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More Bullshit!

March 28th, 2006

Here are three links to articles following up on the recent FCC indecency rulings.

The first is an update on the ruling against PBS member station KCSM-TV for their airing of the documentary, The Blues. They have decided to fight the FCC. Good for them.

The second regards stations in Indiana which were fined for airing Without a Trace before the “safe harbor” time of 10:00 pm. The issue is that the ruling was based on a false assumption by the FCC, which was that all stations within the Central Time Zone would have aired the show at 9:00 pm…except that most of Indiana doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time. Duh.

Finally, here’s a blog entry by former TV Guide columnist Jeff Jarvis, making what I believe to be a very compelling argument that the FCC’s recent declaration that “shit” and all of its derivitives are inherently profane is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

My own feeling is that the best response to this bullshit may be this: if adults expect to be treated the same as young children, then let’s do what we (usually) do when the kids are around, and make up our own curse words. According to the FCC, “any use of (shit or fuck) inherently has sexual or excretory connotations”. (Merriam-Webster disagrees on this, by the way.) If that’s the case, then clearly what’s needed are words which have no relation at all to sexual or excretory functions, but sound just as dirty.

Ideally, they should have four letters and end in either a “k” or “t,” as do most of our better expletives. And it’s probably best that they not have other meanings. For example, I would reject “bork” as it has connotations of failed Supreme Court nominations and/or the Swedish Chef.

I would go with “frak,” but that’s been co-opted by Battlestar Galactica. And “ferk” would likely be willfully misinterpretated as someone saying “fuck” with a dodgy accent.

“Smot” suggested itself as something close enough to “smut” to sound kinda dirty without having actual sexual meaning, but I’m just not sure about the way it sounds when used in a sentence: “That videogame is smotting awesome!”

Turt? Prit? Juck? Hmm…maybe being offensive is harder than I thought.

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