Thursday, July 14, 2005

Asking for Family Flicks, Watching Friskier Fare 

The L.A. Times seems to find symptoms of hypocrisy in America's taste in movies:

This trend speaks volumes about the tendency in America to say one thing but do another. People claim they want wholesome family entertainment, but the big money on the Internet and in pay TV comes from pornography. In the rare instances when a studio puts out a feel-good valentine, like 'Because of Winn-Dixie' or 'My Dog Skip,' the movie dies on the vine. For all the talk of our country's obsession with moral values, nothing succeeds with the American people like the salacious promise of a little extra nudity or hanky-panky in their DVD packages.
They seem to think that anyone who calls for more family-oriented movies is a hypocrite for subsequently watching racier fare. I think the misunderstanding arises because the author chooses to believe in the reality of his own strawman argument. Having decided that everyone more conservative than latte-sipping arthouse afficionados is out to Disnify every last nook and cranny of American culture, he then must figure out what to do when the facts don't match up with this bogeyman of his own creation.

These people who "claim they want wholesome family entertainment" really do want that. But not only that. Their complaint is when an R-rated romp is packaged as fun for the whole family. Or when they are looking for a single movie for the whole family, and find nothing but slasher flicks and sex comedies. What people want is choice and enough information to choose responsibly. They want family viewing for viewing with families. And apparently, there are a select few who are also interested in adult entertainment for adult viewing. They're even willing to see the slasher flicks and sex comedies, just not with the kids.

So please, in general, let's limit the strawman arguments and try to deal with reality, since that's where we actually live. I'm sure I resort to the old scarecrow more than I should as well. Let me know when I do.
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