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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

I’m man enough to admit my weaknesses.

And here’s a big one, so look out: I allow things to annoy me that just shouldn’t, and I become a real hothead.

Flames consume my body, and smoke comes out of my ears. I try to remain calm, to keep composed, to let it all just pass right by. I try … but irritation sometimes wins. And then I’m on fire.

Now is one of those times.

Something’s getting my goat. And if you knew me, REALLY new me, you’d appreciate just how pissed off I get when someone messes with my goat.

You see, I’ve had it up to here with the holier-than-thou types who apply today’s standards to the past.

This 20/20 hindsight thing is nothing new, of course. People condemn the Romans for slavery despite knowing full well that the practice was pervasive for more than another millennium before going out of style. And some voices say we should have known Iraq lacked WMD—even though experts worldwide and that country’s own generals believed nasty-ass weapons were there.

But now, the second-guessers have taken their retrospective crusade to a new level. Their target is nothing less than the basis of human advancement, the bedrock of our civilization, the foundation of all that is holy and just in our depraved world.

Cartoons.

In Britain, naysayers are slicing and dicing Tom and Jerry cartoons because a viewer complained that Tom smoked. The regulating body released this defense of its actions: “While we appreciate the historic integrity of the animation, the level of editorial justification required for the inclusion of smoking in such cartoons is necessarily high.”

Did you ever notice that the lamest excuses are buried in the most verbose explanations?

I’m starting to get hot under the collar.

Let it be known: I’m no fan of smoking. In point of fact, I hate the habit. I wish that everyone would stop right now and live happier, healthier lives.

But I’m not about to go back and edit smoking scenes out of Casablanca to pray at the altar of the god of political correctness. Should we ban some of the greatest films of all time—Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and The Breakfast Club—because cigarettes appear?

I feel fire swirling in my head. If we start down the road of “moralizing” the past, it’s hard to stop.

After proscribing smoking, can fighting be far behind? Imagine what the “violence is passé” faction will do to masterpieces like Rocky, Raging Bull, and Old School.

Flames are starting to incinerate my soul.

And then watch out for the sex police. I fear the havoc that the I-know-better-than-you faction will wreak upon classics like Last Tango in Paris, Fatal Attraction, and Showgirls.

My inner blaze rages. This trifecta of madness—this jihad against smoking, fighting, and sex—had better not touch the best movie of all time, the sum and total of cinema to this point in history.

Leave Fight Club alone. Or you’ll have an inferno that will make Vesuvius look like a tiny match.

46 Comments:

At August 24, 2006 8:34 AM, Blogger Ben Heller replied to my musings ...

It is ridiculous David. What these people term politically correct is bordering on cultural Fascism.

Next thing they'll be censoring,

a) Roadrunner because of the Coyote's misuse of Acme home made explosives.

b) Penelope Pitstop for it's portrayal of women as hopeless unless a group of men can come to her aid.

I'm sure there's many others.

 
At August 24, 2006 8:42 AM, Anonymous fred charles replied to my musings ...

I would rather them not show those episodes than cut them up. What's the point? I remember seeing some old Bugs Bunny cartoons where the took all the shooting out. It was that classic Rabbit Season Duck Season episode. Sheesh.

 
At August 24, 2006 9:27 AM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

I'm with you David. People in today's society get offended too easily. I guess that we should go and pull all the copies of Full Metal Jacket off the shelves and out of everyone's homes to, right? We're turning into a country of pussies.

 
At August 24, 2006 9:34 AM, Blogger Minka replied to my musings ...

Wow, that was goooood!
You know it is just so much easier to blame and try to correct the past than focusing on the present;)That would involve actual change!
Fight Club the epitimy of the moving pictures? Youa ure about that?

Now I cuased an eruption didn't I?
*runs away laughing*

 
At August 24, 2006 10:34 AM, Blogger Miss Hobby replied to my musings ...

They just don't make cartoons like they used to. Nowadays you have Billy and Mandy playing with Death, Cartman shoving Disney World out of his ass, and Brian and Stewie sit in this van with the coolest "shove her head in my lap" option on the passenger seat.

C'mon...*rolling eyes* where's the risque in those ideas?? *sigh* a good ol' cigarette...those were the days.

 
At August 24, 2006 10:45 AM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

They shouldn't mess with cartoons.

In Tom & Jerry, will they also edit out the cat's owner's parts because she's the stereotypical "Aunt Jamima" character?

Or how about getting rid of Bugs Bunny doing his Sambo routines.

Is Foghorn Leghorn really a KKK Grand Wizard????

Was Bugs a racist pig when he tried to escape the Native American's wrath? or how about the Austrailian aborigine?

