Monday, February 02, 2004

Say Goodnight, Michael
Is there any spectacle in American culture more entertaining than wingnut virtue guardians in full conniption? A bare breast on TV during the Super Bowl! Oh, the evil media! Oh, the humanity! (Oh, the glorious opportunity to toss some red meat to the GOP base!) Who will save the children? Dear God, who will save the children?

My guess is that 95 percent--at least--of the viewers found Janet's flash a break from the usual and definitely not what they expected to see. But then again, so was the Carolina Panthers being there in the first place and coming a minute away from winning. But "classless, crass, and deplorable," to use FCC Commissioner Michael Powell's phrase? I can think of many actions by the very government that pronounces itself so mortified by Janet which are better described by those words--and at least one of them, the recent midnight raising of TV station ownership caps, was a show over which Powell presided. If such corporate giveaways--never mind the hideous deficits and perpetual war--are less morally offensive than a one-second flash of a singer's bare breast (and a fine specimen of one at that, truth to tell), there's little left for us but to wait for someone to shovel the dirt over the corpse of our dignity.

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