Monday, February 08, 2010

Did something change with broadcast TV standards when I wasn’t looking?

I try not to watch too much TV, but honestly I watch way too much for all that I’ve got to do on a daily basis. But be that is it may, did I miss something? I had the Superbaal on yesterday while my family and I were cooped up in the house but I noticed that the 3rd Matrix movie was on at the same time. Now, I’ve never seen that movie before. I saw the first one in the theater and may have been the only one that I know who found it unentertaining and I was very thoroughly unimpressed. Well, I don’t know why, but my wife and I ended up getting the 2nd movie on DVD. We watched it once – and only once – and it was worse than the first one. It was at that point that I told my wife that I was not going to waste money to get the third when it came out even though there was a small part of me that wanted to see how the story ends (I’m usually a sucker for sagas). So when I saw that the local Ion Television channel was running this movie during the weekend, I decided to set my PVR to record it and watch it. Hey, it’s free, so I’m not out any money, right?

The movie was horrible, absolutely horrible. I didn’t know if I could like it less than the first two, but I most definitely did. I fast-forwarded through the emotional (anti) climactic scenes of the movie because they were just…unbearable. The death of Neo’s girlfriend, the final stand of the man-robot-guys (seriously…seriously?), and the triple or quadruple fake ending of the final duel between Smith and Neo were so over done and tiring that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

But my primary concern is not over the worthlessness of the movie, and it was most definitely worthless, or over the fact that it was an absolute life-draining waste of time even though I fast forwarded through some of it. My primary concern was the many times that I heard hard profanity and blasphemy on broadcast TV. I must admit, to my shame, that much of the casual and ordinary blasphemy that so dominates TV and other media now hits a callous point in my mind and heart when it should disturb me greatly enough to turn off whatever program I’m watching. So that is a different issue that I’ve got to look into, but I was totally shocked to hear compound blasphemous swearing on broadcast TV.

In case my terminology befuddles you, a compound blasphemy would be any curse or exclamation that uses the name of God along with another course or curse word. The last time I checked, I thought that these phrases were not allowed on broadcast TV. Whether or not that has changed in the TV standard books, I don’t know, but I was unaware that I would be hearing what I did. I know that cable channels have different standards, but I thought there were still some restrictions on broadcast TV.

Those who know me know that my wife and I very vigilantly monitor the programming that my children watch because we’re very aware of much of the corrosive and cancerous effect that TV (or other) garbage has on the mind and heart, and we desperately want to reduce that whenever possible when it comes to our children. But now, I am seriously reconsidering the radical notion of completely dropping TV. I’ve often wondered about what men did 100 years ago when they were trying to calm a screaming baby? I sit in my comfy chair in front of the tube, turn on something for the light and noise in hopes that it will lull my little guy to sleep, and that’s that. What did they do? I don’t know, but I bet I could tell you what I’d end up doing. A fair more amount of praying for my family and other things, singing to my son more, or so many more things. Sure, I’d probably have to work on my patience during those times, but seriously…what am I giving up and missing out on because of the convenience and seduction of TV?

If I decide to get rid of TV, it wouldn’t be a financial motive because I don’t pay $50 - $100 per month for TV now. It would be a health issue because I don’t want to be more calloused to important things than I already am and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunities for really important things.

I don’t pipe sewer water into my home because I like the feel of cool liquid at times, so why do I bring the TV in? I’m really starting to seriously ask that question again.


Ethan said...

What about 'underwear-fest' during the Super Bowl. They had a run of two or three in a row with people walking around in their skivvies. And these were not ads for underwear.
If I ever watch a game (which is rarely anymore) with the kids around I almost always just turn it off during the commercials....for their sake.
Now I'm going to start doing that even if it's just me.
That is not the stuff I want bouncing around in my head.
Great thoughts, bro. Unfortunately it will probably get worse before it gets better.
Make that, it will probably get worse....

EJ said...

I missed (thankfully) those.

I know many people actually watch for the commercials, but I saw one of the commercials that basically said - "if you want to see something slutty that we can't show on TV, go to our web site and watch".

But the Matrix 3 on broadcast TV ahd the GD, JC, and other variations of compound blasphemes...that was just too much.

And I mute commercials (or turn the channel) when watching with the kiddos, but I started to do that when Steph and I are relaxing too. It's kinda nice.

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