Respectful Insolence

Prince turned my son gay!

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Believe it or not, the FCC is receiving a fair number of complaints over the Superbowl halftime show featuring His Purpleness, particularly the part where he did a bit of a phallic thing with his guitar (as if generations of rockers haven’t done the whole guitar as wank-off thing since at least the 1960′s–heck David Bowie used to simulate oral sex on Mick Ronson’s guitar back in his Ziggy Stardust days, although I will concede that he never played the Superbowl). I mean, get a load of this complaint:

During Prince’s rendition of Purple Rain, which I think is a really great song, there seemed to be a shadow puppet of his (penis). The sheet that was the backdrop seemed to be stained with something (semen?) My children were watching and now I have to explain to them what a wet spot is on a cum-covered sheet. Thanks CBS.

Pardon the language; I’m quoting it because it’s so bizarrely stupid that I find it hard to believe. Did it ever occur to this person that the sheet was wet because-oh–it was raining like crazy during Prince’s performance. Really. I was wondering how he and his band were avoiding getting electrocuted.

It gets better (or worse if you’re thinking of anything other than the sheer entertainment value of reviewing comments from the brain dead). I’m including some more of these comments found at The Smoking Gun below the fold:

How can you show Prince at the the half time show doing what he did??? How could that not be censored??? Tell me it was not meant to be what it depicted! A cloth with him silhouetted behind it with a guitar that looked very much like an enlarged, engorged penis! and him stroking it!!! and this is supposed to be better than an accidental tenth of a second glimpse and then you miss it of her breast, but a long, drawn-out show of simulated masturbation is OK?

Dude, have you ever heard of the channel changer? If you’re so offended, it’s perfectly acceptable to use it. But the best (well, most ridiculous) one of all is:

It was obscene to show Prince, a HOMOSEXUAL person through a sheet, as to show his silhouette while his guitar showed a very phallic symbol coming from his below-midriff section. I am very offended and I would prefer not to have showed it to my 4 children who love football. One of them has hoped to be a quarterback and now he will turn out gay. I am actually considering to check him for HIV. Thanks CBS for turning my son GAY.

People, you can’t make stuff like this up. You just can’t. The mind boggles. This person actually thinks that his or her son can be turned into a raging queen just by watching a little old-fashioned rock god guitar masturbation. If that were true, those of us who passed through our teenage years in the 1970′s would be nearly all homosexuals. I have news for this person: If his or her son’s sexuality is so fluid that merely seeing Prince do something that might be considered phallic, then he was already gay before he ever saw this year’s Superbowl. I’m particularly intrigued at how this person’s son might have acquired HIV from merely watching Prince do his routine on the television. Apparently this is a new hypothesis of AIDS causation of which I had previously been unaware.

However, the absolute funniest one (albeit the most dubious, as far as whether it’s legit) is this one:

I find it highly unacceptable to have a family watching a sporting event only to find Prince stroking, manipulating and fondling his guitar behind the curtain. This image only made him look extremely large, which made the rest of us feel small and unable to perform this evening.

Way too much information, dude! But, yeah, I can see how that might be a problem. I hope you got over it. I’d hate to see your sex life demolished for life, all because the Purple One’s guitar shamed you. Of course, rock stars’ guitars have shamed lesser men for decades, but I never realized they had such power.

Comments

  1. #1 Kristjan Wager
    March 8, 2007

    Heh. Another case for the “Americans are weird” file….

    Oh, and please close that rogue italics tag.

  2. #2 ben
    March 8, 2007

    OK — you do realise that all of these letters are intentionally funny, right? I’m sure there were some sincere complaints, but that’s clearly not what these are.

  3. #3 Superstenogirl
    March 8, 2007

    Whether they were intentionally funny or not – they still rock. And the best part is that we ALL know someone who behaves at least somewhat like the people in the “complaints”. You know the person; the one who makes something out of nothing. Who takes an innocent comment/situation and turns it into something morally wrong/indecent/unprofessional etc.

    That’s what makes things like these “complaints” so entertaining. Because we know they’re fake, but we can’t help but think of Sally from accounting or Trixie from the truck stop who does the same thing. :)

  4. #4 Steevl
    March 8, 2007

    The second comment you quoted is great; it’s so clear that he’s not upset because they showed this scene, he’s angry that they never show boobs.

  5. #5 Orac
    March 8, 2007

    I’m not so sure that these complaints are all (or even mostly) fake. They have just enough of that hysterical homophobic tone to sound convincing to me, and I’ve come across stuff just as ridiculous (if not more so) while perusing various Internet discussion boards over the years. At the risk of revealing myself to be a hopeless dupe, I will admit that last complaint was the only one whose seriousness/legitimacy I wondered about. (It’s just too hilarious.) And, remember, these people made formal complaints to the FCC, an agency not known for its sense of humor, and had no way of knowing that these would ever be publicized.

