Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now for Something Completely Different

This week we're going to take a break off from critiquing religion in order to do something that will hopefully be just plain funny. Don't worry about it though because next week I will be back in action tackling theism once more. You can also see this post as being at least partially about the sorts of attitudes that religion, particularly fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, have come to create. Some of you may remember the Salem Witch trials where some people who were acting strange were eventually executed under an entirely false accusation of Witchcraft. While no one was hanged someone's performance was discriminated against. Who you ask? Katy Perry...

Whether you like her music or not (I personally don't) it is no doubt that she has attempted to gain relevancy by being controversial. One of her most popular songs is all about experimentation with bi-sexual tendencies, something that more and more women seem to be doing in order to gain male attention (and I have to say it works every time). The song may suck but the images it conjures up... well, let's just say they involve sucking of a different type.

Recently however Katy Perry turned up on Sesame Street, the wholesome favorite featuring furry puppets talking about preschool level education. She apparently set out to do a duet with everyone's favorite high-pitched monster, Elmo. But after re-watching the tape apparently the musical number was pulled. Why? Because apparently Katy Perry is actually a woman, and, this is news to no one, she has breasts (see photo above). Check out the full footage here:

At no point do her breasts burst from her entirely tasteful dress although at one point they are bouncing energetically (to my bemusement) they are fully contained at all times. Yet the decision was made that this was too hot for the toddler age children who watch the show. But then when these sorts of things happen it is always CLAIMED to be because of the children's well being... Did I miss a meeting? Don't most kids breast feed until they're toddler age? Aren't breasts entirely natural? Why must be have a Puritanical hatred of our own bodies and instill the idea that the human body is gross and icky into children? I mean we don't want to teach kids too much too soon but we also don't want them to attach shame to various body parts... There's nothing wrong with Perry's dress.

So needless to say when I heard about this I was outraged and the more comments I saw on the internet that expressed outrage about this whore showing off her skin to kids made me grow more and more angry about the moronic Puritan assholes who I regret to call my fellow citizens. This also brought up the age old hypocrisy of American television which states that violence is perfectly okay to depict on television but sex must be skirted around carefully. The same thing goes for movies. Drop the F bomb three or four times or show nudity and you get an R rating from the MPAA but you can kill all the Storm Troopers you want and still get a PG rating. This is inherently backwards. Sexual behaviors are natural - most violent ones are not. The only context in which violence is natural is if it is for survival's sake.

Now on to the next stage of my thought process after seeing the video. A thought occurred to me as I watched it... Elmo... he's naked. I thought back to the countless times I watched Sesame Street... Elmo was always naked, in fact the vast majority of puppets on that show are naked. Big Bird, Snuffy... Ernie and Bert do wear clothing, however they also live together and sleep in the same room - not that there's anything wrong with that.

In fact there are tons of semi-naked cartoon and children's characters... So its perfectly fine for any non-human cartoon character to be entirely in the buff but Katy Perry's dress is inappropriate - Huh? Katy Perry's dress even reminded me of a Disney Character, Belle from beauty and the beast.

And what about Donald Duck? That guy doesn't wear pants. Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life doesn't wear em. Ariel from the little mermaid JUST HAD SEASHELLS and that still got a G-rating. Plankton from Spongebob is entirely in the buff, although I don't think protozoa have sex so I guess there isn't an issue there... besides, his wife is a computer so they'd have to cyber anyway. Bugs and Daffy were usually naked and when they were dressed it was most typically in DRAG. Yet the majority of these are all deemed perfectly fine... Now I know what you're thinking, these are non-human characters...

But what about Barbie dolls, they have breasts don't they? Barbie and Ken, of course, marketed mainly for the 6-12 Demo, a little older than those who watch Sesame Street but then again the only undressing you can do on Katy Perry is with your eyes - a Barbie and Ken can be entirely disrobed.


All in all I am appalled at the sheer stupidity of those that choose what to censor. I don't understand society's double-standard of allowing unnatural violent acts while banning showing some skin... I don't understand the Puritanical sense of certain parts of our bodies being shameful and I don't think that is a healthy thing to teach children. Much like the fuss over Janet Jackson's nipple studs at the Super Bowl a few years ago this incident seems much ado about nothing. Thank you for your time and I will see you next week.

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