Saturday, September 24, 2011

The hypocrisy of the asterisk and the bleep



I don’t know about you, but when I hit my thumb with a hammer, “Kelly Clarkson” is not the first thing that comes to mind.  Neither does the expression “paper bag” (a suggestion that was made to me by an ex-mother-in-law to, you know...replace my swearing).

Needless to say, it wouldn’t be the first thing I would scream either.  As a matter of fact, I can think of at least of a hundred things that would come first.  Among them, more precisely, in the top 20, you would find most of the original Seven Words you can’t say on television, from the late George Carlin’s classic routine: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.

Although piss and tits seem to be more accepted on television nowadays (anyways, when I hit my thumb with a hammer, I’ve never cried piss or tits), the rest is to this day pretty much taboo.

But would people be less offended if wrote : Sh*t, P*ss, F*ck, C*nt, C*cksucker, Motherf*cker and T*ts.  It seems that The Drama Queen Media thinks it’s less offensive.  Or how about when they blur the middle finger of someone giving the finger on tv?  Do they think we are too stupid to figure out that blur hides a finger?

Let me get this straight.  Everyone knows it’s a finger.  So why should I be less offended by not actually seeing it?  I’ve seen a finger before.

You know why?  That’s bulls*t! (Yeah! I know. Easy one...). Movin’ on...

So we have the asterisks for the written words, the blur for the images...but how about the sound?  Well, there’s something for that too: the bleep!!

Here’s a realistic example (be patient, it really starts at 0:07):


But seriously.  Every time we hear the bleep, we instantly know it’s a “bad” word.  Why hide it?  It’s not as if we can’t handle the difference between fuck and shit.  Or between fuck you and fuck off?  Either way, we get the drift: there’s a disagreement.  And if we hear bleep!! bleep!! bleep!! bleep!!...we’re pretty sure it’s not “Kel-ly-Clack-son”.

It’s all about conventions and cultures anyways.  Some people chose fuck as a filthy word a long time ago.  It doesn’t mean as much in other languages.  French Canadians use names of objects from the Catholic Church as swearing words.  People from France don’t relate to it at all, although they speak the same language.

Oh! But what if CHILDREN heard that?  They wouldn't be scarred for life, would they?  Well there are no bleeps for parents.  I hear parents dropping f-bombs in front of their children every day.  There are no bleeps for a drunken homeless man telling me, in so many (precise) words, how much he doesn’t like me, in front of my son (true story).  There are no bleeps for adults arguing about “rules of courtesy” in rush hour traffic.

It’s part of our lives.  We can be hypocrites about it and hide our heads in the sand.  You can bleep it all you want but our children are bound to hear it daily.  And since it’s forbidden for them to swear, it becomes a lot more attractive as they grow older.  Forbidden things are sexy to humans.  Just ask Adam and Eve about the forbidden fruit.

Why not censor the realistic violence on the news?  Or the hip hop videos where you see men treat women like objects (or if you prefer, garbage).  Or MMA fights?

Or how about censoring “philosophers” and “prophets” (being sarcastic) that have huge ratings in the US of A and that say, freely, unique “gems” like:
  •  "I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn't have rescued them."Bill O’Reilly, radio and tv host
  • "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." - Rush Limbaugh, talk radio host
  • "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could.” – Glenn Beck, radio and tv host
  • "The only [Katrina victims] we're seeing on television are the scumbags." – Glenn Beck, radio and tv host
  • "Blowing up Iran. I say we nuke the bastards. In fact, it doesn't have to be Iran, it can be everywhere, anyplace that disagrees with me." - Glenn Beck, radio and tv host
Glenn Beck has to be our favourite clown of the Modern Circus.  If Beck was a movie villain, people would say Hollywood exaggerated again.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer my son to listen to a stand-up comedian swearing once in a while than him listening to Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh.  At least, the comedian makes you laugh.

I’m all for free speech.  But why do we always focus on the small insignificant things?  If you don’t agree with me, every time you hit your little toe on a table leg, try to scream “paper bag” or “jeepers” and drop me an e-mail.

Oh! Yeah! By the way, here’s the following scene after the “Kelly Clarkson” cry:


I knew it.  Kelly Clarkson is just not enough.  And just imagine the colourful would be weather reports with Dusty Sunshine, The Weatherman: “Tomorrow, it’s gonna fuckin’ pour, baby.  We’re talking fuckin’ dogs here…and all the shit”.


New Character(s) brought to this Blog: Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh as the Straightjacket Models Trio.
This week’s lucky number: Big surprise this week.  The lucky number is fffffffffffffffffffooled ya! It’s 7 again.
Personal message: To the guy with a comb over: “Are you trying to pull up your back hair too?”.
To do: rest (and if lucky, sleep more).
Bad jokes when you are at the customs: “Do I carry any weapons? No. Do you know a place where I can get some?”
Bad name for a rock band: Neil and Michaele’s Journey (if you don’t get it, Google the three names altogether)
 
Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints: reflectionsonamoderncircus@gmail.com
 
 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reality...really?