    No, I suspect that most of them are genuine. Go to the link and look at the actual complaints, including ones that I didn’t quote. Note that complaints about Prince are mixed in with complaints about a humorous Snickers commercial that ran during the Superbowl during which two men were eating a Snickers bar from opposite ends and accidentally ended up touching lips.

    However, it would be an interesting debate whether these are legit or not. Sadly, Orac is not infallible and has on occasion been successfully punk’d. But do look at all of the scanned complaints at The Smoking Gun before weighing in and deciding for yourself. (There are around 10 examples, no doubt chosen for being the most over-the-top.)

  6. #6 anonimouse
    March 8, 2007

    Prince turning kids gay? No way.

    Prince turning kids into weird midget primadonnas? I can see that.

  7. #7 Wes
    March 8, 2007

    Some of those complaints sound like they might be genuine, but the “turned my son gay” one and the penis envy one sound like jokes to me.

    I’m not surprised at all people would complain about Prince, but I have to wonder how many of the people complaining about him realize Prince is an evangelical Christian.

  8. #8 ron
    March 8, 2007

    and prince is awesome at basketball and making pancakes.

  9. #9 Warren
    March 8, 2007

    and prince is awesome at basketball and making pancakes.
    Posted by: ron

    Niiiiiiiiiiiice reference.

    Assuming the legitimacy of the complaints, the man whining about “semen stains” is probably the most pathetic. That he’s able to make a jump in his mind from a silhouette to cum on the sheets says far more about his own pathological fixations than it does about the nature of the halftime show.

  10. #10 scott pilutik
    March 8, 2007

    Whether the complaints are legitimate or not is almost besides the point, since the FCC is treating them as real (they made them public), and will weigh in any decision made by our unelected censorship board as to whether fines will issue against CBS. I agree they appear over the top, but I’ve researched FCC matters before, and they’re actually not that unusual; they’re most likely the result of a requested push for complaints by the PTC (Parents Television Council), an evangelical group whose members are responsible for the vast bulk of FCC complaints.

    If these complaints aren’t genuine, a plea: don’t troll the very humorless FCC; subtlety is not their long suit.

  11. #11 stogoe
    March 8, 2007

    The FCC needs to be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up to favor citizens again* instead of gargantuan media conglomerates.

    *if it ever did actually pay attention to its viewing sheeple..

  12. #12 Amy Alkon
    March 8, 2007

    Researchers can’t do work fast enough on the differences between gay men and straight men in brain structure/response and hormones (and, of course, lesbians and straight women). I’ve been reading some of this lately; specifically, on similarities between gay men and straight women in spatial memory (versus hetero men). It seems only a matter of time before we can say, definitively, that you don’t “learn” homosexuality.

  13. #13 Sonya
    March 8, 2007

    Fer chrissake Amy, common sense can tell you you don’t “learn” homosexuality. Interviewing gay and straight people can illustrate that you don’t “learn” homosexuality. Basic rational thought tells you that people don’t “learn” homosexuality. I mean, I’ll for further biological studies into working out the details, but how is it not already thoroughly obvious? If we had to learn heterosexuality, it would take quite a complicate explanation who we, of all sexually reproducing beings, would have lost the instinct. Homosexuality is just a variant of sexuality, which is innate.

  14. #14 Sonya
    March 8, 2007

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything with so many typos. And so I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t edit comments here, either. At any rate, I think that spacial memory doesn’t tell us all that much about either gender differences or sexual orientation. It’s too varied throughout the groups. Yes, it’s interesting that in such realms sometimes gay men are more like straight women, but since spatial abilities don’t have anything directly to do with sexuality or reproduction, and are at best byproducts of other cognitive features of a dimorphic brain, I don’t see how it will prove much at all about the development of sexual orientation.

  15. #15 Jim Lippard
    March 9, 2007

    “The FCC needs to be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up to favor citizens again* instead of gargantuan media conglomerates.”

    I agree with the first part. The FCC, like all regulatory agencies, tends to work in support of the large incumbents being regulated (sometimes intentionally, sometimes just through their ability to game the system and use their lobbying and legal dollars effectively against their smaller competitors).

    The whole rationale for the FCC was scarcity of the airwaves, and that rationale no longer exists.

  16. #16 Teresa Michelsen
    March 9, 2007

    I think what’s really telling is what people see in these things – I’d really like to see that Snickers commercial after what some of those people said about it. I can’t believe much of that was really in a commercial by a major manufacturer. Not to mention the semen stuff. People are seeing what’s in their own minds, projected. Fascinating, psychologically.

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