Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Watch it!

The beauty of our First Amendment is that it allows the publication of both the Bible and Hustler magazine.  

We may not like it, but we have to allow Hustler on the newsstand, or we have no liberty at all. This doesn't mean that you have to like that foul magazine, have to buy or read it, or approve of it when you see it on your brother-in-law's coffee table. 

All these issues come to the surface every so often, and lately we've seen "comedian" Kathy Griffin rig up a fake beheading of the current occupant of 1600 Pa. Av, hopeful of getting some laughs and getting very few. Or "comic" Bill Maher, using that most awful racist term in an effort to get some laughs from people who might enjoy his post-ironic lingo.

Actually, it's wrong of me to put quotation marks around the descriptors for Griffin and Maher. The fact that I have not once laughed at anything either of them ever said doesn't mean that others don't find them wonderfully hilarious. She just seems so desperate to be amusing, and he seems so desperate to be wry and shocking.  

BUT...I don't say they should be fired. Part of the wonderful freedom of choice that we have here means we vote with our remotes when it comes to television. I don't care to spend my New Year's Eves watching Kathy Griffin torment Anderson Cooper with her silly badinage or my Friday evenings watching Maher making his snide remarks, and I guess the ratings reflect that. 

Image result for norm macdonald
I wish Norm MacDonald
had his own show. I
would watch that!
An easy rule of thumb for me is to consider whether or not I will learn anything, or at least get a laugh or two, from listening to or watching some show or another. But that's a choice everyone gets to make, and with the cornucopia of shows available on radio and tv, there is something for everyone.

I think of something my father taught me from his Navy days, when a common slogan among the crew of the USS Delta was, "They can't make you do it, but they can make you wish you had."
No one has the right to tell Griffin or Maher what they can say, but CNN and HBO have the right to make them wish they hadn't.

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