creators were trying to make themselves laugh.

Unknown said...

Once I saw a Family Guy writer talk about how they would deliberately put in jokes that were way over the line, so when the S&P people complained they could pull those out and keep the jokes they really wanted. But occasionally the S&P people would miss one, it would end up on the air, and the writers would feel bad.

An example of this was Peter's flashback to when he was a Wonder Twin. He took the form of Jana's tampon, hopped into her purse, and said, "Now we play the waiting game." That was never intended to actually air.

Mary Stella said...

Boobs rock and there should be more of them on television.

What? There aren't enough people discussing the elections?

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite breast references comes from the episode of Cheers where Sam is interviewing waitresses to replace Diane -- who was off to Europe with Fraiser. Carla keeps vetoing the bimbos Sam wants to hire and finally tells Sam, "I just want someone who doesn't make us both think of the word 'boob'."

Anonymous said...

Two and a Half Men really is out of hand. Anyone else ever get the urge to call Child Services on behalf of the kid who has to sit through dialogue about nutsack rot?

Anonymous said...

One of the things I don't like about the laxer standards of today is that they seem to promote laziness in writing, or in what is considered funny by the show runners, talent or the network suits.

One of the things that made "Frazier" stand out while it was on was the fact that when they used sexual situations, it was as a means to comedy, not the end. Too many shows today are just content to settle for a double-entendre or a "risque" reference for a laugh, which may work the first time you see it, but is just lame when it shows up in the sixth or seventh rerun on TBS or some local independent station.

Anonymous said...

OK guys, at the risk of becoming even more of a bloghog (would that it were possible), sometimes it’s even funnier what you bend over backwards to avoid the salacious analogy – and doesn’t that noun have a curious root.

Trying to limit oneself to the semi -entendre, if you will.

It is shocking I tell you that no one brought up the classic Friends Chandler-to-Rachelism: “I can still see your nipular area.” (It’s like mom used to think “Jewish” sounded less derogatory that “Jew” because it could mean you didn't completely fit the stereotype, you were only kind of Jew-“ish.”)

That was one of the episodes that played like a French-farce-of-the-absurd, if that’s not a redundancy. Not that you need a recap but Chandler walks in on Rach exiting the shower. She grabs a loosely woven afghan, and keeps yelling at Chandler thinking she’s saved from further embarrassment, while he tries to get the above phrase in sideways. Then he offers that he doesn’t know what she’s so upset about because here “boobies are rather nice.” To which she takes umbrage: “Nice? That’s it? mittens are nice!”

The correct-bodypart-name avoidance continues when Ross suggests they can even everything out if Chandler will show Rachel his pee-pee. Tit for tat. And Chandler insists she’ll never see his “tat.” Then they all keep trying to surprise the wrong person in the shower. "It's time to see your Bing-thing."

I’m tellin’ you, that kind of doody sticks with ya.

Anonymous said...

I missed Bob Hope too. I kept shooting, but the Republican asshole just kept dodging.

HOW can anyone miss Bob Hope? The last time he said something that was actually funny was 1955. Although that "I'm dead now." remark a couple years ago did provoke a smile from me.

Adam, "Huge tracts of land" comes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

If only ABC had said, "Cut Dennis Franz's butt in half." Horizontally or vertically?

I pray that Dennis did his own nude butt shot, because if he didn't, imagine that poor casting director! A whole day of looking at potential Dennis Franz butt-a-likes. Not enough money on earth!

I took a great comedy improv workshop 20 years ago from the late Bill Hudnut. Bill allowed NO PROFANITY AT ALL. 1983 broadcast standards applied at all times. The reason? So we would learn to be funny without it first. Once you could be funny without the bad taste crutch, then and only then, could you use it. Once every six months he would have a "Get It Out of Your System" Night, when all scenes and sketches were as obscene as inhumanly possible. The goal seemed to be to try and offend John Waters. Sweet bleeding Jesus and Mary, those were incredibly funny nights.

Count me among those who feel there's TOO MUCH wholesome family entertainment. A cute kid pops up on a show and I hit the channel changer. All family sit-coms should take their cue from FRASIER, and have the kid live on the other side of the country, and show up maybe once or at most twice a season.

