Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Nanny State, Finally

According to this Washington Post article, the FCC is commencing an effort to regulate violence on TV, especially cable. While some may argue this is just another example of social conservatives using the government to regulate human behavior, I think it is more subtle. It is, frankly, a welcome effort to address the ills identified by the Smith theorem.

Almost 20 years ago, W. Smith posited his simple theorem: Parents just don't understand. While some may argue this was simple a statement of teen angst, I believe it had a deeper message. Smith's parents were clueless and absent. As a result, Smith had to create a persona known as the "Fresh Prince," who was humiliated by having to wear wack gear and who got into legal trouble with underage hookers when his parents went off who knows where leaving him with the family Porsche.

Smith realized that bad parenting was an epidemic, and most parents just don't know how to, well, parent. The obvious solution was for the state to take over as a surrogate. Social conservatives either picked up on Smith's theorem or came to the same conclusion. Regardless of what it was, they are now rectifying the pandemic of bad parenting by making sure people that kids don't see screwing OR killing on TV.

It is a consistent view that is more defensible than prior efforts to censor, which focused merely on sexual content. Of course, as we all know seeing sex can warp a young mind. Seeing straight boning for days can cause actual brain damage. Some days I can't remember what I had for lunch a few hours earlier.

Violence is less pernicious, but problematic nonetheless. Killing when bringing nonexistent democracy to people who don't want it is just; but watching Banner, "the no nonsense cop keeping the mean streets of Philly crime free his way", killing a pimp whose heart wasn't made of gold...no kid should have to know about that sickness.

The problem is that most parents don't know how to raise their kids. Nowadays, you see parents taking their kids to see such filth as the Doodlebops. Thankfully, the FCC is chock full of the know how and expertise to control what kids should and should not be exposed to.


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