I continue to be amazed at the fallout (no pun intended) over Janet Jackson's
breast exposure during the Superbowl half-time show. The repercussions began
immediately: the NFL swore they'd never have a half-time show again; indecency
fines were raised from something like $27,000 to $500,00 per incident; live
broadcasts are subject to a five-second delay (effectively eliminating all live
broadcasts); Howard Stern has been dropped from many of his stations (like
they're just realizing he can be racy after all these decades); there was
outrage over Simon Cowell's supposed "flipping off" of Paula
Abdul...the list goes on. I just don't get it.
For all the hoopla over this incident, I have yet to hear anyone bring up the
point that came immediately to my cynical mind: the Jackson family are
pros at garnering media attention when they want it. This was simply a publicity
stunt for Jackson's new CD, and an extremely effective one at that. Janet
Jackson - who has faded from public view in recent years - got more exposure
(again, no pun intended) from this incident than she could have with any other
promotional campaign. The sad part is, Janet Jackson is the only truly talented
Jackson and didn't need to resort to anything so cheaply desperate - her music
can stand on its own.
The incident was silly and cheap, but lewd? Hardly. Considering Jackson's nipple
was covered with what I can only describe as some sort of torture device, we saw
less breast than we see on any typical reality show. So why do I rarely hear any
indignant outrage over reality TV's body part exposures? I keep hearing about
concern for the children. I guess the thinking is that the sight of Jackson's
breast is somehow going to warp our children's minds and damage them - how, I
don't know. I mean, what is the big frigging deal about women's breasts?!?!
They're body parts, for heaven's sake, and every single woman on earth has 'em,
front and center. They're used to feed babies. Men like them. Why are they
considered so filthy that the sight of them causes such outrage? Because
they're used to feed babies and men like them? What kind of sick, twisted
thinking is that?
What's happening to our world? Why the sudden rush to "clean up"
television? TV has already been cleaned up to the point of being boring. In
fact, even before the Jackson-Timberlake boob incident, television was more
sanitized than it had ever been. Now we're subjected to delayed broadcasts and
an alarming increase in the digitization of (usually) body parts deemed
"inappropriate" for television. What's next? Homosexual stories will
be banned? All middle fingers will be cut off? Women's breasts will be taped
down? The only interjections that can be used will be "gosh" and
"golly"? Navels will be covered up? All married TV characters will
sleep in twin beds? We're going backwards here!
I've said it again and again and again: television cannot warp anyone's
mind. It can influence, yes (too much at times), but it cannot turn a
healthy law-abiding citizen into a knife-wielding rapist because they saw a - gasp!
- breast on TV. If we're going to be indignantly outraged over anything,
it should be the increasing censorship we're allowing ourselves to be subjected
to and not the sight of some entertainer's body part.
would love to know what you think, sound off on the
boards and let us know what you think!