Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More Hot Sex

Yglesias makes an important point that hasn't yet been made -- a very big reason we don't get into soft or hard censorship is because we as a country don't actually all agree on what is good or bad culture. Concern about gyrating semi-naked teenagers or chatter about sex on Friends is motivated by the same thing as concerns about Spongebob's sexual orientation. There's no way to differentiate the two, because there is no standard - "I know it's bad when I see it" is what's in operation.

Most Americans are vaguely troubled by the imagery and so forth surrounding Britney Spears and that's a disquiet that most liberal intellectual types sympathize with. It's also the case, however, that most Americans are disquieted by the message of pop cultural products which indicate that gay people are okay.

As one of his commenters reminds us, the Simpsons took care of this:

Convinced that the images on "The Itchy & Scratchy Show" are a bad influence on kids, Marge wages a one-woman campaign against the show that eventually forces the creator, Roger Meyers, Jr., to curb the violence in favor of bland, lovey-dovey plots. The new format bombs and the show's ratings plunge. Meanwhile, Marge is asked to comment on The Springfield Art Museum's exhibition of Michelangelo's "David." Not finding it at all objectionable, Marge loses her standing with the anti-free speech brigade that once supported her.