the absurd observers

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Senator's violent reaction to obscenity is obscene

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Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens wants to apply decency standards to cable and satellite broadcasting. CNN reports:

Stevens said he disagreed "violently" with assertions by the cable industry that
Congress does not have the authority to impose limits on what they air.

My guess is that Stevens has a problem with the violence, porn, and curse words that get broadcasted on tv these days. He has a violent problem with violence, porn, and swear words.

My other guess is that Stevens would approve of his own violence, the violence of his disagreement, but not the violence of, say, Die Hard. (I wonder if Stevens also pornagraphically disagrees with cable companies that argue they can show porn.) In other words, watching violence, porn, or hearing people swear makes Stevens violent, by his own account.

The problem for most of America however, is that we, unlike Stevens, get enough violence from our tv that we don't need peripheral violence that is created from people watching the tv. In fact, if Stevens gets violent when he watches tv, then maybe we've got another issue here.

I think most of America would consider people who have violent reactions to violent television to be unbalanced. More frightening to me, however, is that when Stevens thinks of other obscene television, like porn or people cursing, he also has a violent reaction. It seems that a violent reaction to porn is clearly dangerous. Furthermore, a violent reaction to curse words is just plain hypersensitive. If people swearing makes Stevens violent, I am surprised he hasn't run into trouble for road rage. Violence, porn, and swearing is bad enough, but when those things produce violence, we have a real problem.

Some people like to blame tv for their problems. Stevens claims tv makes him violent. It's a narrow view of causation. It's a cop-out. It's time for Stevens to tone it down and stop being so violent. I am starting to find him obscene.

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