Rootsie's European Roots  

The Real Obscenity  
By Rootsie
February 27, 2004

I have a confession to make. I listen to Howard Stern. I am an educated professional anti-war civil libertarian who cares deeply about race and gender issues. I also enjoy irreverence. I enjoy it when EVERYBODY"S views are challenged and poked fun at. I enjoy the fact that Howard Stern is the craven superficial buffoon that he is, and pretends to be nothing different. He is obsessed with physical appearance because he finds himself ugly. He jacks up his self-esteem by surrounding himself with 'smokin' hot' females. The show makes me laugh. I like to laugh. I may even at times laugh in places 'inappropriate' to my political ideology and my concerns about the world. The show may well indeed deliver 'the wrong message' about a number of issues. I am disgusted by the show's hawkish and xenophobic natter about 'the war on terror.'

And equally interested that even though Stern may back Bush in his war, he does not hesitate to harshly criticize this administration in many other areas. In fact, it was his staff who did the research and he who pointed out on the air that the New Mexico Congresswoman having the conniption fit over Janet Jackson's breast and railing on about the media jackals who only care about the bottom line herself takes huge payoffs from the defense industry as she sits on the Defense committee, voted to reduce the waiting period for handguns to 24-hours while getting huge contributions from the NRA, and sports the worst environmental record in Congress while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from anti-environmental lobbies.

Maybe it's time to have a conversation about what is really 'obscene', what is really'indecent,' and where the real threat to the integrity of our families exists in this country. I will tell you right now the threat is not Howard Stern.

As for dealing with Howard, I am here to tell the world about this amazing thing I have discovered. It is called a tuning dial. I use it whenever I feel to. What an invention.

The views of people like myself, of whom there are millions, don't get close to the mass media airwaves. That's how dangerous we are. Amy Goodman and 'Democracy Now' won't be showing up on Clear Channel stations anytime soon. But I will tell you why people such as myself ought to be more than a little concerned about this FCC rampage and the resuscitation of the ones whom the late Frank Zappa referred to as 'The Mothers of Prevention' (remember Tipper Gore back in the day?) in the halls of Congress. While an extreme right-wing is seeking to hijack some moral highground and define the terms 'obscenity' and 'indecency' and 'family values' for the rest of us, the outrageously indecent and obscene conduct of our government goes completely unchallenged in the mainstream media. Howard Stern reveals a teensy corner of this massive web of government/corporate collusion and the absurd hypocrisy of a government up to its eyeballs in corporate payola excoriating its own media for wanting to make money. Obviously, there is more to this than meets the eye. With an election coming up, I guess Stern has been adjudged a 'loose cannon.'

So with the certainty of being accused of being a left-wing hack, let me share some things which I find obscene and indecent.
  1. A hungry person in the world today is an obscenity and an indictment.
  2. The yawning gap between rich and poor is obscene
  3. Homelessness is obscene
  4. The demonization and pathologizing of our youth is obscene
  5. 'Free Trade' as the US government defines it is obscene.
  6. The corporate takeover of the world is obscene
  7. White privilege is obscene
  8. It is obscene that the majority of people in the US is not educated enough to know why 'they' hate us so much.
  9. It is obscene that our poor children go to crumbling underfunded schools.
  10. It is indecent that millions of them leave those schools illiterate.
  11. It is obscene that half the black males in this country between the ages of 15 and 35 will see the inside of a jail cell.
  12. It is obscene that mothers' breast milk has become toxic poison and we're all in a twist about a female's exposed breast.
  13. That Super Bowl commercial depicting children with bars of soap in their mouths was the most obscene and indecent thing I saw that day.
  14. Labor practices by US corporations in the 'third world' are obscene
  15. Labor practices in the US by Walmart and others are obscene
  16. The fact that a quarter million Mexicans in North Carolina have taken over where the black slaves and sharecroppers left off is obscene
  17. The fact that some children are 'theirs' and some 'ours' is a shameful indecency
  18. It is obscene that American women are safer out on the streets at night than in their own homes-as our 'Homeland Security' keeps watch over the 'terrorist threat'
  19. The fact that American sons and daughters are dying overseas for US corporate interests is obscene
  20. That Warsaw ghetto the Israelis have going over there is obscene
  21. The fact that the prisoners in Guantanamo are unrepresented, uncharged, and unremembered is obscene
  22. 200 years of US complicity in the disaster which is Haiti is obscene
  23. 'Charity' to the oppressed is obscene. Millions of jobs hinge on keeping the systems of injustice just the way they are.
  24. This unprecedented attack on the US Constitution is obscene
  25. A film released for Lent depicting 2 hours of some poor guy being tortured to death in excruciating colorful detail is obscene. Now there's some wholesome family entertainment.
Well you get my drift. I could go on for days. This new McCarthyism is the ugliest of spectacles. Since when are my 'family values' going to be dictated to me by people with whom I agree on virtually nothing? Are people like me going to sit still for 'The Passion of the Stern' because he has offended our sensibilities, or are we going to look at the larger issues involved here? I am all for a nationwide conversation on obscenity. I say bring it on.


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