So, we are currently in the midst of a Great National Debate. Solemn consideration of weighty matters of the First Amendment and the limits of personal expression and community good. Specifically, the United States Supreme Court is currently reviewing the use of the F-bomb on national television by Cher and Nicole Richie and the display of a woman’s backside as she walks into the shower in same medium.
I haven’t been much of a TV person in the past decade or so, a combination of budget consciousness, genetics (my people don’t pay for TV), poor broadcast reception and generally other things to do including sleep, eat and ride my bike. However, in the past several months, I’ve been doing more TV watching. What’s struck me is how violent and graphic even broadcast TV has become in recent times, and how sexual as well. Mutilated bodies, severed limbs, smashed skulls, people shot in the head, shot with arrows, bodies crumpled, crushed, pulverized, blood everywhere. During family hour. On shows marketed to children and families. Huh? Paired nicely with the bondage scenes, grown men tied up on the floor in their underwear, just met couples hooking up. During family hour. Uh-huh.
Which gets me back to Cher and Nicole Richie and the F-Bomb and the topic of this Blog, which I do follow even if it isn’t always explicit or obvious. As I explained to a Right Coaster awhile back, folks in the Middle don’t care if you are saying “dumbsh!t” they care about whether you are a “dumbsh!t” and the problems your “dumbsh!tery” cause everybody else. And let’s face it, most grown ups realize that the most hurtful words are usually the ones that sound the best on the surface, delivered by someone who knows enough to cut to the core. “Oh, your new hair is wonderful, the way it distracts from your weight.” “What an . . . . interesting effort. I’m sure you’ll get somewhere eventually if you keep trying.” Or to the person next to you, “Wow! Your dress is fantastic! What a find, you look spectacular!”, when they know you worked hard on a new outfit.
Which is why Everybody in the Middle Loves John Boehner. OK, “love” is a strong word, and so is “everybody.” Within the generally accepted bounds of reason, I assert this has some truth, though. Reputed in DC as “salty” it is true that Tum, da, dum, dum!! Speaker Boehner has been known to . . . SWEAR! Middle dwellers really don’t worry about that too much, not with adults at least. Not when it seems warranted. Everyone has to have a vice. Better that than hookers and blow. I didn’t say they agree with all of his politics, or the positions of the Republican Party, or everything that happens in DC, Congress, the House or even the House Republican Caucus. An exaggeration without qualification, limited in scope.
As Roads Diverge in the Wood, so do personal styles. And in the end if John Boehner is anything, he’s a Midwesterner. Married to the same person for the past forty or so years, no Credit Line at Tiffany’s, no rumors of Herman Cain tendencies or Worse. Generally, personal life is not part of the pitch. There’s no real “narrative” with this guy. “Narrative” is a big deal in American politics these days. “I was born poor, the child of itinerant flower polisher and sidewalk window vendor.” John Boehner has “narrative,” born and raised in the area he represents, parents slept in the livingroom of their own house so their twelve kids could use the bedrooms, etc., mostly dredged up by others.
So, I’m with Cher, and Nicole and Speaker Boehner, and I have to say, I’m even OK with the shower scene full-backal nudity, as an alternative to the bondage scenes and first date hookups.
But if we could just step away from the social aggression, personal slams and mutilation of living creatures on broadcast TV during family hour . . . . That would be nice. You can make this plea part of my Narrative. :S