Society

It's Time the MPAA Puts Ratings on Movie Titles

| by Brian Crosby

            Why does the Motion Picture Association of America even bother with ratings when the titles of recent movies evidently have no scrutiny.  It all started a few years back when the raunchy “South Park” cable cartoon series released the feature “Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” and the producers admitted they got a kick out of having the MPAA allow such a gross title.  However, that seems tame compared to “Meet the Fockers”, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”, and the soon to be released “Kick-Ass.”

            If you are watching TV with your mother or children, do you not blush when ads for these movies appear?

            The old argument about turning off the TV if you don’t like what’s on it doesn’t work when billboards all over town are emblazoned with “KICK-ASS”; you can’t easily swerve the car in the opposite direction.

            It is practically impossible to shield young children from being bombarded by images and sounds that at the very least makes it quite difficult to explain to young people, at the worst makes life around them coarse and vulgar.

In the past, double entendres were employed as a way to get around a censor.  Nowadays, there is no shading of what the true meaning of something is.  In fact, often the magnified message is quite clear, slammed in your face super-sized style, leaving no doubt what is intended.

If your reaction to these examples is “big deal”, then my point is made:  people have become blinded to good taste.

Clearly, things have gotten out of control.  This is not about censorship.  It’s about boundaries.

No standards seem to exist anywhere anymore.  Are people asleep out there? 

Yet how many of us are sick and tired of the “Holy Shift” ads for Showtime’s“Nurse Jackie”?  Last year’s slogan was “Life is full of little pricks.”  How raunchy will next year’s ad campaign be?  You can imagine those writing these lines snickering to themselves.  You have to wonder about those who are paid big bucks to come up with this tripe:  don’t any of them have kids?  Aren’t any of them ashamed of their work?

It’s akin to a person drawing genitals in a public restroom.  Only now all of us can see the work of the infantile minds in magazines, newspapers, and on television, buses, and the Internet.

We all should feel embarrassed when we see and hear these images.  Evidently shame is on the endangered species list of human traits.

I don’t mean to sound like a snob but enough already with all the smutty ads and movie titles.  No, using four-letter words and profane depictions is not the end of American civilization.  Yes, I enjoy watching R-rated DVDs, once my kids are in bed.

But why aren’t more people riled up about these gutter tactics occurring regularly on TV, billboards, and webpages?

 People can be very good at trumpeting certain causes, such as outlawing cigarette smoking in public places, making sure animals have rights, cleaning up the environment.  But when it comes to the pollution of the eyes and ears, protests are nonexistent.

            We don’t know the possible harm that is being done on young people’s psyches.  As human beings all of us should strive to be the best that we can be.  Unfortunately, too many media messages push the envelope in a kind of contest of how crude can people get.

All of us need to remember that there are children in our society, and we need to take care of them.

Children growing up with a coarser culture are bound to be courser themselves. 

There was a time when adults would refrain from using obscenities whenever women or children entered a room.  Now those obscenities are tattooed on the parents’ arms.

Freedom is not about doing or saying anything you want.  If so, there would be no civilized society.

There is plenty of room in the marketplace for garbage.  The public should have the choice whether or not to be forced to look at it and smell it.

We all could use a little civility nowadays.