Friday, January 14, 2005

To whack or not to whack? And with what?

My friend Amber has a post about a product called the The Rod, a nylon whip designed to be used for corporal punishment, and a link to a discussion about the subject in general. An interesting subject, especially considering that corporal punishment is now banned in two European countries and seems to be generally on the wane elsewhere.

I confess I've never given the subject much thought. I have only one memory of being spanked, by my mother with a spoon, and it doesn't even register on my list of complaints about the way my parents brought me and my sister up (it's a reasonably short and unexceptional list...they did a good job).

So it should hardly come as a surprise that I'm mildly in favor of corporal punishment, if done correctly; it should be reserved for severe misbehavior, and never none in the heat of the moment. I'd be inlcined to send the kid to his or her room first, with instructions to come out in 15 minutes for a spanking; that'll give me time to cool down, and the kid time to stew.

That being said, I'd never use The Rod, and would find it hard to sympthize with someone who did. There is something sadistic--if only slightly--about an object being designed and purchased specifically for the purpose of causing another person pain. The fact that the manufacturer claims to have ceased production because he's having trouble procurring the padded grips is...well, you draw your own conclusions.

Speaking of padded grips, I'm inclined to disagree with Dobson's belief that--when spanking is merited--one should always use an inanimate object, reserving the hand for love. If I ever spank my kid, I'd only do it with my hand, so that a) I'll know exactly how hard I'm hitting and b) it'll make the experience that much more unpleasant for me.

First Sight From A New World

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Thought

For the sake of this post, I’d like to ask everyone to—just for a moment—ignore your opinion on whether abortion should be legal and whether the Iraq War was justified.

Last week, I was watching the O’Reilly Factor (yes, I watch the O’Reilly Factor; Trey and Matt are vulgar and Bill’s a blowhard). As I was saying, I was watching the O’Reilly Factor and Bill was discussing a recent ruling by California Attorney General Bill Locklear, allowing a public school to release a student from class for medical reasons (including to have an abortion) without having to inform the student’s parents. Jerry Brown, the far-left former governor of California who was a guest on the show, commented:

"This is probably viewed differently in California than other parts of the country. If a woman's old enough to get pregnant, the right to privacy has to be protected."

Bill objected, saying that a pregnant 14-year old hardly qualifies as a woman. Now, compare Brown's statement with an oft-quoted editorial by William Rivers Pitt:

“Fahrenheit 9/11 is not a victory for anyone. We the People should have known better, We the People should have been given the facts before sending 851 of our children to die.”

Look, I was a ROTC cadet for three years before being released over an old knee injury, a rather fantastically stupid decision for the military, but a lucky break for me. Suffice to say (and to paraphrase Lileks), I could very easily mouth-off a number of epithets for those in the military—both positive and negative—but “child-like” just doesn’t come to mind.

The point of all this being that, according to the Left, we should assume a knocked-up eighth-grader to be a mature adult, capable of making her own decisions, while also presuming that a nineteen year-old PFC is, well, just a kid.

The American Thinker Agrees!

Thanks to Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker for picking-up my "Defending South Park" post. Lifson is a great guy who has published two excellent pieces by my father in the last few months. Check them out...and buy a copy of The Siege of Western Civilization while you're at it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

It's A Shpadoinkle Day!

Thanks to Amber, Lee, and Andrew for the links, and welcome fellow Bamberians, Right-Thinkers, and Sullivanites! This is the blogger equivilent of jumping into bed only to find that you're sharing it with a set of naked, blonde triplets.

A number of people have made an excellent point about my fisking, one which I'm inclined to agree with: it would be more far more accurate to say that South Park is the only popular TV show likely to convert young people to a particular brand of conservatism, likely one Bozell doesn't endorse.

My mother also made a legitimate point that--even if the moral of the episode is sound--the content is still rather extreme. I'm fine with it being on cable at 10:30 pm on Wednesdays, my mom's not. Of course, it'd be impossible to have that argument if your knowledge of South Park was limited to Bozell's piece. The point stands that Bozell is a doofus who either a) wrote an article condemning a TV episode he has not seen (at least in its entirety), or b) intentionally witheld information from his article that would have undermined his thesis, much as Michael Moore would do.