I have never understood why I have to endure mountains of TV For Mormons simply because of other people's kids. You don't want your kids to see something you object to on TV? Don't let them watch. Don't even buy a TV. They're not mandatory to own. Of course, your kids will hate you, but I'm okay with that. But stop bitching and moaning everytime something adult is broadcast. Your kids should be YOUR problem, not mine! Now I'm going to watch DEXTER on CBS, and the Family Jerk-Off TV Police can go fudge themselves.

We either have freedom of expression or we don't. I'm for it.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Harry Hamlin as Michael Kuzak used the phrase "Son of a bitch!" on L. A. Law as he was expressing fury at someone who hadn't come forward as a witness, which would have saved his client from a false murder conviction.

It was appropriate in context, and Hamlin's delivery made it clear that his character was outraged in a way we had never seen before. It was the first time I had ever heard the phrase on broadcast television, and it was powerful.

Now I hear it used casually on broadcast t.v. at least once a week and all the power is gone from it.

What a waste.

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, David, I remember when Harry Hamlin was in bed with my boss Michael Dukakis’ kid John in Arthur Hiller’s Making Love. Turned out ok. I think he’s now a top executive in Will Smith’s music management and publishing company. Olympia was always the real actor in the family anyway.

Anonymous said...

d.mcewan said: I missed Bob Hope too. I kept shooting, but the Republican asshole just kept dodging.

and this is me, laughing my ass off.


Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim W. said...

d.mcewan said: [i]I have never understood why I have to endure mountains of TV For Mormons simply because of other people's kids. You don't want your kids to see something you object to on TV? Don't let them watch.[/i]

As one of those people WITH kids, I couldn't agree more. When people stop using television as a babysitter, I'm guessing we'll see a lot better behaved kids. And if your kid is old enough to watch television without supervision, they're old enough to see Dennis Franz's ass on television.

Anonymous said...


Forgive me, but I can't believe this is still on topic.

I don't know what time you get Nightline out there on the Left Coast, but set your TiVo. Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss was just interviewed at about 10:40 here (about 5 min. into the program) for her comments on the unfolding Elliot Spitzer, uh
sits-ee-a-shun, as we say down here.

By the time I had lost count, Heidi had, on this nationally over-the-air telecast news program, managed to integrate some variation of the phrase "getting laid" into the conversation a minimum of a half dozen times. Including the masterful, "Elliot Spitzer, hey he's getting laid. He gets props from me for that, but..."

It would be nice to know if she gets bleeped in any delayed broadcast. And while you're tuning in, would someone please help me figure out who Heidi looks most like in drag, Jerry Bruckheimer or Brian Grazer?

Very truly yours,
Howdy Fleiss
Best Little Whore in Texas

Anonymous said...

I'm really tired of the hacky "if you don't like it, change the channel" argument - like we don't know that's an option! The issue is about WHAT is being aired, not whether any one of us choose to watch.

"Change the channel" doesn't work when it's on nearly ALL the channels. And people DO change the channel. They changed it to watch the Super Bowl and what they thought they were avoiding followed them over! The "change the channel" argument is about as effective as saying "if you don't like cigarette smoke, don't smoke cigarettes."

Profanity can be powerful when used properly. It was successfully used in the MASH episode because it wasn't already heard on every show. The audience wasn't desensitized to it yet. All in the Family occasionally went there, but it was done sparingly, cleverly, and in context.

Can't there be SOME network shows at 8pm without profanity (and without syrupiness)? Just a few? It's not like it's impossible. When you go through the list of the best-loved shows of all time ... from Jack Benny, the Honeymooners and I Love Lucy to Andy Griffith to Columbo and Mary Tyler Moore, to the Rockford Files, WKRP, and both Newhart shows, just to name a few ... did any of them suffer because the scripts weren't swimming in profanity?

Would the line really have been better if it were "I thought those goddamned turkeys could fly"?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of obscene things on television... have people seen the new Dr Pepper commercial that uses the theme song from Cheers? I hate when advertisers take great songs that have strong positive associations in my memory and try to use them to make me buy useless crap.

Tim W. said...

Mark B,

Your options aren't just changing the channel and not changing the channel. There's also the off button, which is used most of the time, in our household. I watch about 4 shows regularly, all downloaded and without commercials. My kids watch none. I can't even flip on the television anymore because I just get inundated with in your face commercials designed for people with ADD. And a lot of the shows aren't any better (CSI?).

