Saturday, April 26, 2008

Open the windows and the censors crawl in

The election of the Rudd government has proved a potential flood of sunlight for this country. There are countless issues to address after the conservative Howard years, but Rudd seems intent on concentrating on broad nation building and economic imperatives before his government branches out to ‘discretionary’ issues.

Sure the republic is back on the agenda, almost forced back on the agenda, but it not yet a high priority. There are strong cases to further investigate and prosecute dubious activities of the previous government, but one gets the impression that those issues do not advance the immediate needs of the country.

That is all well and good for the government and there is a growing trust that this reasonable approach is probably the right approach. However the fly in the ointment is the Senate. So far Rudd has outmaneuvered the conservative majority in the Senate. After June he will be dealing with a couple of Christians calling the shots.

One is a maverick Liberal from South Australia, Senator Cory Bernardi. The other from Victoria is Leader and Whip of the Family First Party, Steve Fielding, must take time out from whipping and leading himself – he is the only Federal party representative.

These guys would be hard pressed to show more than a couple of hundred thousand primary votes between them, yet feel a moral duty to tell millions of Australian’s what they can watch on TV. Bernardi puts this into context by saying he “has no problem with nudity, you can’t hear that”.

Both, like their ilk elsewhere, claim that they are not at risk from the sort of programs they want to have banned; their concern is for the rest of us vulnerable souls. Shows like Big Brother are in their sights, but they are really getting their knickers in a knot over a reality restaurant show – Gordon Ramsay’s Nightmare Kitchens.

Personally I get fed up with the way certain words are used freely and without consideration for their value in proper context. But potty mouth seems to be the order of the day now, so a TV chef effing and c-ing is sadly in line with social mores.

I get enough of it from people around me, so I haven’t seen the need to tune into any of the dangerous programs this pair sees as worth diverting the national agenda to ban. I have enough trouble trying to understand exactly what people around me mean with their lazy word substitutes; why would I bother trying to work out what TV personalities are trying to say?

But millions of Aussies seem to find it all very entertaining and apart from killing the beauty of our language, and I am particularly fond of the Anglo-Saxon roots of the language, the fascination is causing no great national harm. Unless of course the heavenly duo are concerned that they won’t have the Aussie numbers in their heaven.

Still, I am concerned for the salvation potential of the pair. One of them even claimed that he was concerned that his kids might overhear the bad language during late night trips to the bathroom. Why the hell is he watching the stuff anyway?


TomCat said...

If Republicans in the US are any example, you better watch those two in public rest rooms.

D.K. Raed said...

oh my lord, you're about to get christianated! it's the hypocrisy that kills me. they're always telling me what I can watch & hear if I don't want to put my immortal soul in danger. well, immortality issues aside, who tells them what will imperil my soul? who died & made them god? if people can't decide for themselves, what good is free will? if I happen to see a TV chef "eff-ing and c-ing", I would probably turn the station anyway, but now, well since they want to censor it, I might have to search it out! besides, I have no idea what "c-ing" is, so it will be strictly for personal enlightenment.

I certainly don't think it damages kids to HEAR swearing or SEE nudity either. If that was the case, we'd ALL be psychologically-damaged. hmmm ....

Cart said...

Tom, I’m thinking of promoting a bill to ban all elected people from using airport lavatories in Australia.

DK, “I have no idea what "c-ing" is” So I’m being oblique, but I do find it offensive that a word used to refer to female pudenda can be imbued with so many negative meanings. I expect I have now been oversensitised, but not entirely from prudish leanings. I have no objection to any language used in context.

abi said...

I know it's trite to say, but when the pols become genuinely outraged over the obscenity of killing children in other countries, I'll believe them when they say their outraged over effing words on tv.

Cart said...

fortunately trite doesn't mean wrong. A worthy thought abi, thanks.

TomCat said...

LOL Cart. Call it the Wide Stance Act. ;-)