 
At August 24, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

I remember what Fred was saying about the Looney Toons cartoons that were edited so bad in the 80's that they didn't make sense. It's a cartoon people, get over it. How about we just tell kids that smoking bad rather than removing visual evidence of a cartoon character smoking? Wouldn't they be more effective as well as the fact that it wouldn't screw up a classic cartoon?

 
At August 24, 2006 12:15 PM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

I remember when Donald Duck stuffed cigars into the mouths of his nephews until they were blue in the face to teach them not to smoke. :)

this is really out of line, almost as bad as when they wanted to colorize every old black and white movie.

I say we hire Yosemite Sam to set them straight. Smack them on the head a couple of times and yell, "when I says whoa! I mean WHOA!!"

 
At August 24, 2006 12:37 PM, Blogger Jenna Howard replied to my musings ...

Sufferin' Succotash!

What's next? Gone with the wind where (a) there's slavery (b) Rhett smokes (c) there's war and (d) everything else politically incorrect?

Sigh. And that's when the cartoons were good!!

 
At August 24, 2006 1:53 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I've had it with people finding cartoons politically incorrect or morally wrong. They seem to try find hidden messages in everything.

I remember when "Lion King" came out, they said that the two bachelors who raised Simba were homos. What? What in tarnation led them to conclude that two animals were gay?

I just say take a cartoon for what it is--pure entertainment. If we start looking for hidden messages in everything, then we'll stop enjoying these moving colors of paint.

 
At August 24, 2006 1:57 PM, Anonymous BarBarA replied to my musings ...

What I don't get is that everyone I know (including myself and all the people who commented above me) agree with you 100% on this issue! Who the hell is making all the decisions? Why don't more people complain? Why do we allow all this PC BS to invade our lives? It's ridiculous.

 
At August 24, 2006 2:06 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Ben: How could you let this happen in your country? It's time for a Magna Cartoona.

Fred, Phoenix: Seems like this is part of a movement here. Yikes--is nothing sacred??

Mike, OMW, Angel, Barbara: I agree. When did the right not to be offended make its way into countries' laws?

Minka: Good observation--this is a way to avoid focusing on real issues. Thankfully, because I've just had an ice-cold drink, I didn't boil over at your doubt of Fight Club's brilliance.

Mark: As always, you cut right to the issue at hand. Let's just address the problem today and not try to retroactively edit things.

Jenna: Every episode of South Park should offend them more than Tom smoking a cigarette.

-- david

 
At August 24, 2006 3:05 PM, Blogger erika replied to my musings ...

Don't we have more important things to worry about than Tom and Jerry smoking. Next thing you know the Coyote will hug the Road Runner? They will have to change the Fight Club to the mmmmm Love nope thats sex mmmm the handshake club. Ya ya that's it!

 
At August 24, 2006 4:12 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Who cares if Tom smokes?

He's a cat--he's lucky I don't cat-nap him and move to a Cambodian neighborhood in Chamblee. Then, he would be mixed with broccoli and become the #72 Special at Phoa Duc Wan.

What is his life expectancy? Six? So the occasional cigarette takes it down to 5-and-a-half...What, is somebody underwriting a life insurance policy on a cat?

And the last time I looked, he eats raw rodents. That is his raison d'etre.

There is a reason that "raw rodent" is absent from the USDA Food Pyramid.

Garfield is the cat that really pisses me off, if we want to start over-regulating a feline. I hate that smarty-pants sarcastic voice he has. If ever I saw a cat that would make nice violin strings, it's Garfield.

And the gall to name himself after one of our most beloved Presidents...

 
At August 24, 2006 5:24 PM, Blogger Cinderella replied to my musings ...

I think there are alot more issues in the world to worry about then Tom and Jerry....do they have nothing better to do with their time??

What a bunch of morons!

 
At August 24, 2006 6:26 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

Without sex, violence, and smoke why would you watch a damn movie?

 
At August 24, 2006 8:15 PM, Blogger Beth replied to my musings ...

Damn. I can see the SMOKE coming out of your ears. And if they f*ck with Fight Club, I'm with you.

 
At August 24, 2006 10:04 PM, Blogger Gyrobo replied to my musings ...

Bah! Let them censor away. The Internet has the freedom of eight traditional media sources!

Math scientists have proven this using reverse algebra reverberations.

 
At August 24, 2006 11:55 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

I am nervous to comment don't want you to go off on me or beat the crap out of me! hahaha

 
At August 25, 2006 1:30 AM, Blogger Jim replied to my musings ...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 25, 2006 7:35 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

Damn...now I have to get it out in the open. The whole reason I smoke is because I once saw that "Tom and Jerry" cartoon early one Saturday morning about a billion years ago.

