In today’s column I stray dangerously close to politics. Or if not politics then the culture war, which is the same argument but without the policy side of the debate. ALSO, this article is even more USA-centric than usual. Either way, sorry about that. In my defense, I’m just trying to answer a question and not trying to force my views on anyone or tell them how to live their lives. I recognize this is touchy stuff.
I don’t really have any answers. I think this is a bit like the Empire vs. Stormcloaks fight in Skyrim: You’ve got two sides, both of which want reasonable thingsReligious freedom and peace in the case of Skyrim, and healthy children and artistic freedom in the case of television., and which could easily resolve their differences if not for a malicious third party. (In this case, cable companies. Read the column for the long explanation of that.) There’s no good, clean answer, only a bunch of ugly trade-offs.
This post grew from this comment back in April. I’ve been thinking about this on and off since then. I thought it would make for a good column, but it was actually really hard keeping this thing at a manageable size. (At 1,800 words, this is one of my longest Escapist columns to date.) The topic would probably be better served by a series, but I didn’t want to talk about adult content and social norms for three weeks. (And as of this writing, I have no idea if people will even care.) We end up with a column that spends 1,500 words just setting up the debate and trying to ward off all the usual digressions and distractions.
Whew. This is a tough subject. It’s really interesting, but covering hot-button stuff is stressful for me. Glad I don’t do this often.
I’ll leave you with some thoughts that I didn’t want to put into the article:
Remember how basically all 80’s R-rated movies had naked breasts in them? That’s no longer the case. Maybe norms have shifted, but I kind of want to give credit (without a shred of proof, mind you) to internet porn. Back in the day, it was hard to get salacious content and it was nearly impossible to get it privately. So directors would awkwardly pull in males looking for a cheap thrill by stuffing some female nudity into their film. But now everyone who wants it can get it easily, conveniently, and in private, so there’s no longer this pent-up demand for it. Net porn acted as a pressure release valve, letting guys blow off their steam without getting their unwanted content all over the place.
(Sorry. A bit. Sort of.)
Anyway, porn made movies more family-friendly. You heard it here first.
ONE MORE THING:
After spending 1,800 words trying to get the two sides to understand each other, the Escapist comments went straight into the “oh noes the Christians are so oppressive!” sort of whinging that I was specifically attempting to head offI strongly suspect some people go right to the comments and answer the question posed by the title without reading the article.. Be warned that I’m not going to entertain that sort of rubbish here. This article is not an invitation to bitch about religion (or lack thereof) on my site.
Pop quiz. Are the people who disagree with you:
- Villains, morons, or mindless sheeple.
- People with different needs and goals who might not understand your point of view.
If you answered #1, then maybe sit this one out.
 Religious freedom and peace in the case of Skyrim, and healthy children and artistic freedom in the case of television.
 I strongly suspect some people go right to the comments and answer the question posed by the title without reading the article.
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