PCR past banners Nolan's Pop Culture Review--now in our sixth calendar year!
PCR #301 (Vol. 6, No. 52) This edition is for the week of December 26--31, 2005.

Deadguy's Dementia

The History of Miami International Airport--Part 3....2005 Index
 by William Moriaty
Also see This issue's La Fla supplemental piece
"Brokeback Mountain"
 by Mike Smith
Walking The Fine Line...
 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott
Wow, 2005 Really Did Exist!...Finally Getting Their Due....A Thought About 2006
 by Vinnie Blesi
The Top 20 Albums of 2005
 by Terence Nuzum
One New Life
 by Mark Terry
The Beginning and the End: Ups and Downs From The Year 2005 .... Gaming .... Politics
 by Joshua Montgomery
The Top 10 Things That Pissed Me Off In 2005
 by Nick King
Bush: The Spy....Happy New Year
 by Matt Drinnenberg
The Year That Was....Thank You....Passing On....Coach Dungy....Good Stuff....On Deck....Say What?
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

Walking The Fine Line...

Well, as this year finally gives up the ghost, I find it pleasing to think that some of the current trends are showing signs of weakening. Especially in the area of censorship and "PC" topics. The media slant has changed, and I think it's just a short bit of time before the trends begin to reverse themselves. People are getting fed up with being censored and being made more PC in EVERYTHING they do. It's interesting how the media is finally paying attention to the fact that the few have been controlling the many, and trying to claim that they speak for society as a whole.

I don't have numbers in front of me, but it seems like everything on TV/Radio that get's complained about to the FCC is coming from a handful of people these days. Typically, these are also people that are affiliated in a group, so in other words, one person SEES THE POTENTIAL FOR BEING OFFENDED, and then contacts the group and tries to get everyone to complain. Apparently it's ALWAYS been like this, but NOW most people are being made aware of it.

Like for example the dreaded thing that really set off the censors: the horrid image of something that just about everyone on the planet used to have thrust into their faces many times a day as a baby. Excuse me? Are we REALLY that ashamed of our bodies? Oh, I get it.. it leads to sex, right? Because I saw a boob, so I'm going to.. act immorally now? Did the whole country, children of all ages suddenly start a huge orgy, and/or begin raping one another?

Sure, I didn't care to see it, but no more than I care to see Garth Brooks in Concert. I might have felt differently if the event occured during a Mr. Rogers commercial break, in a 10 second freeze-frame or something, but realistically it happened very fast, and was similar to the many cartoon characters who lose their pants and are stuck trying to cover themselves. If my son saw it, and really noted what had happened, he might have laughed, but I sincerely doubt that ANY harm came of it. With the exception of the backlash that cost people their jobs, etc., as everyone ran around being offended by everything around them.

In London, earlier this year, a Muslim walking through the park spotted a McDonalds "Flurry" wrapper in a tree. The wrapper has a distinctive ice cream Swirl on the top. However, this Muslim decided that it looked remarkably like the word for Allah. So, he officially declared a Jihad against McDonalds to get them to stop printing such offensive material. Now, while I have to admit that McDonalds "pushing" God would be a little silly, and I have to admit that the logo similarity to the written word Allah was indeed remarkable, I fail to see how it would only be noted by, and offend, one person. That's it. One guy was offended. He doesn't even eat there or go there or anything. That one guy, single-handedly got McDonalds to change their packaging on the product in question, recall the "offensive" ones and issue an apology. All in all, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's because he claimed that it was offensive to all Muslims, despite official word from Muslim groups explaining that they weren't offended in the least. McDonalds saw a potential for being labelled anti-PC or whatever and fell over itself trying to "clean up its act" to make sure there was no backlash.

A lot of folks are under-the-gun for PC activist groups, especially the white Catholic men who are told that they can't say, or do, things that are allowed by other sexes and races, or risk being called a racist or sexist, and potentially be left open to legal attack.

