Friday, February 06, 2004

TV Shocker (Or Not)

Americans were shocked when an appearance by Janet Jackson's breast terminated the Superbowl half-time show on network television this past Sunday. Meanwhile, the British populus practically yawned when former Sex Pistol John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten) used the "C" word on commercial telly two days later.

The Guardian's Mark Lawson says less 100 people called ITV1 to complain, though 10 million watched. He concludes with the following story:
Last year, I took my 10-year-old son to see Leeds United play at Arsenal, among whose supporters we were sitting. Following a series of mistakes by the home team's defender, the red-and-white-scarved men around us began a furious chant of: "Luzhny, you useless Russian cunt!" They repeated this line for several minutes.

At half-time, my son said: "Daddy, you know what they were shouting about Luzhny?" I was about to deliver a tender liberal lecture on how this was a grossly offensive term which should not be used in front of women or about women's fronts, when he said: "He isn't Russian. He's Ukrainian."
Though Lawson doesn't mention the Jackson brouhaha in his article, I feel the same applies: Some American parents complained bitterly about an assault on their children's innocence this week, while their own kids likely shrugged them off. If the kids were truly disturbed, that may say more about how their parents raised them than anything else.

Which isn't to say the whole half-time show wasn't kinda crass.

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