This Country Needs A Spinal Tap.

by Daniel Russ on April 28, 2011


I watched “This Is Spinal Tap” last night, Rob Reiner’s 1984 comedy parody of an aging metal band trying to stage a comeback. It was on the FUSE network, and watching it showed me how very different a world we live in since the days that movie first aired.

First of all there was no cussing. When I was in my twenties, I could watch that show on analogue TV and hear all the ‘fucks” and “shits” in the dialogue. But of course the right wing culture at the FCC that also pervades our culture wants to protect me or I guess…children from bad influences and now there are scenes in the movie where the sound is masked over and it sounds like you’re losing the signal. And I noticed that there is a scene where they are passing a joint, and they pixelate out the joint. So I guess if I watch a thirty year old comedy parody and see they are passing a joint, that’s going to cause me some psychological harm or trigger some pernicious behavior. What surprises me is that the right wing decries the nanny state and government overreach but they see no sin in ruining the experience of watching a classic comedy because the government wants to protect me from a word. Of course the government will also invade a country for no reason but power grabs; the government will execute an innocent man just to show its power, and the government will lie cheat and steal from its own citizens.

But don’t you dare say “shit” on TV!

Then there are the permanent graphics over the screen. The Fuze network advertises other shows on the screen during the program. During the entire program. Since I was a kid the power of corporations has grown until we basically live in a proto-fascist state. If a corporation, run by a wing nut, desires to stop cussing, they can hire lobbyists and exert all the influence they need to keep the bad words off the air. And if they want to advertise their shows to you on top of your show, well, they get what they want. Corporations can pay for elections, shut down your TV station, censor your online content, deny your health insurance and hire professional liars (lobbyists) to get their messages out. And they can put messages on your show while you are watching it, censor it, or do anything else they want. By the way, the movie continues as the character portrayed by Harry Shearer is interviewed by Rob Reiner. They pulled that down silently, missing all the comedy while they sold us on another show called HOPPUS that they promoted 16 times throughout the movie.

Hearing all those “shits” and “fucks” in my youth didn’t ruin me. But seeding a sense of guilt over saying a bad word I guess is a good idea when you are trying to hold the country together as it I about to split apart. By the way, don’t even bother watching Goodfellas on AMC.Once you cut out thw word “fuck” from Goodfellas, you have about 11 minutes left.

While they are protecting me from cuss words, they are also protecting us from seeing dead bodies of our service members as they fly into Dover Air Force Base. They are protecting us from seeing the real books on the US Treasury that would indicate the entire country is bankrupt. The government allows the media to make up facts  and present them as real.

But NO cussing.

Of course they don’t mind letting you see a man murder another man, shoot him, see the blood spatter and watch the lifeless body fall to the ground. But don’t you dare allow America to see a woman’s nipple. Or a joint.

One commercial they keep running is for It tells us that “These nations are all ahead of us in math and science…” the list goes by so fast you can hardly read it. Sad isn’t it? Our country produces smart bombs and dumb kids. And an internet company is trying to save us, because we know the local school board, populated with anti- evolution, anti science, anti-climate change lobbyists paid for by oil companies, won’t allow your kids to be educated even though you have already paid for it.

Of course, no one really questions it. Especially when people are sinking, any degradation heaped upon them they will forget and hope not to notice. It’s a shame how the showing of a simple comedy can be such an indicator that our entire culture is screwed up, and how our priorities have been scrambled.

Spinal Tap


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Philo April 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

“But of course the right wing culture at the FCC…”

()! That’s not just funny, (and factually inaccurate) it’s FUCKING FUNNY SHIT!

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