Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bleep and the City

I had the dubious pleasure of watching a Sex and the City rerun last night on local (i.e., non-cable) channel RPN 9. It was a rather challenging experience in televiewing: with every third word or so bleeped out due to censorship, I really needed to exercise my ability to extrapolate dialogue from lip-reading and context clues. The character of Samantha, poor thing, was practically speechless for the entire program.

Now, okay, I can kind of comprehend censoring out the word 'orgasm'--oops, excuse me, orbleepsm. You know, for all those six-year-olds who happen to be watching TV at 10:30 in the evening. But honestly, do we truly need to protect our children from the word 'breasts'? Half the human population has, will have, or has had brbleepsts (not even counting those who wish to someday acquire brbleepsts). Even chickens have brbleepsts; and supermarket displays and restaurant menus the world over have no problem publicly acknowledging this. But God forbid that we actually say 'breasts' on TV when we are, in fact, referring to: tits, boobs, knockers, whangers, bazongas.

You can probably tell that I find this squeamishness with sexual terminology peculiar and perplexing. I just feel that it says something distressing about our culture that we are completely comfortable speaking words like 'murder', 'mutilation', and 'massacre' (lots of nasty words that start with the letter M...); yet many of us are simply unable to say 'cock' or 'pussy' (one or the other of which, it may be presumed, each of us possesses, after all) out loud. Even their more polite, clinically-approved cousins, 'penis' and 'vagina', are generally eschewed, if at all possible, in favor of the enigmatic phrase 'down there'--spoken, by preference, in hushed tones, as if discussing state secrets.

'Down there', really. Are we discussing genitalia or Australia? Either way, apparently, it's something of a foreign country; and evidently, the people who engage in persistent sexual censorship and/or euphemism are determined to keep it that way.

I should probably be grateful they didn't change the show's title to 'Intimacy and the City'.
Nikki bit in at 1:08 PM :: ::
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