Ok. Let me preface this by reminding people that this post is my own opinion and not necessarily reflective of the entire JJP community.

So, now that that’s out of the way please allow me to rant on something that really gets under my skin. What is it? Well, for lack of a better word . . . “skin.” Yup, I’m talkin’ about sex. . . particularly sex in advertising . . . specifically our society’s schizophrenic attitudes towards sexually imagery. And, if we’re honest, we’ll admit that we see the same schizophrenia when it comes to violence.

So what better time to talk about sex and violence than this weekend . . . Super Bowl Weekend. And what better way to start this post than by drawing your attention to the following ad. Now, tell me . . . is this offensive???

Wait a minute . . .

They edited that last clip. So let me show you the uncensored version (CAUTION! Don’t look at this if you’re easily offended!):

‘Veggie Love’: PETA’s Banned Super Bowl Ad

Ok. Did you see it? What? You mean God didn’t strike you down with a bolt of lightening? Your eyes didn’t burn out of their sockets? You didn’t catch an STD? It didn’t turn your son into a pimp?

Whew! That’s such a relief. Because I assumed there must of been some really freaky ish in that commercial to make NBC decide to ban if for the Super Bowl.

Why must we feign outrage in our weak attempt to uphold a set of unhealthy, if not unrealistic, puritan values???

I mean really . . . .will the world be a safer place now that NBC denied your privilege to see a supermodel eat broccoli in a thong bikini? I’m just sayin’ . . .

THIS is why I abhor censorship. It’s not because there shouldn’t be discussion about what is and is not appropriate (although most of these discussions are admittedly subjective . . . which begs the question: “Why is your opinion better than mine?”). No, the reason I hate censorship is because people always take things way too damn far!

I mean, seriously, is this PETA ad the downfall of civilization? SERIOUSLY???

Want a few more reasons why I can’t stand censorship? It’s because . . .

1. Ironically, when you stop to think about it, censorship is not confrontational. In many ways it’s kinda like asking someone more powerful than you to “make the bad man stop!” While an effective technique I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s self-empowering. It’s also short-sighted as people fail to realize that they’ll be held to the same standards they set for others. And this often becomes a problem because . . .

2. People are never consistent. They try to institute these ridiculous zero-tolerance policies only to discover that some of the biggest prudes out there just so happen to be some of the biggest HYPOCRITES as well. . . and that’s because . . .

3. People will always try to normalize their vices. Project much? You better believe it! See, the trick is to call someone else a pervert before they call you one. With few exceptions, we’ve never defined that fine line between “art” and “obscenity” except by way of subjective “mainstream” values. And everyone wants to be “mainstream” because . . . .

4. Censorship is a way of controlling other people’s lives.

Because that’s really what it all comes down to. At the end of the day, it’s all about controlling other people’s lives. It’s about protecting our need to think that life should be easy . . . that one shouldn’t have to deal with that which makes him/her uncomfortable. It’s about squashing debate. It’s about telling people what to say . . . what to wear . . . how to think . . . who to hang out with . . . who to love . . . how to feel. The world is much easier that way.

So yes. The thought of this tv ad is most certainly offensive. But not because of the content. No, it’s because of the knee-jerk censorship that follows.

I’ll tell you what else is offensive . . . the way in which censorship belittles the human experience. The way it treats us like children. The way it assumes we can’t see the inherent contradictions at play when zero-tolerance is at issue.

And this is not a left/right debate as far as I’m concerned. There are plenty of people on both sides who will use any excuse at their disposal to control the way you live your life. People on the right say: “Don’t do that, it’s a sin!” Whereas people on the left say: “Don’t do that, it’s exploitation/oppression!”

Well, I don’t know if it’s a sin or exploitation or who know’s what else . . . I’m just trying to enjoy the damn Super Bowl! It’s bad enough I have to go to work the next day, now I have to worry about oppressing people and going to Hell? My goodness! Just keep the damn carrots and asparagus tips if it’s gonna mean that much trouble!

How about this . . . .

To the Right, I’ll worry about my own eternal soul, thank you very much!

To the Left, call me if it’s non-consensual. Other than that, stay out of my social life!

