Monday, February 21, 2005

The Public Mood of Tomorrow is the Television of Today

From the NY Times:

"L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Parents Television Council, criticized 'The Simpsons' for addressing the issue of gay marriage, though he cautioned that he had not seen the episode. A parental advisory preceded the broadcast.

'At a time when the public mood is overwhelmingly against gay marriage, any show that promotes gay marriage is deliberately bucking the public mood,' he said."

I would suggest that L. Brent check out the Freepers coming out in the defense of the Simpsons.

People need to face facts - this is strictly a generational issue. In 15 years, the opposition to gay marriage will be dead. Literally, in the ground and covered with dirt. A decade ago, there were almost no gay characters on TV. Since then, Ellen, Will & Grace & Spin City have been prime-time network sitcoms featuring gay characters as major players. I didn't watch TV last night, but in addition to The Simpsons, Desperate Housewives featured homosexuality in last night's plot. Besides, last night was nothing new for The Simpsons, they've had gay characters for years.

Even more telling, among youth-oriented TV, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson's Creek had regular homosexual characters and included their homosexuality in the storyline. MTV always has homosexuals in their reality shows. Friends had a lesbian couple raising a child, and cable TV shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer as Folk, and L-Word are prominently featuring homosexual characters and lifestyles.

L-Hack always says that Massachusetts moved too fast for most people. He's probably right - it might have been too much and it triggered a backlash, but as more and more kids get exposed to homosexuality through TV, they become more accepting of it. Tolerance will give way to the inevitable "gay marriage" or "civil union".

The funny thing is, the more successful the conservative agenda is, the sooner it's going to happen. The more people take personal ownership of things like retirement and health insurance, the less likely they will tolerate government interference in how individuals spend their money. Right now, the government definition of "marriage" is critical in Social Security, but not under a personal account system. The government is irrelevant - I'll share my money with whomever I want, and anyone that supports an "ownership society" will be opposed to any limits on ownership privileges. After all, what's the point of personal ownership if it's restricted? The more things move of collective goods to individual programs, the less impact government has in defining societal structures, and the less it will be tolerated. Give people "ownership" and they'll take it.

Individualism and government-sponsored social engineering (a.k.a - "Moral Values") are completely incompatable.


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