Thursday, February 24, 2005

Tivo and Sociology

Wow, has it really been a whole week since I've written? It's gone *fast*. Midsouth was fun, and my paper was well-received (although I might've wished for a larger audience). I'm off to Princeton-Rutgers tomorrow afternoon, so don't expect to see a lot of me between now and Monday. But I do have a few things I wanted to draw attention to, if I get a chance tonight. The first is this, from the New York Times on obscenity in America.
Hollywood can read the numbers. Once the feds vowed to smite future "wardrobe malfunctions," the customers started bolting the annual TV franchises where those malfunctions and their verbal counterparts are apt to occur. An award show sanitized of vulgarity and encased in the prophylactic of tape delay is an oxymoron. And so the Golden Globes lost 40 percent of its audience in January on NBC, the Grammys lost 28 percent of its audience this month on CBS. The viewers turned up instead at the competing "Desperate Housewives" on ABC, where S-and-M is the latest item on the carnal menu. Though this year's Super Bowl didn't have to go up against that runaway hit, its born-again family-friendliness also took a ratings toll; the audience in the all-important 18-to-49 demographic fell to an all-time low. The viewers perked up only for a commercial parodying a Washington "Broadcast Censorship Hearing": TiVo reported that the spot's utterly unrevealing "wardrobe malfunction" gag was the most replayed moment from any of the game's ads, much as the Jackson-Timberlake pas de deux that inspired it was the TiVo sensation of the year before.
I didn't know that Tivo did that. That's sort of cool. I'm off to Yeomen rehearsal now -- I hope that later tonight I'll write about sex education, Focus on the Family's recent conference in Houston, and homosexuals in the military.

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