This morning, I was eating my All-Bran Flakes while reading the Nutrition Facts (110 calories per cup, but 160 calories with ½ cup of 1% milk!!).  And I was wondering: what if they made a reality show about me.  Just imagine: brushing my teeth, taking a shower, eating the All-Brans, drinking the juice, cleaning the dishes, writing my blog (for an hour at least!!), going to the supermarket, emptying the bags at home (wondering where I put the strawberry jam), looking for the strawberry jam, desperately looking for the strawberry jam in the car, mentally blaming the kid working at the supermarket for losing the strawberry jam, watching college football on television, dosing off while the game gets interesting, etc.

One word: exciting.  I’m sure one would pay good money to watch an hour of that, right?

No wonder reality shows are scripted (SPOILER ALLERT!!).  Otherwise, why would anybody watch them.  Let’s face it.  Our lives are boring...to watch on tv.

Message to friends: It applies also to telling the world on Facebook that you are washing your underwear or on Twitter that you just folded the said underwear.  Is that a way to say that we would like to be stars of a show too?  Maybe.  Nevertheless, I don’t believe that we would like our lives to become public either.  Celebrity is overrated because there is no switch “off” to it.  For better or for worse.

So who or what do we have to be to get on a reality show?  A washed up rock star?  An ex-stripper or barfly, finding a way to get attention?  A “Snookie”?

Beautiful or good looking?  Probably.  Either that or mean and hateable (the Dallas’ J.R. factor).  Talented?  Absolutely not! (See Paris Hilton, The Kardashians, Flavor Flav, etc.).

But I feel that a new trend of reality tv has already begun.  You know, the kind you get sucked in, without consent.  The Drama Queen Media loves that.

For example, the Anthony Weiner scandal.  Remember him?  He gets caught sending pictures of his crotch to a college student in Seattle (and many other women), via his Twitter account.  Then he lied his way to complete humiliation, namely by saying his account was hacked.  He called numerous press conferences and interviews to push the lies even further.  Then another woman came forward with a shirtless picture of Weiner that was sent to her.  Finally, he admitted sending the pictures, but refused to resign.

All of this while he was married for less than a year, to Mrs. Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (a woman that should understand her, by experience).  Oh! Yes!  By the way, at the time of the scandal, his wife was pregnant.  If that was a movie, critics would say that the scenario is absolutely non credible and too farfetched.  When reality surpasses fiction...

But there is more to it.  Weiner got caught sending pictures of his wiener!  How more Hollywood can this get?

Grande finale: he resigns.  And, as he announces it, if you listen closely, you can hear people cheering in the background (around 0:18 seconds).  You gotta be kidding me?


Hitting a man that is already down?  What Anthony Weiner has done is utterly stupid.  It’s immoral.  But, it’s none of our business.  It must have been humiliating for his wife.  But us?  Who are we to judge what he’s done?  He didn’t commit any fraud.  He didn’t steal money from people.  He didn’t kill or injured anyone.  He’s just an adult male, that replaced his brain with a sexual organ (happens frequently and daily), and that acted like a total bonehead.  He’s guilty of covering up, of lying.  But lately, denying and lying “seems” like a natural human reflex (See Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Rafael Paleiro, Bill Clinton, etc.).

But among the people that judged Weiner, I can’t believe that none of them acted like boneheads.  If we follow the rule established by the late George Carlin: “There’s a few winners...and a whole lotta losers”.  The only difference between Weiner’s wiener and mine is that very few care about mine.  But let’s not kid ourselves.  Weiner never invented sending explicit pictures to other people…not even among married men.

Truth is we laugh at the guy that slipped on a banana peel.  That’s all.  We watch reality TV to see people mess up, argue, fight and feel miserable.  The modern way of feeling better: seeing other people fall...or fail (instead of changing our ways).

Here you go.  “Knock yourselves out”, no pun intended:


Reality TV” is living vicariously.  Not really living.  You sit and watch others live in an aquarium...with a certainty that you would do better.  Just not now.  You are too busy watching.


New Character(s) brought to this Blog: none.
This week’s lucky number: (11,087 + 78) /1,595 =  (yes…again!).
Personal message: To a telemarketer calling me on the phone (me speaking): “I’m sorry, I cannot help you.  I will have to transfer you to my financial department”.
Quote of the week: It’s only funny until someone gets hurt...then it gets freakin’ hilarious” – Anonymous reality tv watcher.
To do: laugh (and to be able to laugh at myself).
Bad jokes when you are at the customs: “Do I carry any weapons?  No, just drugs.”
Take the money and run: Serena Williams got a $2,000 fine for her verbal abuse of an umpire, namely telling her she was “unattractive inside”, during last Sunday's U.S. Open final.  Tennis officials ruled that was not a major offense.  Williams earned $1.4 million at the U.S. Open.  Let’s take out our calculator...the fine represents 0.14% of her earnings.  For ordinary workers, that fine would be the equivalent of a few bucks.
Bad name for a cruise ship: The Bachmann (runner-up: The Gingrich).
 
Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints: reflectionsonamoderncircus@gmail.com