References to sex I can live with because they either go over my children's head, or will cause them to ask questions (which is good in our house). Profanity they hear outside of the home sometimes and know it's not appropriate for them to say. Nudity I don't care about in the least. It's not flaunted, but it's also not a taboo. If they see it on television, it's not even worth them commenting on, which is healthy, in my books. Violence, I have a problem with, but it's pretty easy to figure out what is going to have violence in it and avoid it.

And I still think it's funny that out of all the crass commercialism, violence and sexual stereotyping that happens during football games, what upset people the most was a quick shot of someone's nipple. To me, that was probably the LEAST objectionable thing.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Pepper isn't useless. It goes great with a Moon Pie.

I'm with Mark B. to the extent that some TV folks seem to think that having the freedom to be profane amounts to having a duty to be profane. There are plenty of shows aimed at adults and plenty aimed at kids, but not a lot that strike a balance. If you want that middle ground, you're probably watching lots of TVLand.

Nat G said...

"The issue is about WHAT is being aired, not whether any one of us choose to watch."

Then you're arguing to protect other people from getting to see what they want to see because it's not what you want them to see.

The classic shows you cite all have or had turn-offs for some folk. The Honeymooners is about a guy who regularly threatens to beat his wife. I Love Lucy put the scandalous view of a pregnant woman on national TV. WKRP had episodes about porn, prostitution, and other non-family topics. And so on.

Unfortunately, the US has a tiny, loud bunch of bullies who want to prevent others from seeing what they choose - and they've got the backing of a key freedom-hater at the FCC.

Anonymous said...

A euphemism that hooked me and several of my friends was a callback to a conversation between Porgie & Mudhead's line, "That Louise Wong's got a balcony you can do Shakespeare from". Whenever we'd see some noteworthy talent, out would spring a quote from the bard. Oh, what nerds we were.

Anonymous said...

Nat, you've got me all wrong. I'm not trying to "protect" anyone from anything. I have no problem with "non-family topics" on TV. I'm not even against indecency, per se. I'm suggesting that broadcasters use some discretion about what they air. Should there not be some network programming appropriate for families other than the Manson family?

Why do we need so many "Viewer Discretion Advised" messages that we didn't need 20 years ago? Because we're less permissive now?

(Please tell me you didn't really think that for all of Ralph Kramden's cartoonish "threats" that he was ever going to lay so much as a finger on Alice! And I don't know what you think was "scandalous" about Lucy's pregnancy.)

As for the so-called "loud bunch of bullies," they are Americans exercising their constitutional right of free speech. On the other hand, we have actual bullies, actual "freedom-haters" -- in Congress -- with actual power, trying to use the force of law over what I can hear on the radio!)

Rob said...

Sort of off the subject (except that he coined the 7 you can't say), but did anyone watch George Carlin's latest HBO special? Is it just me or did a wonderful comedian jump the shark some time ago?

TCinLA said...

This is basically all the work of L. Brent Bozo IV, son of L. Brent Bozo III. (Actually, the name is Bozell, but it's been Bozo to those who know/knew these two ever since William F. Buckley personally kicked Third Bozo out of the National Review 40 years ago for being "too extreme") The Third Bozo is in that not-nice place righties like him end up in where they find out that their view of reality conflicts deeply with that of The Ultimate Authority.

The Fourth Bozo, being otherwise-unemployable and proof that apples indeed do not fall far from trees, founded a thing called The Parent's Television Council, which consists of 5,000 idiots he got from the rejection list (for being morons) of every other rightie mailing list, all of whom think the Fourth Bozo can walk on cow dung (which he can, regularly). He's the one responsible for all the calls and the e-mails and the protests. He thought his Greatest Moment was going after CBS for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction."

Fourth Bozo is your standard-issue rightie: pudgily-fat in the way that no woman would ever call "cute," and highly unlikely to have any non-pervert experience with what's there behind the zipper on his fly (how do you think these guys know "perversion" when they see it?). Basically he looks like the kind of kid who got chased home from school every day, all grown up and no different, other than his pudgy little face gets all prune-like when he's shrieking (his normal way of communicating).

Did I mention he is almsot always "spittle-flecked"??? Yes, indeed he is.

If he wasn't such a steaming pile of something that plopped out of the southern end of a northbound mule, he'd be pathetic.

