America today is gripped with needless censorship laws that are choking the media to death. This is partly in my opinion due to the fact that this country is founded by a bunch of puritans but I'll not mix my religions and my politics together. The FCC has way to much of a problem with what is allowed on media now days.
Take Nudity for example. God forbid an actress show a little cleavage (to be polite about it) on prime time TV shows, let alone in a movie, but if you go over seas children shows- even cartoons in Japan are showing nudity of males and females in programming designed for children as young as six, seven and eight! I'd like to point out that if they made a cartoon over in the USA and showed a little flesh in it, the censor monkeys would go ape over it. Pun intended. God forbid they show a cartoon figure of a child in underwear or naked. If they did surely they'd be labeled as pedophiles in a heart beat.
Language is another issue. Just who is the FCC trying to protect? Sure itís not NICE to swear. No one likes to hear an eight year old blurt out a four letter word that looks a lot like a UK designer label FCUK. But we have to ask ourselves "Just who is at fault here? Is it the TV show or popular media's fault for displaying such rudeness in their programming OR is it the fault of the Parents for not regulating their Childs behavior, language, and what shows they watch more closely?" I remember growing up in the 80's and 90's and watching movies like Ghostbusters and Beatlejuice and knowing that they said "naughty words" in it.... but god help my hide should I chose to repeat those in front of anyone that would be likely to tell my parents what I said! Why does America insist that TV producers and the Media be responsible for the upbringing of their kids? This just seems lazy to me.
To also note on this language subject: It isn't like children today don't learn these vulgar words from other sources, sometimes as close as their own home. I was out at a Pizza place last week and I saw a mom totally aghast when her eight year old told the waiter to "F"-off when the waiter did something the child did not like. I don't understand how the mom could be so surprised at her Childs language and behavior when not more than five minutes later I heard what I could only assume be the father spout off the same word in an unrelated topic of conversation. Yet I bet that poor kid will be on a diet of Teletubbies and Barney until he's fourteen because of that one incident!
What about the internet?? Clearly there can be no end to the amount of adult content loaded onto cyberspace each day. Yet websites constantly keep up a vidual to keep things at the most PG-13 related. Certainly this does its job by keeping the spammers and sick perverted weirdoes out there at bay from posting their pictures of children and other sexually explicit fetishes on the net. But Where does the line between what is allowed and not allowed lay? Saying one swear word in a website or forum (like this one) surely does not place the offender into the same category as someone who would go and make a post that has more swear words in it than the entire swear count in the South Park movie. Yet internet moderators and webmasters are more than happy to extend the same courtesy to a noted sex offender as they would to some Joe who simply has one bad run in. Letís not get into the subject of people not reading rules of conduct posted on websites and forums. People act like that is a mortal sin now days! Obviously people who are peeved by this do not know a common retail fact. People read only about 10 percent of any posted information or material. Go watch a department store with a giant sign out saying Sale X Discount on X item, and that item will be in a been underneath the sign, yet count the number of people who will ask directions to where the item is located. Annoying: Yes. But certainly workable. I'll not get into my feelings about children under the age of 18 acting as moderators and admins on line. I personally feel they just do not have the people relational skills to do the job any justice but thatís just me. Not to get me wrong. There are those exceptional few that Kaitou seems to find to work here... but those few are rare indeed. I don't mean to sound like I'm aiming this part of this post at TMDC ...or rather Anime Forum as it is now I guess. It just so happens that this site does fall into the subject at hand.
So in the end... Is free speech really free? Or is our sacred first amendment right just an illusion given to us by our governing bodies and controlled by faceless fundamentalist hell-bent on making any public domain be it online or off line safe for even a toddler to visit yet containing enough material to keep the interest of the adults. Where are the lines drawn? Where should they be drawn? Such questions I don't think America is ready to answer. Land of the free indeed. Just what is this freedom. The freedom to do as we wish or the Freedom to make others do as we want?