Thursday, April 14, 2005

Brent Bozell, Give Me a Break

As someone who grew up without a TV, I have to say I have very little sympathy for the various campaigns to clean up shows, lawsuits against networks, letter-writing to the FCC, etc. Sure, TV can be nasty. But you simply don't have to have one in your house. It was your choice to bring it in. And once you did, there's always the "Off" switch and channel changer. I guess it doesn't help matters that my political bent makes me wonder why the government has power to regulate airwaves in the first place.

Speaking of TV, go to the Seinfeld site and see their Barney Martin retrospective. R.I.P., Morty.

I can't believe I let last weekend go by without mentioning Wilbur McLean, Ely S. Parker, or, of course, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Remind me again next year. Meanwhile, I'll try to remember Lexington and Concord next week.

It's always a good time to quote Wilde (this time on Dickens): "One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing." I feel that way often when I hear a particularly bombastic pulpit rabbi. I had to muffle my cackles and groans last Monday, at what ended up being quite a good presentation at the YU Museum (another one, yes). Ironically, yesterday's paper brought us news of Neusner (hee), whose theories (thankfully not accepted) would challenge Professor Elman's. The presentations were remarkable, and my brother, who asked the only questions, rocks. But, again, I'm glad I don't go to a synagogue with a rabbi who speaks like that.

One ironic point about the Museum exhibition. There's a section that shows Talmuds and related books that were printed for anti-Semitic purposes- to "prove" how evil it is, to convert the Jews, etc. I found a nice symmetry in the computers at one end of the exhibit that allowed you to surf various Talmud-related sites. One link was to a site with large sections of the Soncino translation transcribed- and it's a vicious anti-Semitic site.

Let me close with a quote from Mugger. I think I've commented on this phenomenon (acceptance of homosexuality "ruining" male friendship, and our view of it) before, but he puts it quite well:

You can flip to almost any page of The New York Times and find an objectionable article—Cranky Frank Rich is the gold standard—but it's been at least a week since I've read anything as stupid as Jennifer 8. Lee's [Gag- NL] April 10 piece about "man dates." Lee explains that a "man date" is when two heterosexual men get together for an activity in which neither sports or business is involved.

She writes: "Anyone who finds a date with a potential romantic partner to be a minefield of unspoken rules should consider the man date, a rendezvous between two straight men that is even more socially perilous."

Why is this "socially perilous"? Apparently, in today's culture, at least according to this dippy writer, two men going to a movie or dinner together could lead to the conclusion that they're gay.

It wasn't so long ago that such an excursion was called "hanging out."

Later, y'all. And if I don't see you before the weekend, have a good one!


Anonymous said...

Brother Bob,

This mandate garbage is just another way for the faygalach to mess up a perfectly good system.

Sussman said...

I fully agree that the government ought not to regulate the media, but I am very repulsed by today's media. Moral persons ought to protest against Hollywood. Would you endorse a private boycott against specific television shows anad movies?

Nachum said...

Sure I would! A good way to do that would be to not watch TV at all. But sure, private citizens can try anything they want. Will they succeed? That's another question.