I thought this went without saying, but just so we’re clear: I don’t care about your kids.
I bring this up because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is actually considering loosening its guidelines to allow more adult content onto network television. They have a notice on their site soliciting feedback as they conduct a review to consider a major overhaul to their current system. They’ve already received close to 100,000 comments.
It also prompted a response from groups like The Parents Television Council (PTC) and the American Family Association.
“If the FCC drops the standard, the networks will give us all the profanity and nudity they think they can get away with, and they’d just keep pushing the envelope,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis at the American Family Association.
I think Fischer meant that as a negative, but that sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?
Fischer also said, “Today’s television programming already goes well beyond the content parameters most parents find acceptable. No parent, after watching a program with their children says, ‘you know, that sure would have been a better program if they’d only thrown some nudity and profanity in there.”
First of all, I’m not sure that’s true. Three or four hours into a mind numbing Dora the Explorer marathon with their kids, I think there are some parents who might be okay if the show mixed things up by having Dora say, “Swiper, keep your hands off my shit or I’ll fucking cut you.”
And secondly, I say again, I don’t care about your kids.
I’m sure that being a parent is very difficult. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it’s like trying to protect your kids from seeing things you find objectionable, let alone any of the other dangers lurking out there in the world. But why should that affect what I – a grown adult – am able to watch on my television screen? Why should we have to put draconian regulations on network television just so you can avoid monitoring what your children are watching? How is it the FCC’s responsibility to raise your kids for you?
If you want to keep your kids from seeing bad things on television, be in the room with them when they are watching it. It is really that simple. They don’t have to have a TV in their room or one somewhere you can’t monitor it. Put one TV in the family room and fucking sit there doing your bills or drinking mimosas or whatever it is you do while your kids zone out in front of the TV and make sure they aren’t watching Cinemax After Dark. That’s your responsibility as a parent. We shouldn’t have to get rid of Cinemax After Dark just because you don’t feel like watching your kids. I know they say “It takes a village” and all that bullshit, but it really doesn’t.
Besides, you are focusing your energy on the wrong area anyway. You can fight the FCC tooth and nail if you really want, but all you are doing is expediting the slow and painful death network television has been suffering though. You can handicap the networks and keep them from having the same rules apply to them as cable TV, but keeping us from seeing the real Annie’s boobs on Community won’t protect your kids eyeballs. It will simply help the networks to continue to be irrelevant in an era of cable TV, streaming sites like Hulu and original programing on Netlix.
I’m going to break this to you gently, but here it goes: if you are reading this right now, that means you have access to the Internet. Which most likely means that your children have access to the Internet too. Which, frankly, means you’re fucked.
Seriously, just let the television crusade go and immediately focus all of your energy on shutting down the Internet. Mr. Rogers could depict a big ol’ puppet orgy right there in the middle of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and it wouldn’t be nearly as traumatic or graphic as the first three videos that randomly pop up when your kids log on to YouPorn or PornTube or LubeTube or whatever their adult video site of choice is.
Google “goatse” sometime and you’ll never worry about what your children are seeing on television again. I promise.
Or don’t. Frankly, do whatever you want. Like I said, I don’t really care about your kids. I just want to watch Parks and Recreation in peace.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. Follow Joel on Twitter @FreeMisterClark or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.