Tuesday, August 10, 2010

$#!' The PTC Says

There's a new TV series starring William Shatner and people are protesting. I would have thought that they were protesting William Shatner, but it turns out that was the least of their concerns. (Go figure.) No, they're protesting the name of the series. Because it's called "$#!' My Dad Says". They object to the $#!'. Really?

Before I get into what is being objected to by who and why, I'd like to say that using the apostrophe as the last symbol in that title looks ridiculous. I think that the percentage sign would have been better. Then it would have been $#!%. That looks more like a curse word than $#!'. Actually, almost any symbol of substance would have been better than the apostrophe. It could have been $#!* or $#!? or even $#!~, though I'm not thrilled with the last one. But I digress.

Here's the scoop: Something called the Parents Television Council has sent letters to 340 companies that that purchase a lot of TV ad time. In the letters, the PTC was asking those companies to not buy ad time on that show unless the name was changed. That's going to be a little hard to do at this point, especially considering that the whole show is based around the
Twitter feed of a 27-year old guy who lives with his dad. Justin Halpern opened the Twitter account, shitmydadsays, and tweets about just that. S**t his dad says. And it's hilarious.

My favorite tweet that Justin has posted is this: "A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed." Not only are those words of wisdom, but they couldn't be more true.

But back to the protest. According to a one Tim Winter, who is the President of PTC, "Parents really do care about profanity when their kids are watching TV...All parents? No, but something like 80 or 90 percent of parents. Putting an expletive in the title of a show is crossing new territory, and we can't allow that to happen on our watch." Um, what?

First of all, there isn't an expletive in the title of the show. It's symbols. Granted, they symbolize something (it's right there in their name: symbols), but what else are they supposed to do? Call it "Stuff My Dad Says"? That just seems wrong. Well, maybe not wrong, but definitely not right.

Mr. Winter said in his letter to those companies,"When you advertise on television, do you want your customers to associate your product with (bleep)?" Clearly, Mr. Winter hasn't watched a lot of TV lately. If he had, he would know that 90% of what is on TV already is s**t and advertisers have no problem at all with their product being associated with it. None.

You know, you can SAY s**t on TV now. I'm not saying that I'm OK with it, but it kind of seems like the PTC is overlooking things that are a little more blatant than a bunch of symbols that stand in place of the word s**t. But here's an idea: What say that instead of policing everything to the point of censorship, what say that you let folks monitor what they and (more importantly) their children watch on TV, OK? I'm not saying that's going to go over very well, judging from all of the crap that's already on TV that people love to watch. Have you ever seen Family Guy? South Park? Two and a Half Men? All are certifiably filthy. All are also certifiably hilarious. And all have certifiably large audiences. But if you don't like it, don't watch it. And don't let your kids watch it. For God's sake, don't let your kids watch it. But first, you'd be best served to just get over yourself, Mr. Winter. After that, maybe we'll talk. Now if you'll excuse me, Jersey Shore is on.

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