Sunday, March 28, 2010

Drawing the Line

New Zealand's broadcast standards authority stops stations from using naughty words before 8:30 at night or so. But how can you tell what's acceptable? 'Bugger' used to be terribly naughty; now, not so much.

Turns out they run a survey.

And, before last year, the survey was run face to face. Now it's online.

David Farrar feels sorry for the poor folks who had to go door to door with their list of swear words, asking the folks answering the door how offensive they found each one.

Maybe there's too much of the Eric Cartman in me, but get me on the right day, I might even pay money to do the polling work. Avoiding cracking up half-way down the list, and avoiding adding new ones to the list, would be the hardest part.

Now imagining Cartman actually being hired to do the survey and interviewing Mrs. Broflovsky...

Go read David Farrar's post, linked above, for the full list. There are also write-ins suggested by survey respondents as unacceptable. I keep thinking of Kyle taunting Cartman when Cartman had the v-chip....

David, thanks for this. You've made my weekend.

Even the abstract from the BSA's paper cracks me up. Read that too, also linked above.

Update: Was it a South Park episode already? It's incredibly easy to imagine Cartman figuring that he could pretend to be a surveyor hired by the FCC to poll people about offensive words and just spending the rest of the episode going door to door swearing at people while looking very sincere, and just ramping up the level of offensiveness if they're finding things too tame. If it isn't an episode, it should be.

1 comment:

  1. For some reason (must be my inner nerd) this public quote from the BSA study particularly amused me:
    "On BattleStar Galatica they use “frackin” or “frack” which means they get to air the programme earlier than 8.30pm. It is obvious that it is just a substitute for the other ‘F’ word and I don’t think it’s acceptable."
    Farrah is on the money with this guy (or girl).

    I also find Hone Harawira (the person) somewhat offensive, but I don't recoil at the very mention of his name, unlike at least one of the respondents :)

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