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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

(Part 14 of an ongoing series)

South_Park_-_Bigger,_Longer_&_Uncut-24_08392

This is what happens when toilet humor is allowed to run rampant!

Sheila Broflovski, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

How did shamelessness get to this? Did it start with fat people on scooters? Or did it start way before that? And then I started thinking: maybe it was us. I don’t know, but maybe somehow we lowered the bar, a long time ago, and now we’re all sitting here, in the stink of it all…

Kyle Broflovski, South Park episode 1609, “Raising The Bar” (2012)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are right to take some responsibility for the stink of it all in 2012.  Which is not to say they should take the blame for the stink of it all.  We’re better off sitting in the stink than where we were before, back when there were massive movements of brainless, knee-jerk parents trying to childproof the world against potty-mouthed artists.  The Honey Boo-Boo Show is utterly asinine, but I’ll take it with a grin if that’s the price we have to pay for loosening our collective panties.  Maybe Parker & Stone’s satire helped that happen, maybe it was due to other issues shoving their way to the front of America’s mind, and maybe it was both of those and a few other things.

Watching it in 2012, the South Park movie is actually kind of quaint.  I imagine today’s teenagers would watch it and be like, “Is ‘bad taste’ what idiot adults spazzed about before gay marriage?”  Well yes, kids.  In fact, back then, whenever maniacs went on shooting sprees, the media didn’t scrutinize those maniacs’ religious and/or political manifestos; the media scrutinized their CD and VHS collections, and asked Marilyn Manson for comment.  “Marilyn Who?  Oh wait, I know that dude.  He’s not that scary.”

The movie holds up hardcore, though, despite being half time-capsule (Britney Spears, President Clinton, Jar-Jar Binks).  Even if you’re over the controversy and desensitized to the vulgarity, you can never be immune to a movie musical this moving.

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When the OWN Network aired Boys Don’t Cry last week, they blurred Brandon Teena’s fake penis.

This is odd for several reasons.  For one, it’s an artificial penis, not a real one.  For another, OWN was airing this after 2:30 AM.  For a third, the dildo is nowhere near any orifices; as you can clearly see, it’s just lying on a towel.

But oddest of all is this: I thought one of the main points of Boys Don’t Cry was to help normalize transsexuals, and I figured a network airing this movie would be sensitive to that.  So wouldn’t the censorship of Brandon’s fake penis make his behavior seem more taboo and “other”?

OK, fine, I get it.  This is Oprah’s network.  She’s gotta keep it relatively clean, and that means no visible dildos.  I’ll let it slide.

And yet 10 seconds later, after a couple shots of Brandon taping down his breasts and stepping into his underpants, they cut back to the dildo and:

UN-BLURRED DILDO!

Editorial oversight, or wry commentary on America’s conflicted attitudes toward sexuality?  You decide…

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Certain words and phrases have been censored during syndicated airings of 30 Rock even though they passed standards & practices when they originally aired on NBC.  Can you guess which of these words are too raunchy for reruns?

1. erection

2. pooping

3.  jags

4.  ball

5.  Micks

6.  Hot Richard

7. douche

8. McFlurry

9. squeezer

10. boning

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Censored: 2, 4, 5, 7, 10  Uncensored: 1, 3, 6, 8, 9

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