I'm sending an email to Bozell. I'll let you know if he says anything.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Article of Mass Distortion

An article by Brent Bozell recently came to my attention. It is, simply put, a perfect example of Paleo-Con stupidity and the kind of misdirection and lies that the author condemns in his book, "Weapons of Mass Distortion."

The article in question, "Winners and losers, 2004," provides the reader with a brief description of what the author believes to be the high and low points of entertainment in 2004. Though it's not a terribly inspired article, it makes some Michael Medvedesque points about how Hollywood goes out of it's way to ignore productions that might cater towards families and conservatives (indeed, he quotes Medved). I’m inclined to agree. But then there's the following passage:

Loser: "South Park." The producers of this curdled, malodorous black hole of Comedy Central vomit want to elicit only one sentence from viewers: "Did I just see that on television?" For anyone who thinks television today is not as offensive -- and downright stupid as those "prudes" say it is, we suggest a look at the Dec. 1 episode. At the South Park "Whore-Off" competition, Paris Hilton inserts an entire pineapple into her vagina. A gay man in a biker vest then takes off his pants and puts the entire body of Paris Hilton up his rectum. Remember this episode the next time some TV critic raves about the "talent" behind "South Park."

Before continuing, it is well worth mentioning that Mr. Bozell's description of the conclusion of episode 812, "Stupid Spoiled Whore" is--technically speaking--100% accurate. The events, so far as he describes them, transpire exactly as he states. Of course, many of the things in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 were--technically speaking--100% accurate. They were still lies. Such is the case with Bozell's smearing of South Park.

The episode begins with the grand opening of a new store at the South Park Mall called "Stupid Spoiled Whore." The store caters towards girls and is the exlcusive retailer of products endorsed by its patron, hotel heiress Paris Hilton, such as:

1. Tot-sized thongs;
2. Paris Hilton's new perfume "Skanque";
3. The "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Play Set," a toy which allows girls to broadcast homemade porn (ala the sex tape which somehow catapulted Ms. Hilton to celebritydom) and comes complete with a video camera, kid-sized condoms, ecstasy pills, and a losable cell phone.

All of the girls in South Park are enraptured with the store and quickly persuade their parents (generally, their mothers) to buy these products, so that they can be more like their heroine, Ms. Hilton, who is onsite to dedicate the store.

All the girls, that is, except for the rather precocious Wendy Testaburger, an eight-year old South Park student who thinks that the talentless and vapid Ms. Hilton is a terrible paragon. Unfortunately, Wendy is unable to persuade her playmates, who spend the rest of the episode trying to emulate Ms. Hilton's hyper-sexuality. Unsure of who to turn to, Wendy consults Mr. Garrison, her fourth-grade teacher, and his boyfriend, Mr. Slave, the gay man who Mr. Bozell described in his article.

Though Mr. Slave is a self-admitted whore, he is horrified that anyone--least of all fourth-grade girls--would hold either him or Hilton up as role models. He confronts Ms. Hilton on the matter, who dismisses him as not being on her level of whoredom, and promptly challenges him to the "Whore-off" Mr. Bozell took so much offense at. After Hilton's rather spectacular "exit," the townsfolk cheer Mr. Slave, who promptly chastises them for over-sexualizing their daughters and encouraging behavior that can only lead to future promiscuity. Mr. Bozell didn't tell you that, now did he?

South Park is not for everybody (certainly not for children), and I resisted it for years, finding the humor not worth the vulgarity. However, the show had greatly improved by its third season and--while it is still vulgar and crude--it's now infinitely funnier than it was initially, and is blatantly libertarian and often traditionalist in its politics. The show is openly hostile to sexual harassment legislation, environmentalism, and the "tolerance" movement, and consistently embraces the idea that children are best raised by their parents, not by incompetent teachers, do-gooder liberals, and anyone else who does not have their best interests at heart.

It is also worth noting that Parker and Stone are also the creators of Team America, the only major Hollywood release to address, let alone condone, the War on Terror. Of all popular entertainment aimed at young people in America today, South Park is one of--if not the--most likely to persuade them of the value of conservative principles. And fart jokes.