Just As I Thought

Does this sound Talibanesque to you?

I don’t even know where to begin today.
Here’s a story from the San Francisco Chronicle about a new DVD player about to arrive at Wal-Mart — it censors movies.

“It’s another example of a way technology can be used by a parent to, at the very least monitor, if not control, what a child is seeing.”

The ClearPlay system uses a set of programmed commands tailored to about 500 individual movies released on DVD. Not all movies are available, and Aho said ClearPlay won’t even try if filtering would ruin the film.

The commands tell the DVD player when to mute dialog or skip segments that show 14 levels of violence, sex, nudity and profanity. The user can pick which filters to activate.

Um, do we have to beat this dead horse some more? Listen, parents: if you don’t want your kids to see violence, sex, or profanity, DON’T BUY THE DVD. I’m sick of people compensating for poor parenting skills — you know, those parents who use a television as a babysitter, then complain that what’s on TV is not good for kids. They complained until they got TV ratings, and then ignored them. They screamed for a V-Chip, but never use it. Folks, take some freaking responsibility, would you?

On top of all that, Mac points out that the next thing to come down the pike is the banning of all forms of pornography by the new incarnation of Ed Meese, the fundamentalist attorney general Ashcroft:

In this field office in Washington, 32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO’s long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains.

Go ahead, just let that settle for a minute. Millions of dollars are being spent to sue those who brought us Skinamax. For obscenity. Do you have the giggles yet? I did until I remembered the gargantuan budget deficit and national debt. I laughed my ass off until I remembered that there many, many people losing their unemployment benefits on a daily basis because they’ve been unable to find work and there’s no money in the government coffers to extend their benefits. Millions of dollars are being spent to ensure that you, a normal adult, don’t have the choice to spend your money on porn.

…The real issue here isn’t whether or not something is obscene. It’s not even that Ashcroft thinks nothing of spending millions of dollars over it. The big problem is an overarching problem with the entire administration — they think we’re stupid and untrustworthy. We don’t know what’s good for us, so they’re going to step in and tell us what’s good for us — and if you don’t fall into line like a good little girl or a good little boy, well, you hate America.

The FCC crackdown on radio and television obscenity, the FCC brouhaha over soap operas, and now this? What’s next — banning books? Banning movies? Banning dancing?

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