Sunday, November 18, 2007

Offensiveness in the air (waves)

This won't be even remotely surprising, but I think that far right christianists are funny. Maybe unintentionally, but funny nevertheless.

New Zealand's free-to-air TV3 has started airing the series “Californication” late in the evening during “adults only” time, and the frothing faithful have not been happy about it. Outraged calls to talkback radio followed the airing of the first episode, and the far right has demanded the show be pulled, along with the usual threats of boycotts of advertisers.

Sadly, some companies have apparently pulled their advertising, but the far right christianist group “Family First” is beside itself that the NZ Police has not pulled its advertising from the show. The group's head told the media, "Sadly and perhaps ironically, the police who advertised during the first episode and who are dealing with some of the increase in sexual crime, offensive language and behaviour and drug crimes promoted and normalised by this type of programme have said they are unwilling to remove their advertising."

Let's look at a couple bits of that for a little fun. He says the police are dealing with “increase in sexual crime...promoted and normalised by this type of programme”. Sexual activity is not the same thing a “sexual crime”, except to his group any activity outside of heterosexual marriage is sinful, and they probably think it should be a crime. He says the police are dealing with “offensive language”. Really? When did the NZ Police start arresting people for using blue language? I'd really like to know since nearly everyone I know could be at risk of arrest.

The point, of course, is that the programme doesn't “promote” any of the things the christiansts say it does. It depicts some of them, but that's not the same thing as promoting them. We adults are a bit more sophisticated and intelligent than the christianists give us credit for, and we don't take our television programmes to be guidebooks for living.

If the far right means to suggest that it influences children and youth—which is no more likely—despite it being aired during “adults only” time, then that's also none of their business. Parents have the ultimate responsibility for what their children watch on TV and it's weak of the christianists to demand that someone else do the hard work of censoring for them. The most powerful and effective tool for parental censorship is still the simplest: It's called the “off” switch.

To me, the offensiveness here is self-appointed, self-righteous “moral guardians” trying to decide what we can and cannot see on television. So, I'm going to engage in a “buycott” and go out of my way to support advertisers they're opposing. Still, just in case the wingnuts were telling the truth, I don't think I'll swear in front of a cop.


d said...

Fuck! Oh shit, I just said 'fuck'! Dammit! Please don't call the cops on me, Arthur...

I *love* Californication! Awesome show. And as always, the righties can go to hell. I'm sick of their "morals". :-P

As for the advertisers, I'll stop supporting the ones who pulled out.

Arthur Schenck said...

After the fuss began, we started recording the show, but haven't watched it yet. I will, though, just because I'm not about to let some self-righteous wowsers tell me what I can and can't watch.