Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Against Samantha Bee

Let's be clear - this is the kind of "full frontal" she's talking about.

So there's this conservative Christian group out there that calls itself "One Million Moms." As I've mentioned previously here on Augoeides in reference to their protests of the Lucifer television series and lesbian yogurt commercials, their goal seems to be to reduce all popular culture to the level of children's television by eliminating anything deemed even marginally offensive. At the same time, the group seems to be composed of some of the same people who rail against "political correctness," which given their stated goal of eliminating offense from public life makes no logical sense.

Or, more to the point, it does if you take into account that consistency is not one of these folks' strong suits. After all, the group is not composed of anywhere near a million people and it admits that they aren't all moms. So really, an accurate name for the group would be "Nowhere Near a Million Not-Necessarily-Moms." So the fact that they rail against anything that offends them while at the same excusing anything that offends anyone else is not exactly a stretch.

Here's the group's latest stupid cause. Former Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee has a new show that will be airing on TBS in January. The group has put out a petition against the title of the show, which happens to be "Full Frontal." So let's get this straight. There are no actual obscene words in the title, it just makes use of a phrase that sometimes alludes to nudity in films and television programs. Alludes. And for that, it should be censored. Talk about political correctness!

One Million Moms, the conservative group that seemingly will not rest until all of popular culture is sanitized beyond recognition, has found a new target: January’s TBS show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee“. Even though the show hasn’t aired yet, that hasn’t stopped the group from complaining about it and trying to rally its “family values” troops to protest it. On its website, complete with a petition to TBS to cancel the show that’s been signed by a whopping 4,900 people, One Million Moms writes:

“The title of this show alone is unacceptable. Even though airing later in the evening since it is a late night show, the name will appear in the TV lineup of programs scheduled and previews will air earlier during the day.”

In my book, criticizing a television show you haven’t seen simply for its title is sending a far more dangerous message than Samantha Bee ever could. It’s saying: Yes, judge culture by what you think it will contain, rather than what it actually does. It’s saying: Words are so powerful that the mere mention of them is enough to scar children for life. It’s saying: Don’t think for yourself, but allow your parents to think for you. It’s saying: There are “good” words and “bad” words and you’re too immature to even be told about that concept, let alone differentiate them for yourself. Not to mention that “full frontal” does not necessarily mean literal nudity; as blogger Joel Rieves points out, “the phrase has picked up another meaning along the way: nothing concealed or held back, direct, hard-hitting, etc.”

In other words, this petition is pretty much the equivalent of posting something on social media that says "Sign this if you're a dumbass." It also provides a better estimate of the group's size. If we assume that every member of the group signed the petition, along with a bunch of other people solicited from the Internet, we can fine-tune the accuracy of our count. It sounds like a more accurate name for the group would be "Not Even Five Thousand Not-Necessarily-Moms."

But, of course, that kind of honesty won't get them the headlines. "One Million Moms" sounds so much more impressive than "A Couple Thousand Crazy People."

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