Bruno From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 2514 times:
Article was emailed to me from a freind. Thought I'd share with you all.
No sex please, we're American
By Justin Webb
BBC correspondent, Washington
After Janet Jackson recently exposed her right breast at the Super Bowl, ABC have decided to broadcast the Oscars with a five-second delay...just in case.
In a country that prides itself on its pursuit of personal freedom, why the big panic?
There are very few occasions on which I want to strangle American friends, but near the top of the list is when I hear them say: "Oh my gosh!"
What they mean is: "Oh my God!"
But in polite American society, even this mild blasphemy is unacceptable.
So people hedge their bets, mind their language, and blur the edges. The result is that life in the American suburbs is lived, linguistically at least, in soft focus "la la land".
People warble rather than talk and inoffensiveness is raised to the status of a major virtue.
I have a friend from New Zealand - a normal chap and the father of three very nicely spoken children - who admitted to me the other day that he craves indecent language so badly that he goes to the video store and takes out British films.
Sexy Beast, set among British gangsters in the Costa del Crime, is his favourite, because some of the sentences comprise only swearwords.
Most Americans in "la la land" would find even the title of that film problematic. "Oh my gosh!"
The word sex, used in the context of fun, or in a slightly racy manner, is not normally to be heard here.
And it is not just the word. The whole world of sexual behaviour is closed to American polite society.
Eroticism is anathema here - in advertising, in art, in thought.
Even nakedness far removed from eroticism throws Americans into a muck sweat.
In the sports club I go to, there is a stern sign telling me that children aged three and over have to go into the locker room occupied by members of their own sex.
Ninety million people saw one of her breasts
What is going on here?
Would four-year-old Martha be corrupted by seeing the businessmen of northwest Washington naked or would they be corrupted by seeing her?
This is not a necessary precaution to prevent abuse. This is something more peculiar which infests the whole nation: an atavistic sexual trepidation, imported by the puritans, like potato blight on the boat from the old world.
Imagine then, the upset and the outrage, the gaping open-mouthed horror, when on the biggest audience programme of the year, the annual Super Bowl football match - the Janet Jackson incident occurred.
Ninety million people saw one of her breasts.
For many of them it seems, the experience was one of the most shocking of their lives.
"Oh my gosh", they collectively intoned.
Within days there were hearings on Capitol Hill and earnest discussions on the talk shows of how to save America from indecency.
I saw a breakfast television presenter tell a solemn-looking weather person that her nine-year-old son had been watching. Imagine.
What will she tell him? What will he think?
Well I hope he has a good memory, that young chap, because the powers that be are cracking down on breasts and on talk of breasts.
Within days of the Janet Jackson incident, a partial view of an elderly woman's top half on a medical drama programme was hastily cut.
The decision to invest time and effort delaying the broadcast of the Oscars is only one move in a countrywide effort.
This is now a national priority, almost as urgent as preventing homosexuals from getting married.
Across the Atlantic
Of course, as relaxed Europeans would tell the Americans if only they would listen, the effort to desexualise all of public life, results not only in very dull television, but in an underbelly of seediness - which is the only place left for it to go.
Profanity and sex are kept in boxes at the back of the closet
It is a fact, of course, that fruity language and explicit sexual behaviour are available on tap virtually anywhere in America, if you know where to look.
On our cable television, if you get sick of the delayed Oscars you could buy an instant subscription to several pornographic film channels.
But that is the point. Because profanity and sex are kept in boxes at the back of the closet, they are no longer fun or attractive; just sordid and tawdry, existing only under the counter or in the backstreets.
The other day my wife gave birth to our third child.
It was a wonderful experience though on my way to the hospital I did wonder whether it would work out OK.
Did American doctors and nurses know where babies come from? If they found out would they faint?
In the event I need not have worried. The medical staff were gloriously un-American and my daughter was born without anyone being too shocked.
But little Clara is an American citizen, so we await her first words with longing and with dread. For there is a chance they will be "Mommy, Daddy, Oh My Gosh!"
From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 28 February, 2004 at 1130 GMT on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Hamfist From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 2439 times:
Funny to think were the same people whose courts have upheld the rights of Larry Flynt and Hugh Heffner, huh?
Maybe we're not so much against public nudity, sex, erotica, etc. Maybe we just have a collective notion of when it's appropriate and when it's not. In 2004, I don't think it's strange that parents are dismayed to see something occur that is totally out of context for a football game (ok...THE football game).
Maxmax From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2276 times:
I wish she had exposed both her boobs.....
And maybe a little more than that.
thanks god we have some good magazines and dvds around, for me an my 12 year old son to share...til it will be time for some good Strip Clubs and a couple of hookers.
Windshear From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2264 times:
I remember when I was in the US in 2001, I was at a restaurant and I asked for the toilet, the waitress I asked looked all funny in the face and replied: "The RESTROOM, is over there..."