It's reinforced as everyone else is allowed to play "the race card" for everything under the sun, and it's slowly been getting worse and worse.

White men cannot converse casually to, or about, other races or sexes, etc. They now live in a minefield where it's racist to participate. Worse yet, they are required to work with these other races and sexes, and required to treat them all with the utmost respect, and even with favoritism, regardless of what he gets in return. Failure to do so can cause fines and discrimination lawsuits to a white male employer.

For the Catholics, "Merry Christmas" has become "Happy Holidays" so as to avoid hurting the feelings of anyone not celebrating Christmas. Again, for a white man, they cannot repeat a black man that says the dreaded N-word as a casual greeting without appearing racist.

Black people complain that they want the name of their road changed because the name damages their property values. The road name in question is "Martin Luther King" which they earlier made a big deal about to GET that name. If a white man complained about that, he'd catch hell for it, even though he's in the same situation on the same street.

It's sexist for a man to indicate an interest in a woman in the workplace. Of course if a woman does that, it's completely OK, and no threat of a harrassment suit hangs over anyone's head.

OK, now I understand that these groups have, in the past, been subject to mistreatment and unfairness, typically at the hands of white Catholic men, and even that unfairness still exists in a lot of places. However, equality is the answer, right? If the N-word is so bad....then NOBODY use it. That's equality. Eventually, things will settle down if true equality is used, but as long as things aren't equal, how can true equality exist?

I'm not racist, nor sexist, and I strive to impart that to my son who talks about his black friends the same way he talks about his white friends. I'm not some white power, KKK member or anything ridiculous as that. I'm just amazed that the double standards exist like they do, and anyone who wants to avoid being labelled a racist/sexist is forced to ignore it.

The race card is strongly overplayed. I run into it everywhere. These days it never fails to put a sour taste in my mouth and irritates the hell out of me. Unfortunately, white men aren't the ones playing that card, so I have to focus on the minorities. It's forced upon me to make that distinction, thereby branding me a racist, right?

One thing I found especially enlightening though was on the MJ Morning Show (syndicated radio program broadcast locally in the Tampa bay Area) a little while back. They have an annual contest every year that allows women to send in stories about why they want to have a boob job. Then winners are picked every couple of days from all the entries, based on content, stlye, need, originallity, etc..

One of the entrants, (a white lady, as I recall) decided to take Martin Luthor's famous speech and reword it to talk about her need for breast implants. It was interesting, because just like the show Host, I found myself wondering whether, or not, that would be deemed offensive. They decided to have people call in and say what they thought about it. I expected that they'd receive calls from black people, and was surprised to note that the first call out of the gate was from a white woman. She claimed that the story was highly offensive to black people because it trivialized the great Martin Luther King. Another caller backed this up, though not as strongly. Then black listeners started calling in, and they PRAISED the woman for her originality, and praised her for allowing Martin Luthor King's words to serve her own cause. I kid you not, the calls were pouring in, and after about 15 calls, there were only two white folks that complained, and BOTH of them cited that it's offensive to black people, yet were white themselves.

I don't know about you, but to me that's an eye opener and really makes a statement about what it means to be offended versus what it means to suspect something MIGHT be offensive to someone else. It's NOT always the same thing, yet it often get's treated as the same thing because of the vocal majority. It'd make more sense to say that you shouldn't be allowed to demand a change of something offensive, unless you, or your religeon/race/club/etc are directly attacked by it, AND it caused you to personally feel offended. "Secondary" offense is ridiculous. I think it goes as a statement of fact that noone called the FCC to say that Janet Jackson's quick boob view was inoffensive and to cut her some slack. It was just assumed that it was offensive to everyone, and they ran with it.

I think that the PC and censorship issues are starting to chill out, and may even reverse themselves a bit. Hopefully that's the trend that will pick up steam next year, and hopefully when it does, it'll take the race card with it.

"Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2005 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott.  Webpage design by Nolan B. Canova.  The "Deadguy's Dementia" header graphic and background tile are creations of Mike Scott.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.