Another good Easterbrook column (I do read other stuff, honest) on sex and violence – topics that fall just behind chocolate and pizza on my watch list. He argues that Americans are overly concerned with the portrayal of sex in the media, while overly relaxed about displays of violence. This is something that still puzzles me after 5 years in the US. On any weekend afternoon you can see movies like Alien or Robocop, and while the dialog will have all the naughty words removed, and all glimpses of healthy young ladies (and gentlemen) sanitized, there will be little if any editing of the bullets stitching their way up some bad guy’s body.

I’m not in favour of censoring these things in general, just in taking modest measures to ensure appropriateness. In the UK I know that if something is on in the day it’s harmless, between 6 and 9 it may be a little ‘spicier’ but still safe for family viewing, and after 9 anything that is permissible is, well, permitted. Families don’t have to apply any thought to this, unless they want to let their kids see something after 9, when they get to decide on an individual basis whether it’s appropriate. But there’s no stumbling across disturbing images of any sort, beyond the odd nature programme perhaps.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned the irrational hysteria over Janet Jackson’s endowment. Aren’t you glad?

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