When has that ever been blasphemy
we have a saying in Danish that goes like this, call a shovel for a shovel, meaning it is what it is and nothing more a toilet is a toilet, the can or taking a dump is not very polite though, but TOILET????
Funny article, but again if this is the main issue you have with your friends, them being too polite or worried about being impolite, then I think you need to shoot higher...
DesertJets From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2251 times:
As tounge and cheek as this piece is... at times it is shockingly true it makes me want to cry.
We are a nation that loves our euphemisms. We say dang when we mean damn, heck when we mean hell, gosh when we mean God, crap when we mean shit. The list goes on. Some people and some social groups do it more, a lot more, than others. I think it is an odd an interesting phenominom how we twist our language around to say something with the same intent but "nicer" words.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2231 times:
Actually, we're a paradoxal nation: sexual innuendo is EVERYWHERE-on tv shows, in advertisements, you name it, it's there. Yet at the same time we accept, even crave, such innuendo and selling of sex, we go ballistic over the exposing of one breast. I think what Janet did was tasteless, and people have a right to be upset, but what gets me is 5 minutes later, we're watching commercials with just as much sexual content in them, and we don't bat a collective eye.
Then of course, when something like this does happen, the Puritans of the right crawl out of the woodwork, and demand laughable over-reactions to this event-an event, by the way, that most people, when it happened, didn't even know WHAT had happened.
There is a time and a place for sex, but the hypocrisy of going overboard on Janet Jackson, while still seeing so much more sexual innuendo everyday, is just mind-boggling.
Zak From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2179 times:
"In the USA it's a scandal to see a boob, but it's very normal and even nice to see bombers flooding a city with their laser guided "surgerical" bombs.
Aren't the priority a bit reversed ?"
very true, no public outcry over thousands of pensions gone due to enron or dozens and thousands of dead and suffering due to "bad decisions" made by the government.
i think the u.s. would have alot healthier society if the acceptance of sexuality was as large as the acceptance of violence and suffering is and vice versa the tolerance to violence etc as low as it is to sexuality now.
Tranceport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 2140 times:
There are a lot of balanced views here. I can understand the different approaches that people take. Each country is unique in their culture and their social mores.
I think the bottom line here is that America is a Christian nation. You may argue that as you like, but from the very inception of America, God and Biblical principles were built into the fabric of government, i.e. "One nation under God, In God We Trust....etc." There remains a large core group of Americans who wish to conserve and maintain the moral ideals of Christianity.
Given that fact, Super Bowl Sunday is for many people a family event. It is a day that many Americans unite for fun and clean entertainment. Outrageous or scandalous behaviour is not expected to be on the agenda. Although I do agree with the previous posts that there is a huge double standard in America, I think this was the main reason for the outrage. When you attend certain movies, frequent certain nightclubs, go to certain concerts, etc., you might expect this sort of behaviour. There is a time and place for everything, and Super Bowl Sunday was not the time nor the place for Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's titillating (no pun intended) stunt.
Disclaimer: This in no way reflects my personal opinion. It is just the facts as I see them because I spent the majority of my life so far in the Southern US.
Windshear From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2022 times:
I actually agree with Zac...
I think the term used before about dropping bombs was overstated, but the point is right, as South Park The Movie said, "Violence is ok as long as you don't use any dirty words"...
You can see war as a necessety, and sometimes it can be, but to be so over reactive as the Janet thing was or the flaming of Howard Stern in the midst of intl. tensions and financial unsertainty seems a bit compensating to me...
Projection is common and maybe this is where it originates?
I don't know, but I am glad the Mtv nordic has stopped its bleeping methods and we now can hear when Eminem is rapping a word we all knew he was rapping...
Phxairfan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2009 times:
I agree with a lot of whats being said here. I don't think its a terrible thing to have naked people on television. I mean do I think there should be hardcore porn on the tv when my kid turns it on to watch cartoons, no. Then again god forbid a kids gets on the internet, from there porn is only a mistyped url away. I agree that America is a overly prude nation when it comes to sex, but I assure you that people that outwardly shun public nudity and sexuality go home and download the latest Jenna Jameson or Ron Jeremy video. America is a very contradictory society, but not all of us are like that. As for being a Christian nation, I agree that religious morals merge highly into public thought. But all "good Christians" aren't as good as they say they are. Besides you know half the men that watched the halftime show were like hell yeah until the wife gave em a cross look anyways. As for me, I was doing homework and missed it.
CFIcraigAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (11 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1979 times:
"But in polite American society . . ."
Okay, gotta ask, which American society are you refering to? Can't be the US, must be Latin or South America. My God, have you spent anytime on the road or generally out in public lately? Polite society my a$$, we're going down the tubes.