The Spread of Mammophobia
I've already sounded off about the resurgence of the American Taliban, and I'm not talking about John Walker. I'm talking about my response to Arthur Silber's fine post on the New Puritanism affecting the land in the shining light of Janet Jackson's silvery-studded right breast on the Super Bowl half-time show. American Taliban leader, the FCC's Michael Powell, who is trying to out-General his Secretary of State daddy, threatens massive government fines over the Breast Incident. (What is it with this administration and breasts? This all started when that other general, Attorney General Ashcroft, ordered the breast of the female statue of"The Spirit of Justice" covered for"aesthetic" reasons.)
Now comes word that Janet is being forced out of the Sunday night broadcast of the Grammy Awards, a"Tit for Tat" as the classy New York Post declares. And NBC has announced that it will not air a brief glimpse of an 80-year old woman's exposed breast in tonight's episode of"ER." I guess Must-See-TV just can't handle the pressure of yet another female breast in prime time.
Has this country lost its mind? Or is it just mass cultural hypocrisy that we're witnessing? Football games are routinely saturated with scantily-clad" cheerleaders" and with commercials that feature bestiality, butt-groping, promises of 4-hour erections from the drug Cialis, and Piper the Budweiser dog biting a guy's crotch; the NFL hires MTV to stage the half-time and knows what it's getting.
So now, kiddies, we all have to be punished because the sight of a breast is more outrageous than the daily body count in Iraq. (Then again, maybe Airbrushing is the New Rule of the Land with the American Taliban: Even the dead bodies coming home from Iraq are being transported in the euphemistically named"Transfer Tubes," so nobody gets too upset.)
Roderick T. Long - 2/5/2004
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