There! I said it...I admitted it! Whew! What a weight lifted from my shoulders.

;)

 
At August 25, 2006 8:01 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Erika: Something about Handshake Club doesn't quite work as well.

ZW: I'm OK with getting rid of Garfield. But he doesn't smoke, fight, or have sex, so the morals police aren't really after his hide.

Cinderella: "Morons" has it right. It's hard to believe what people choose to direct their energy toward.

Fuzz: Well, you could always enjoy Bambi.

Beth: Right on! Fight Club is too good to mess with.

Gyrobo: I just don't enjoy watching movies over the Internet, though. That's why I want to protect my sacred films!

Phats: You are safe here, no worries. Comment freely!

Stacy: great--you're giving ammo to the political correctness crowd. Next thing I know, you'll be saying that you had sex because of music you heard while growing up.

-- david

 
At August 25, 2006 8:17 AM, Blogger starbender replied to my musings ...

They said in the end
Everything Bad is Good,
and everything good has become bad!
Be Afraid-
Be VERY Afraid--
Mawwhahahahaaaa!
;]

 
At August 25, 2006 8:32 AM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

On a similar subject, I remember that Tiny Toons did an episode called "One Beer".It was about how Buster, Plucky and Hampton all found some beer and got drunk. It was funny as hell, but it did show that after you drank you felt horrible and threw up a lot. It only aired once or twice before people freaked out about it and it was pulled from the rotation.

 
At August 25, 2006 9:37 AM, Blogger Janet replied to my musings ...

I was with ya, right up until you called Showgirls a classic. Why you had to go and ruin a perfectly good post like that, I have no idea.

:)

 
At August 25, 2006 10:42 AM, Blogger Laurie replied to my musings ...

That's just crazy.

And you're right.. once they start doing that, it's a slippery slope to censoring anything that might "offend" someone.

Welcome to the New World Order.

 
At August 25, 2006 7:06 PM, Blogger debbiecakes replied to my musings ...

First of all, Tom needed to have a smoke every once in a while. Give the cat a break, how would those self-righteous mofos feel if they were supposed to perform a simple task of catching one little mouse only to discover not only is it annoying, but apparently, it is brilliant as well.

And after having recently tivo-ing Last Tango in Paris (because I thought to myself, "I never actually saw this movie, it's supposed to be a little bit of a 'classic'". Let me hock a loogie on it's behalf.

I could have lived the rest of my life not ever hearing Marlon Brando utter things like, "I want you to cut your fingernails and stick your fingers up my asshole...Would you eat pig vomit for me?"

 
At August 26, 2006 8:27 AM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

I think those holier-than-thou people have WAY too much time on their hands. AND they need to chill out!

I'm not a big fan of "politically correct," (although I usually observe it out of politeness.)

 
At August 26, 2006 10:40 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Starbender: You win. I am afraid.

Mike: Seems like the activists would have loved that cartoon, with the life lessons and all.

Janet: Just my usual sarcasm. The Breakfast Club doesn't match up to The Godfather, either. And I think all three of the sexy movies are overrated, although it's hard to find anyone who rated Showgirls more than a turkey.

Debbiecakes: Nice breakdown of both Tom and Jerry and Last Tango.

Laurie, Lisa: I'm not sure what drives people to mandate what is right for everybody else, but when it reaches cartoons we've gone too far.

-- david

 
At August 26, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger Grafs replied to my musings ...

Yeah I hear ya. It's gettin' crazy out there. Speaking of jihad against sex, did you notice that bloody violence is fine, but one damn nipple and the world is going to hell?

 
At August 26, 2006 1:28 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

I agree 100% David. To know where you are going, it is helpful to know where you have been. We are in danger of loosing that perspective when we selectively erase our past. We need to look at the past, warts and all. Selective revisionism stinks.

 
At August 26, 2006 2:12 PM, Blogger Fated replied to my musings ...

You know, that discription of you matches your little devil picture!

 
At August 26, 2006 8:52 PM, Blogger Jenna Howard replied to my musings ...

Y'know when I smoked it wasn't because Tom was smoking. It was because I was crushing on a guy (what a dumb ass reason to start...sigh.)

On the other hand I quit because of another cutie. Sigh. But Tom & Jerry had absolutely nothing to do with it. You can tell those stupid censors that.

 
At August 27, 2006 10:05 AM, Blogger goldennib replied to my musings ...

Maybe there is wisdom to their decision.

I learned all of my bad behavior from cartoons. I am sad to admit that I regularly hunt Road Runners to feed them metal pellats and aim giant magnets at them. I harrass stuttering hunters by dressing in drag and chomping a carrot while batting my fake eyelashes at them. I have even tried to place a Tweety Bird between two slices of bread for lunch (but only once.) I am currently in rehab.

