Why The Aliens Make My Dick Itch

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If you lean to the left, you may be feeling a bit hopeful right now. YOU ARE DUMB.

Sorry, because I understand. John Bolton's in trouble. Tom DeLay is in trouble. The Democrats actually got the House Ethics Committee to abandon its ridiculous attempt to protect DeLay. Hell, within a week, it was first publicized that Bush & Co. was hiding the number of terrorist attacks in 2004. Then the predictably awful numbers were leaked. Then, under pressure, the awful numbers were officially released. For this administration, and this opposition, that's an unprecedented series of events.

Luckily, crushing hope is what I'm all about here, so in case you're wondering if we're still fucked, we are.

ClearPlay is now legally protected, and can safely join Clear Pepsi, Clear Channel, the Clear Skies Initiative, and the Scientological state of clear in the grand roll call of shit that gives the word "clear" a bad name.

We've covered ClearPlay before. It's a technology that automatically produces censored versions of DVD's. You put a filthy DVD in the player, the software checks to see which filthy movie it is, and pulls up a list of edits provided by the Clearplay censors. The player then, at the appropriate moments, mutes the sound or skips ahead, so that you never ever see a titty. Combined with pan-and-scan, ClearPlay can reduce a theatrical release to half its original fighting weight. It's like cinematic leukemia.

But it really is tailor-made for America. Stupid, greedy, red-state America. People who want to damn their cake and eat it too. There can be no sacrifice without loss, so if you want to be a prude, there's stuff you have to give up. If you want to be a vegetarian, you have to leave bacon behind. If you want to have a stick up your ass about the f-bomb, then you have to let go of a big chunk of popular culture. You don't get to join the Amish and then expect the government to hand you batteries for your electric toothbrush. You don't deserve special treatment.

That last thing is, apparently, one of the several million things I disagree with the current administration on. The "Family Entertainment and Copyright Act", just signed by Doofus, protects the makers of censorware from any legal liability regarding intellectual property rights. So Hollywood can't sue them for changing an artistic work without the artist's permission. When rap artists sample without permission, they get their asses sued. But the John Denver-listening flyover motherfuckers get a pass.

This law has forced me to reconsider my position on the Washington-Hollywood axis. I'd always assumed that when the entertainment companies asked for copyright protection, the government obliged. Now, I'm convinced that the government's position is to oblige any request, so long as that request is not actually sane.

I'm still waiting for MY set-top box. The one that replaces the 700 Club with hardcore porn. I occasionally flip past the 700 Club by accident, or catch 30 seconds of it after a Whose Line rerun, and that's a hell of a lot more traumatic than a nipple. Watching the 700 Club is like taking a crazy homeless guy, cleaning him up, putting him in a suit, renting out a fancy lecture hall, giving him PowerPoint, and having him give a speech. It seems quite normal and respectable at first, but then you hit the "Why The Aliens Make My Dick Itch" slide, and you realize you're watching insanity in a tie.

Same with the 700 Club. You see a presenter, usually a woman who looks like she got fired from Access Hollywood for hitting 35, and she's just sitting there like any other TV personality, and then out of her mouth you hear "Satan's in the public schools! We'll have a report later!" Why isn't my government protecting me from that? Oh, right, because it's paying for their re-election.

There is one tiny shred of hope involving ClearPlay, though. The law of unintended consequences might, in an ideal world, come back to bite these people on the ass. Because if there's a box that will turn anything Hollywood makes into family-friendly entertainment, then there's hardly any point for Hollywood to produce family-friendly entertainment, is there? They can just make non-stop filth, and let ClearPlay help them sell it to the Wal-Mart crowd.

And that means more filth for the rest of us! Personally, I see Billy Bob Thornton as the lead in "Why The Aliens Make My Dick Itch".