Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lock up your sons!

The late, great Bill Hicks famously wound up a routine on personal freedom by asking the can’t-argue-with-it question, “About alchohol, about drugs, about pornography...what business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see or take into my body as long as I don't harm another human being whilst on this planet? And for those of you having a little moral dilemma on how to answer this, I'll answer for you: none of your fucking business! Take that to the bank, cash it and go on a vacation outta my fucking life.”

Then, with the deadpan, world-weary frustration at the state of the world that was his stock-in-trade, he reflected: “But here’s their answer, every time: we have to protect the children, we have to protect the children. Let me tell you something, kids are a lot smarter than you think. You wanna know how I know? I don’t know a single kid with a full-time job and kids!”

I mention this in light of another storm-in-a-teacup over ‘Glee’. A show that I don’t even watch and that I’ve now freakin’ blogged about twice! The first time was in November last year, after Dianna Agron diplomatically attempted to diffuse the furore over her photoshoot with fellow cast member Lea Michele in GQ, a photoshoot which saw her expose a few inches of midriff and show a big of leg and frankly not much else. A photoshoot that the Parents’ Television Council, in all its small-minded and lower ‘c’ conservative “wisdom”, decided to decry as “bordering on paedophilia”. Quite how a 24-year old actress baring her belly-button can be considered paedophilia is something the PTC never explained. Nor did the salivating gutter press call them on it, instead reprinting their groundless hyperbole ad naseum.

Less than three months later, here we go again. Lea Michele posed for Cosmopolitan in a supposedly racy cover shot.

The result? More tabloid hyperbole, more outraged moralizing, more column inches, more bullshit. How deep is the bullshit this time round? By way of an answer here’s one Kim Trefcer, described by the media as a “New York mom”:

“I think Lea Michele is sending the wrong message. She plays such a ‘good girl’ on Glee and a lot of kids look up to her persona. Then she poses very provocatively on two magazine covers which makes my almost-13-year-old son very confused and offended. I find it frustrating as a parent who is trying to teach right from wrong to their kids and then you have things like this happen which is showing middle schoolers things like sex sells and all that goes along with that.”

I have a few questions for Ms Trefcer:

1) Are you the same Kim Trefcer who is associated with the Unitarian Universalist Congregration (a wishy-washy outfit so concerned with being all-inclusive that they manage to be a spiritual organization who don’t actually hold to the tenets of any single religion)? If so, is this just a recruiting drive?

2) If not, are you actually Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi in drag?

3) “My almost 13-year old son”. Why don’t you just say he’s 12?

4) “A parent who is trying to teach right from wrong.” Your kid’s on the cusp of his teenage years and you’re still “trying” to teach right from wrong – WTF?!?!

4b) If you want to teach your kid right from wrong, here’s a suggestion: nudity goooood, drugs baaaaaad. Masturbation gooooood, guns baaaaaad. Sex gooooood, stealing cars baaaaaad. You see, it’s all about perspective.

5) Honestly: if your 12 year old son’s “confused and offended” by that magazine cover, is Lea Michele’s décolletage really what you’re worried about?

6) Lady, do you have ANY FUCKING IDEA how much shit your poor kid’s going to have to take at school this week just so you get your name in the papers?

Seriously. Won’t anyone think of the children?


For the record, these are racy covers:


Unknown said...

You're absolutely right, people can be such arseholes.

Bryce Wilson said...

Asking Americans to have a healthy attitude about sex is like asking a leper to compete in a 5k.

It reminds me of a story I saw Matthew Vaughn tell. They wanted an actress for Hitgirl and had to give her mother the script. The Mom calls and says "Well I think we can do it but I have some problems with the script."

Vaughn asks "Is it the violence?"

"No not the violence."

"The Language."

"Well I'm not thrilled about the C-word but the rest of it's fine."

"Well what then?"

"Well on Page 3-"

"Er... Hitgirl isn't on Page 3."

"I know but on Page 3 the main character starts to masturbate infront of the computer. I have a sixteen year old son and I don't want him getting ideas."

Bryce Wilson said...

A thought just occurred to me.

Given your indignation over this you're probably happily unaware of the American version of Skins "controversy."

Please don't Google it, I'd like you to keep what little good opinion of my countrymen that you have left.

Neil Fulwood said...

AML - you've just nailed in one sentence what I spent 600 words on.

Bryce - love the Matthew Vaughn story. I'm not sure what's more jaw-droppingly unbelievable, the idea that a mother would be okay with her prepubescent daughter playing Hit Girl but taking umbrage at the thought that the selfsame movie might encourage her 16 year old son to indulge in a little internet porn/self-satisfaction activity, or that she was deluded enough to think that a sixteen year old lad wouldn't be thumping one out at every possible opportunity, always assuming that he hadn't become sexually active already.

I've only just started picking up on the US 'Skins' aftershocks via the net. I'm not a big fan of the UK version - it's always struck me as a show that tries to be controversial for the sake of it - but having said that, UK audiences take it as just another show (racier than 'Hollyoaks' but not as on-the-pulse as 'Shameless') and I don't recall anyone on this side of the Atlantic decrying it as "paedophilia".