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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Friday, 15 February 2008
My Email to the FCC
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Volunteers - Jefferson Airplane
Topic: Politicians

This is not a complaint. This is a statement and a request from one citizen to the FCC.

When I awoke this morning, I heard on the radio that the media was all ‘a buzz’ about something Jane Fonda said on the Today show. Intrigued about what she said and how she said it, I looked it up on YouTube and watched the video on purpose!

The discussion was about the award winning play the Vagina Monologues, and Ms. Fonda inadvertently said “cunt”. It was a part of the discussion and not shocking to me at all. She did not highlight the word in negative way, nor did she mean it to be offensive. She said it in context of the various monologues in the play. As an intelligent person, choosing to watch the Today show clip and knowing something “naughty” was going to be said I wasn’t shocked. It did make me wonder if some person watching the live broadcast on the East Coast might have been shocked, and I pondered that for a little while. Really, if they were paying attention to the conversation and its topic they probably were not shocked.

I am writing to the FCC because I know that the Parents Television Council will most assuredly jump on this wanting the FCC to fine either Jane Fonda or NBC. The Parents Television Council has been nothing but invidious in their workings and hardly speaks for the majority of Americans. Their ostentatious grand standing on behalf of the children and public morality is what disgusts me. If parents want to shelter their children from adult discussions, they should have ushered their children out of the room when the entire interview regarding the Vagina Monologues began. Obviously, with such a topic, the discussion could be fraught with words, ideas, and expressions regarding the contents of the monologues.

As a woman, I am tired of the Parents Television Council trying to make any mention of the female genitalia something of controversy and disgust. The message that sends is that the female body is something of which we should be ashamed. With everything they’ve done since Janet Jackson bared her breast, I have been hard pressed to ensure my daughter maintains a positive body image and doesn’t feel that her body is something dirty. By making such a fuss about every uttered perceived obscenity or uncovered female body they’re causing more damage to society’s perception of women than helping it.  They are narrow-minded, puerile, and harp on trivial things. Their President Tim Winter’s statement yesterday was inflammatory.  I do not feel assaulted by the Today show, and their apology was more than enough since I was not offended. Nobody should be fired; that’s reactionary.

I feel the Parents Television Council is trying to limit this nation’s populous’ first amendment rights with their attempts to sway Congress and the FCC into further punitive actions against those that wish to express themselves. Their bourgeois attitudes, and pedantic fear mongering hardly helps to cultivate an accepting, tolerant, and free society.

Honestly, I have two children ages 9 and 12, and they have both told me they have heard that word and others on their school playground from their classmates. So, the Parents Television Council and their pretentious moral posturing over the past decade have done little to stem the flow of so-called curse words into the ears of children. I am not encouraging the use of these words nor am I asking that they be banned. I am expressing my belief that the first amendment protects free speech, and if Jane Fonda wants to say “cunt” when discussing a monologue she declined to read or Diane Keaton says “fuck” when discussing something with Diane Sawyer, or 60 Minutes airs a music video featuring several people raising “the bird’ – so what – that’s their inalienable human right, not a privilege, a right that cannot and must not be infringed upon. Whether this profanity is fleeting or not, it is within the rights of those persons to express themselves. The Supreme Court ruled on this topic decades ago. The government cannot limit our speech, for should that day come, how will we as a people be able to speak out freely against injustice predicated by our government?

Since the Bush Administration foisted Mr. Powell upon the American people as FCC chairman fines against broadcasters have sky rocketed, and the stifling of creativity and expression has crept across the airwaves. There are songs I can no longer listen to from my favorite morning radio program because their content might be perceived as obscene, and the broadcasters of that show have made it clear that they fear retribution via fines and whatnot at the hands of the FCC. Now, with Mr. Martin, another Bush Administration insider, as chairman I will hardly be surprised if the FCC, a so-called independent US government agency who should be directly responsible to Congress and not the Executive, continues to pander to the wishes of the extremely conservative groups like the Parents Television Council.

I have remained silent these past years because I have felt that the PTC’s complaints were laughable and hardly worth my effort. Yet, the actions of the FCC has proven to me that the PTC and their several million sheep-like followers who cut and paste their complaints because they can’t express themselves well enough to formulate an intelligible free thought apparently hold great sway even though they represent less than 5% of the American population. There are 390,000,000 Americans and how many complaints did the FCC receive over Janet Jackson, Bono, Diane Keaton or 60-Minutes that were not prompted by the PTC? I have had enough, and it was time that I made myself heard. This is beyond ridiculous. Does the FCC not realize that the various countries in Europe has far more explicit material on their broadcast television?

I can’t wait until either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama takes office and the government can get back to the business of solving issues of importance and relevance with regards to American’s wellbeing and continued freedom, rather than trying to legislate morality and foist puritanical dogma upon the populace.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 7:12 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 7:14 AM CST
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