Supreme Court Decides How to Nanny the Citizenry: Bare Butts and Expletives
January 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Many of you have heard in skimming the news that the Supreme Court is ruling on some such thing about Cher and the fuck word. Or more specifically, whether or not if a celebrity, say, drops the fuck work on live television in a moment of unscripted adulthood.
Well, there’s another thing going on here. Partial nudity. The questions isn’t “whether fleeting expletives are OK” it’s whether content is “indecent”. And if it is, then its regulatable and finable according to the FCC by laws. Enter amazing argument by counsel for ABC – dragged into this for bare butts shown on police dramas.
Waxman patiently explains to the rapt justices that ABC was never sanctioned for over a dozen NYPD Blue episodes over nine seasons that included bare buttocks. Not until the last one. Arbitrary, bad FCC. Then, he raises his arms, Moses-like, to the glorious friezes that surround the interior of the ceremonial courtroom. And then Waxman points to one sculpted classical stone lawgiver after another as he guides the justices through the fleeting bottoms that pervade their lofty spaces: “There’s a bare buttock there, and there’s a bare buttock here,” he marvels. “And there may be more that I hadn’t seen. But frankly, I had never focused on it before.” To which Justice Antonin Scalia grits out, “Me neither,” while all of the justices gape up at the walls above them, like bemused Muppets on Veterinarian Hospital.
I think it’s time I subscribe to Slate.