Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cable Crap

I’m convinced that conservatives, the people who say they want less government and more freedom, either have a highly-developed sense of irony or none whatsoever.

This lastest kerfuffle over cable television and “family-friendly” programming is a case in point. Since the invention of broadcasting, there have been people who have wanted to restrict what other people can see or hear, and in spite of changing mores and technology, they still want to keep nothing but the purest heterosexual values out there for everyone to see. Now, fifteen years after the implementation of the V-chip, the TV ratings code, and cable boxes that can be programmed with a touch of a button, the bluenoses want even more, including the regulation of what can go out over premium channels on cable television.

What escapes me, though, is who has decreed that every household has to have a TV set? Where is it written that every home must be equipped with cable TV? Why is it the responsibility of the government to regulate the content of cable TV? Over-the-air broadcasting is one thing; it’s free to anyone with a TV set and some rabbit-ears, but cable requires a subscription and a contract; it’s like the difference between skywriting and a magazine subscription. And why is it that it’s always the “concerned parents” (read uptight right-wingers) that sound as if they are making it their business to raise everyone else’s kids but their own? Any parent who delegates their parental responsibilities to an appliance has far more problems with their job as parents than what’s on cable TV, and I find it ironic that they’re turning to the government to help them raise their family. That’s not the way Ozzie and Harriet would have done it.

Every TV set built since the first DuMont in the 1940’s has come with the most effective and simple parental control there is. It’s called the OFF switch. Go read a book.