 
At August 27, 2006 12:19 PM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

I'm not going to lie I picked up my first cigarette thanks to Tom... Actually, I am lying but that would be a pretty funny story. This is a great post, it would be so ridiculous if they went back to edit out things in our history just because of political corectness. If you alter the past your are altering the future, and that is the last thing we need. DON'T TOUCH HISTORY!

 
At August 27, 2006 3:32 PM, Anonymous BarBarA replied to my musings ...

David - I've using your Google Search bar, can you tell?

 
At August 27, 2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Logophile replied to my musings ...

OK, for starters, Citizen Kane, The Godfather and The Breakfast Club???
Clearly the flames are doing some damage, you should practice some deep breathing techniques or something.
Never,ever, will they manage to do away with sex and violence in entertainment, we all find it far too entertaining. The filming follows the dollars and the lowest common demoninator will always find funding.

 
At August 27, 2006 5:42 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Grafs: You reminded me of the whole uproar over Janet Jackson's nipple at last year's Super Bowl. It's crazy what people get worked up about, isn't it?

GW: "Selective revisionism" sucks--but it would make one HELL of a name for a progressive rock band.

Fated: I was wondering when somebody would catch that. Congrats! You get the prize ... er, well ... at least you get my nod of appreciation.

Jenna: The lady doth protest too much--admitting that cartoons are your problem is the first step toward recovery.

Goldennib: That's what I'm talking about! You have a tasking: Please arrange an intervention for Jenna.

Jeff: History is written by the victors, so I respect good historical research that seeks to tell every side of past events. But I'm with you--that's different than this cartoon crap. I think it's safe to leave works of art (paintings, books, cartoons, sculptures, films, etc.) out of it.

Barbara: I don't know about the search thing, I'll have to check and see. Thanks for making this your Web search portal!

Logophile: You have just run head-on into my trademark sarcasm; sorry about the whiplash. Just as Showgirls ain't the pinnacle of Western civilization, so The Breakfast Club (entertaining as it is) doesn't match The Godfather. I'm proud to say I'm a wise-ass like that, and I love to keep you all on your toes.

-- david

 
At August 27, 2006 8:11 PM, Blogger dragonflyfilly replied to my musings ...

well, as Austin Powers would say: "Don't have a thrombo Baybe!" heh heh, but seriously, is all this aggravation worth getting your blood pressure high? What? someone's messing with fight club, well i do declare, Massah! what next?

 
At August 27, 2006 9:30 PM, Anonymous Leah replied to my musings ...

Showgirls?! Hehehe.... You threw that in there because you secretly LOVE that movie, don't you?! It's hidden in your underwear drawer along with Mariah Carey's Greatest Hits cd, isn't it? You are SO BUSTED!!! :-)

 
At August 27, 2006 10:45 PM, Blogger MIA replied to my musings ...

Ok for a sponge to live in a pineapple and walk around in his underwear.

pepe lepu was a sexual harraser so I'm sure he'll be banned soon.

Don't forget the "challenged" Porky stuttered, Daffy speech problem, I'm sure they are offending people on a regular basis. Now I'm fumed. Thanks
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Keep checking in.

 
At August 28, 2006 8:27 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

Some people need to get a REAL LIFE! Sheesh!

 
At August 28, 2006 4:13 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

History needs to be left alone-- we're supposed to learn from our mistakes so we don't repeat them-- if we perpetually edit them out because relative to today they're not PC we can't very well learn from those mistakes, can we?

And if we don't learn from them we're doomed to repeat them... then again the cynic in me says that we're doomed to repeat those mistakes whether or not we know our history.

 
At August 28, 2006 8:41 PM, Blogger Trundling Grunt replied to my musings ...

You think that's bad - why do you think Donald Duck wanders round with no trousers on and playes with his nephews. Nephews - yeah right.....

It's pretty fucked up, isn't it?

 
At August 29, 2006 12:34 PM, Blogger Paige Burns replied to my musings ...

ACK! My comment from this is effin gone! It was so clever too. *pout*

My boys watch T&J every morning before school and not once have I heard them ask me for a cigar. I have seen #2 chase #1 with a rolling pin however.

 
At September 01, 2006 12:21 AM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

here in America they should chop Pokemon to ribbons for the sheer sake of it...cartoons are a cultural institution....keep church and state out of it...I remember during a dark age in the 90s, ABC got the rights to air Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes and they chopped them to bits...it's the most offensive thing I've witnessed EVER...of course it triggers you into buying the DVDs so you have them pure and pristine...damn the mass marketing machine!

 

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