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Monday, February 21, 2005

This blog contains rational thought and honest opinion. Parental Discretion Advised.

Veering momentarily away from the finer points of wasting away in front of monitor - last night I was wasting away from my television. After a long drive home the girl and I were going to sit down to enjoy the Simpsons in our usual Sunday ritual.

We had listened to an interesting radio bit on the way to Iowa. A producer had convinced an evalengical christian to watch the Simpsons for the first time. She picked the episode where Homer doesn't go to church, has a great day and decides to never go to church again (until he sees the error of his ways). Well, the woman didn't get to that parenthetical portion before she had decided the Simpsons is a godless example of the rampant hedonism in our society. She especially objected to Flanders as being a horrific role model of a good christian.

She actually thought that the Simpsons is so subversive, that when I think of an evalengical christian, I must think they are like Flanders. No, silly woman, I think they're close minded knee-jerk fanatics who dismiss anything they dislike about the world as not being worthy of their gaze. In other words, I think of this woman. And if you think I'm being harsh, she went on to state that she has a mental filter between her eyes and the real world.

So last night the Simpsons had an episode which revolved around gay marriage. Fox, in their pursuit of decency, posted this warning:

This episode deals with same sex marriage. Parental Discretion is advised.

You've got to be kidding me. The same kind of message they used to warn us that Jack Bauer was going to have to snuff someone is used about homosexuality? Fox drapes itself in lewd behavior, violence and rampant jingoism every hour of the day - but the sight of two gay men in a chapel is worthy of a warning?

Here's a news flash Fox. If that's your standard for having to warn parents - you've been missing a few shows. Like every episode of every show on your network.

Ridiculous. It's OK for a network to sell marriage off like a two dollar whore, but gay people are unsightly. I think some people need their filters adjusted.


Tony said...

I'd have to go out on a limb and say they added the "PDA" message before last night Simpsons because there are A LOT of kids who watch the Simpsons, versus say the number of kids who watch 24. Not only was there gay marriage, but there was incestual marriage (which was hilarious and disturbing at the same time) and the pirate who wanted to marry the wooden girl from his ship. I wouldn't know where to begin to explain that to my daughter. Luckily she's only two and was oblivious.

I'm not necessarily saying I agree that it should have had the warning, but your point is well taken. As you pointed out, Simpson's episodes usually end up with everyone seeing the error of their ways and nothing has really changed.

Josh said...

And I would agree with that angle. Though I think the Simpsons has such a diverse range of inappropiateness that worried parents would skim the synopsis frequently. We didn't get such a warning for the episode when Homer goes and lives with two gay men, for instance ... or when Bart emancipates himself from his family. And since one of the long running jokes of the show is essentially child abuse...

This called out to me I guess not because I thought that Fox was saying "you should discuss this with your kids" (I think parents should discuss many things with their kids) as much as it read "this show contains offensive material. That being two gay people allowed to wed."

And I understand there is a portion of society which finds that offensive. That's their right and it's a conversation they need to have with their priest. I don't really want to get in between. But I know if Fox ever aired an episode that focused on an aspect of my lifestyle (like, not going to church as opposed to being gay) and felt it had to warn you to avert the eyes of children ... I'd be pretty enraged.

Josh said...

I should also add, after reading that post twice, that I in no way equate your average Christian with the woman I described above. They're a special breed who've unfortunately coopted the concept of evangelism. I've only known them via the media. Most of the devoutly religious people I know I'd love to have as my neighbors.

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