And to NBC. . . please don’t insult my intelligence. Don’t ban an ad for suggestive sexual content when you’re probably gonna show six or seven “penis-pill” commercials during the Super Bowl anyways. Talk about offensive! What’s more offensive than listening to some senior citizen tell you how he can hold an erection for four hours. Come on . . . let’s be real. If you were just chillin’ in the park and some old guy came up to you and started talking about his erection you’d call him a pervert. But throw some folksy music on a commercial with two senior citizens riding a bike and that’s supposed to be acceptable?

Yeah right!

I guarantee your child’s gonna have more questions after watching that commercial than after sitting through the banned PETA ad.

I mean, damn. I feel exploited after watching a “penis-pill” commercial. At least PETA’s giving me some eye candy. But, those “penis-pill” commercials offer nothing in return for your investment of time and tolerance. It’s just some old guy talking about his erect penis. THAT’s offensive. I don’t know what the ladies like, but I’d guess that the least these companies could do is have better spokesmen. I mean, come on . . . I’m guessing that the least y’all could do is give the ladies a half-naked Idris Elba or Boris Kodjoe to sell your product. (LOL)

But beyond that, please spare me your rules and regulations. And while we’re at it, please stop using other (nobler) causes to cover your agenda. Stop using kids, religion, oppression and exploitation as a battering ram to control my life. Think about it for a second. . . We have a ratings system, broadcast standards, time restrictions, warning labels, V-Chips, channel blockers . . . we bleep out our bad words, black out our nudity and water down our violence. What else do you want?!?

I’ve come to notice that people tend to talk censorship and decency standards just to avoid talking about a deeper issue. This is especially true when race and sex are involved. Who can forget the firestorm surrounding Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” a couple of years ago. I’ve never seen people so scared of a breast in my entire life. But make it a BLACK breast and all of a sudden people start getting a little intimidated (y’all know exactly what I’m talking about).

Young white man grabs older black breast. . .

“(GASP!!!) What will our children think?”

Don’t trip . . . the real question in a lot of people’s minds was: “What will our young white men think????”

And you know exactly what they might think. They might LIKE IT!

“(GASP!!!) OH HELL NO!!! Time to call the censor-police and denounce this misguided youth’s act of interracial lust in the name of decency! (LOL)”

And let’s not forget the Monday Night Football intro starring Terrell Owens and Desperate Housewives’ Nicollette Sheridan. Oh yeah, y’all didn’t think I forgot that one, did you?:

“(GASP!!!) Oh no! I saw her . . . bare back??? I know it doesn’t make sense, but I don’t want to have to think about what Terrell is gonna do to her after she drops that towel! Where did he take her? What did he do to her? How did he do it to her? That big, black, savage, Manding . . . OH HELL NO! CALL THE DAMN CENSORS RIGHT NOW! (LOL)”

So, again, please spare me the ever-changing social and moral standards of censorship. I can’t keep up. Too many self-contradictory rules . . .

“It’s ok to like this comedian, but don’t watch that comedian. . . . this type of violence is ok, but stay away from that type . . . you can say that word in this context, but not that context . . .stress this syllable, but not that one . . .”

I don’t know why a little skin in a music video is demeaning, but a whole lotta skin on some Emmy-award-winning HBO series isn’t. Society rants against misogynistic rap lyrics (as I feel they should) but gives an Oscar to The Departed where I can see a woman literally get her head blown off for “snitchin'” . . . . and the difference is what? “Art”? Give me a break.

Spare me the ever-changing decency standards. I can’t keep up. Life is not that simple and people are more complex than we give them credit.

And finally, can we PLEASE stop pretending that sex is the biggest threat to our children on Super Bowl Sunday? Trust . . . we’re not as “pure” as we like to pretend we are. And my bet is that your child has a bigger risk of being emotionally scarred from witnessing a crippling tackle or career-ending injury than from watching a supermodel eat broccoli in her underwear. I’m just sayin’ . . .

Life is too short and not nearly as simple as zero-tolerance would have us believe!

Sex sells. People like sex. Whether it’s a little eye candy or the promise to stay erect for four hours, people like sex. It’s natural. It’s not rocket science.

OK. My rant is over. Thank you!

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