Scoble said it nicely here:
In my week off I realized I’m ashamed to be an American. Why is it not OK for Janet Jackson to show her boob on national TV, but it’s OK for our military to show live killing of Iraqi military on TV?
Our society is screwed up.
Anywhere else, it would have been a non-event, but here the overreaction goes beyond ridiculous. We have it completely backwards – killing is OK but seeing a woman’s boob will cause the sky to fall and civilization to crumble.
We need to take a good look at ourselves and the rest of the world and see why our society is so dysfunctional. Our puritan roots need to be buried and we need to grow a healthier attitude like the rest of the world has.
I read this and I began to respond in MC’s comment box, but decided to make an entry about it:
If that’s why you are ashamed to be an American, you need to take a closer look at society. Our “puritan roots,” as you say, are one of the few things keeping our society together (i.e. the fact that somewhere deep inside, Americans have some sort of collective conscience telling them what’s right and wrong to some degree, whether or not they choose to listen to it).
The problem with our society is not that we cling to antiquated puritan roots — far from it. It’s that there is a disparity between the leadership of our country and the general populace. That’s the issue that makes you ashamed to be an American. You feel that all the things the government is doing don’t represent your desires in keeping society safe.
Does it represent the majority of American’s desires that if Janet Jackson wants to shock the nation by having Justin Timberlake rip her clothes off on national TV, that she be prosecuted for it? I doubt it. Every male from 14 to 94 wanted to see what was under her clothes, and I’m guessing a great deal of the female population (depending on how much they had drank that evening) wanted to see it as well.
Does it represent the majority of American’s desires that if President Bush gets a wild hair up his bum that he decides to invade a country? Probably not — we want to know why we are going to be sent overseas to die.
Does it represent the majority of American’s desires to have a law in place that instantaneously places in jeopardy the freedom, life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness, an entire demographic with something called the Patriot Act and the Patriot Act II? No it doesn’t. (i.e. if you have the ability to “hack”, and the government wants to lean on you, they can classify you as a terrorist, and you can sit in Guantanamo Bay with the Afghani’s).
Seriously — what you are all up in arms about is the essentially a media fluff piece. You are upset because the media concentrated on what 90% of the Blogosphere concentrated on — a naked breast. The media concentrated on it because they know sex sells. The Blogosphere concentrated on it because they mostly like naked breasts.
Put things in perspective, and think about why the disparity exists. And get upset with that. But don’t get upset with our “puritan roots,” as they are not the issue.