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May 20th, 2004

The Boob That Changed the World

So I've been thinking a lot lately about tits.

No, not just any boob, but one in particular; the boob that changed the world; or, at least, the rules of the FCC and the censorship of American media.

At the time, I commented little on the Super Bowl Boob Incident, for the simple reason than I had no interest in adding anything to the already over-sensationalized incident; which was exactly the shock-factor response the artists were hoping for when they pulled this little stunt. I could care less about the magically materializing mammary, or the fact that it was fuzzily flashed for less than a second on regular television. These things mean nothing to me; no one's going to go to hell for seeing a hastily exposed knocker, nor are your children's eyes going to pop out as their brains explode from lascivious sensory overload. Those that felt "seriously injured" by the incident really should get rid of their television sets and radios and separate themselves from society as they are obviously not able to cope with life. The only thing that bothered me about the exposed Super Bowl boob was that artists I formerly respected had stooped to over-the-top superstar shock-value antics. I really thought better of Justin, and Janet (Miss Boobie if you're nasty). That was my only real gripe about any of it.

However, the influx of stupidity brought about by the incident is another gripe altogether.

Janet Jackson's briefly exposed breast and sheathed nipple, at the time they made their appearance, seemed to herald nothing short of the end days. People were "appalled", "shocked", "mortified", "disgusted", and even "morally traumatized". Letters poured into the FCC expressing outrage and distress, and demanding punishment and accountability. One Tennessee woman even sued Janet Jackson over the "outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury" she and other viewers supposedly suffered after the fleeting, blurry glimpse of teat. Church-goers were mortified, and parents were furious that their children had been exposed to a naked breast on prime time television. America was up in arms over a tit; a blurry, barely-seen one at that. Breasts haven't been such a focus of indignation and conversation since the first Hooters opened its doors 21 years ago.

In response, the FCC cracked down - disc jockeys were fired, shows were cancelled, and all television and radio shows were forced to tone down in an effort to stamp out anything that could be considered "obscene" or "offensive". Like a bunch of five-year-olds, the FCC has sat us all down and said, "This is okay for you to watch and hear, and this isn't." Jackson's jug was one giant leap for ultra-conservative America, and a slap in the face of the First Amendment and our rights as Americans to view and listen to whatever we so choose.

As for the parents, I say, shame on you! With all of the terrible things out there that you need to be protecting your child from, and so many important parenting issues you should be concentrating on, you're going to take on some hazily exposed tit as your personal crusade? Let me tell you something, parents, had you not made such a big deal out of that boob, the kids never would've even noticed it; had they noticed it, they wouldn't have given it another thought. Children don't seem to suffer from the hang-ups most adults do about the human body.

Marlene Dietrich once said: "Sex: In American an obsession. In other parts of the world, a fact."

Foreign countries are renowned for having sexually explicit commercials and music videos; and nudity on regular programming is accepted. No big deal is made about it - it just is. Naked human bodies are an everyday thing, and not something to make a big deal about if seen on the TV screen. Perhaps if we weren't so staunch on trying to hide young people's eyes from natural, human bodies we wouldn't have such a prevalent problem of low self-esteem and physical self-loathing in this country. Perhaps if we didn't inundate young minds with sexual overtones in everything then scream bloody murder when a titty is flashed, we wouldn't have so many people growing up with sexual dysfunctions, hang-ups and confusions.

The worse thing about the entire knocker episode was America's reaction. Just another reason for the rest of the world to laugh at us?

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