But there he is: L. Brent Bozo IV, terror of Standards and Practices. Pissing him off is real easy and sort of like shooting fish in a barrel, but eventually you feel bad for laughing at a retard.

Until you remember that he's The Enemy, and proof of what my great-granduncle (who worked for Harry Truman)taught me at an early age:

"The only 'good Republicans' are pushing up daisies."

Anonymous said...

I'm neither overweight nor Republican, but I don't think you have to be either to be offended by tcinla's post. Did an obese right-winger eat your great-granduncle's favorite dog or something?

I mean, wishing death on an entire group of people just because their political beliefs differ from yours? I agree that "Bozo" is a bozo, but I'm not sure that boycotting TV shows should be a death penalty offense (though I'd support a stiff fine if he got spittle in my eye).

Nat G said...

"Please tell me you didn't really think that for all of Ralph Kramden's cartoonish "threats" that he was ever going to lay so much as a finger on Alice!"

Naw, he was just, in anger, threatening to do so. Ah, family entertainment!

"I don't know what you think was "scandalous" about Lucy's pregnancy."

Pregnancy was not something that had been being shown on TV at the time. Even after consulting with clergy to get some okay to show a pregnant woman on the show, the network's S&P department still insisted they not use the word "pregnant" ("expecting" was allowed). And even with that, they got hundreds of letters of complaint.

"As for the so-called "loud bunch of bullies," they are Americans exercising their constitutional right of free speech."

Yup. They're also bullies, as they take dishonest steps to try to interfere with the freedoms of others, and sadly with some success.

Anonymous said...

"I mean, wishing death on an entire group of people just because their political beliefs differ from yours?"

Tell that to the 9-11 plane hijackers. Wishing death on your political opponents is a Great American Tradition, not unlike Racism. What so you think a war is?

For the record, I do not wish death on all Republicans, only a select few Republican bigwigs. I have a few Republican relatives, including my horrifically-misguided sister, whom I am otherwise fond of.

I just wish them all to be too ill to vote (Which mentally they are) on election day. They are welcome to recover they day after Right (The opposite of Right-Wing) prevails, but probably won't due to Republican refusal to institute universal healthcare.

In other words, I merely wish them to be as sick as they make me.

Anonymous said...

That question should be "What do you think a war is?" I proof-read that three times before posting, and still missed that.

Anonymous said...

d. mcewan: I'm guessing tc and his great-granduncle would blanch at being compared to the 9-11 hijackers, even if they do share a desire to see their enemies dead (you might want to err on the side of caution and tell your Republican sister to watch her back).

I do know what a war is, and it usually goes beyond wishing your enemies dead. The analogy will be more apt if (when?) the red and blue states get into an actual shootin' match. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of opinions on this one.

To those who say, "If you don't want your kids seeing the junk on TV, turn it off", I gotta say I don't get it. Is the raunchiness really so sacred that you would risk losing viewers over it?

But then again, there is a long and honored tradition of vulgarity on TV. I remember fondly all the swearing and nudity on shows like M*A*S*H, All in the Family, I Love Lucy, The Cosby Show,.....oh, wait.

Of course "clean" doesn't have to mean "outdated". Monk is a clean show with some terrific writing. There are even a few episodes of The Office with little or no references to sex. It can still be done!

Tim W. said...

cedric hohnstadt: "To those who say, "If you don't want your kids seeing the junk on TV, turn it off", I gotta say I don't get it. Is the raunchiness really so sacred that you would risk losing viewers over it?"

It's not that raunchiness is that sacred, it's that if people are that worried about what their children are watching, then one option is actually turning the television off, which not enough parents do, in my opinion.

As for your, so called, wholesome shows, MASH, especially early on, dealt with characters who drank too much, had lots of sex, some of which was extramarital. All In The Family had a main character who was a bigoted racist. I Love Lucy also pushed the boundaries. In fact most of the classic shows pushed boundaries which caused controversy at the time. There was a time when two people lying in the same bed was considered scandalous.

Unknown said...

I prefer the closely related phrase "sweater puppies." Puppies are things people want to cuddle and play with (though typically not lick or nibble, although I can only speak for myself). Meat is something you want to wash your hands after handling.

But I think we can all agree that sweaters should cover each at infrequently as possible.