Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sunday McFarlane Cavalcade

I happened to catch the latest Family Guy and American Dad episodes on the Sabbath. Apparently some were offended.

The Parents Television Council was not amused by the animated randy situations on the latest “Family Guy.”

The group has filed an indecency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission about the episode, which aired at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Here’s how the council described what it disliked:

“In the episode, loutish Peter takes his father-in-law and friends to a strip club named the Fuzzy Clam. Peter tells a stripper to perform a lap dance on his father-in-law. She bends over and waggles her rear before his face. ‘Do I stick the money right inside of her?’ he asks. When Peter replies, ‘No, you do not,’ his father-in-law asks, ‘Why? Have you done that before?’ Peter giggles nervously. As the woman briefly rubs her rear against the father-in-law’s crotch, he asks, ‘When do I hit her?’ Peter pours beer down his in-law’s throat and orders the stripper to ‘give this old bastard the ride of his life.’ The stripper writhes up and down against the father-in-law’s body, shakes her breasts in his face, then straddles his lap and thrusts her groin against his. Lois’ father grunts in pleasure, then spasms and collapses to the ground as he has a heart attack.”

Yes, we’re a long way from “The Flintstones.”

The council noted that “Family Guy” is one of the most-watched programs with children 6 to 11.

I donno. Sounds like wholesome family entertainment to me ... but then I get around so little. My eighteen-year-old was laughing his ass off through the whole episode. (He hasn't changed much. He was laughing his ass off at the same kind of Family Guy material when he was fifteen.)

Maybe this is Rupert's way of doing penance for inflicting Steve Doocy on an unsuspecting American public ...

And the very same night, there was the American Dad Christmas show.

The episode starts out with the “American dad,” Stan, waiting for his wife, Francine, so they can go to church on Christmas morning. He yells for her to hurry up saying “God pays twice as much attention on Sunday, like the media when a white chick goes missing.” Francine comes down the stairs in her new dress, asking Stan how it looks. His response, “I can’t take you to church in that, I can see your calves!” ....

Before they leave, the alien who lives with them, Roger, (I’m not making this up) gives his opinion of Christianity saying “it’s like Harry Potter, but it causes genocide and bad folk music.” ...

Fox, in its wisdom, is most likely counter-programming William O'Reilly. Which is its right as a fine American-Australian corporation.

Personally, I thought both episodes were a trifle over the top, but since the apple of my eye was sprawled on the couch howling with laughter, I could be wrong in my assessment. The kid is, after all, the the middle of Fox-News Corp.'s target demographic. And when all is said and done, it is about the crisp folding money, isn't it?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

What century do we live in? OH brother. They compalin about this, and they don't complain about shmucks like oral roberts, jim & tammy, pat robertson, and jerry falwell lying to fleece idiotic Americans by promising they can buy their way to hebbin?

steve douchy is a rabid wingnut who enjoys getting teabagged by his fellow teabaggers.

Anonymous said...

Religion will be extinct in 3-4 generations.

Hopefully.

Anonymous said...

Oh anonymous, please don't be so silly and narrow minded (yes, atheists can be narrow minded as well).

Religion indeed can lead to a great many bad things, however, the main purpose of most religions is to promote good will between peoples, and a sense of community between groups who otherwise would not know each other.

As for the blog posting:

I think such "family morality" groups are horribly out of touch with modern society.

Anonymous said...

Yay barbarianism ! Rip it all down, boys, rip it down.

Alex Dudley said...

Well hopefully, the complaints will go on deaths ears because McFarlane's shows are meant for kids in the first place. They even have a disclaimer at the beginning of it.

Anonymous said...

"death's ears"?

Anonymous said...

McFarlane ran out of ideas a long time ago, especially funny ones. He reminds me of a line I once heard in a Spongebob cartoon: "I don't get it. That guy's talented. He doesn't HAVE to work blue!" Except McFarlane's just the opposite...

Justin said...

"The council noted that “Family Guy” is one of the most-watched programs with children 6 to 11."

No way in hell I'd let my 6-11 year old watch Family Guy. Parents need to take more responsibility for their own kids. If you don't like what a program is showing then don't let them watch it.

Anonymous said...

I wasnt being narrow minded or silly. Im just stating the facts. Sure, 3-4 generations is a leap, but its true that religions have, and continue to go extinct.

Sumerian, Mayan, Mithraism/Roman, Assyrian, Germanic/Norse, just to name a few.

And in my opinion, religion isnt the only thing that promotes good will between people, and I think we're seeing signs that humans have evolved to a point where we understand the benefits of a functioning society (and how it perpetuates our species far better than going it alone), and dont need religion anymore to scare us into behaving.

But thanks for teaching me a lesson and putting me in my place.

PS) Im not an atheist. Im agnostic. Theres a difference.

Anonymous said...

Parents need to be very diligent in monitoring what their kids watch on TV or otherwise they might grow up to be anti-religious bigots like some of the posters on this blog.

Anonymous said...

religion won't go away in fact things haven't changed at all, this is just like ancient times with most of the masses worshiping their "false gods"

Anonymous said...

that was redundant.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Tiger Woods developed his moral compass by watching shows like "Family Guy"?

Anonymous said...

Im not a bigot. I understand, tolerate and accept the role religion has played in forming our species and our species culture(s). But I also know that everything that has ever existed has a lifespan, including religion.

If anyone is a bigot (definition: intolerant of the opinion of others) it's you.

Anonymous said...

I'm very proudly an atheist. But you don't have to be some moralistic religionist to see that this crap in Family Guy is just immature, gutter stupidity.

Total stupidity--and the people who are into this kind of crap are similarly stupid.

David Co. said...

How does the Family Guy 'gag' qualify as good writing? It's base, childish, and absurd.

And the American Dad joke is just a cheap shot at a favorite target. Neither of these efforts takes a large amount of intelligence or talent.

This Christian agrees with the atheist above: "Total stupiditiy - and the people who are into this kind of crap are similarly stupid."

Anonymous said...

Are people here really calling Steve's son stupid?

Steve Hulett said...

I'm afraid so.

And I weep.

Anonymous said...

"the main purpose of most religions is to promote good will between peoples, and a sense of community between groups who otherwise would not know each other."

I' think that the main purpose of religion is to bring groups of people together in opposition of people outside their group. Same function as a nation or tribe, essentially. In-group amity, out-group enmity. Taking power from the many, and handing it to the few who claim to hear voices from above.

It's a power-multiplier for the power-hungry. And it's a cheap and lucrative product, cheaply made and easily exported for those who profit from fear. It does very little to multiply the power of the needy, the hungry, the poor and those in need of education. The dark side of the Force is too seductive to the Pat Robertsons, the Bill Donohues, the Rick Warrens, and the radical and the narrow-minded of all the demogogues of all the religions in the world. They wield the radicalizing force of religion and weaken, indeed nearly cripple, whatever power for good religion might have had.

It also, not incidentally, trains children in a mode of thinking that eschews critical thinking, skepticism, scientific inquiry and intellectual pluralism, and replaces it with wish-fulfillment fantasies and gut-churning fear of damnation. Which, unfortunately follows many through adulthood and into the next generation.

But all of you already know this, although some will think it's the height of rudeness for me to dare mention it aloud.

Whatever we do, we all must pretend that Dad's not an alcoholic!

Anonymous said...

I' think that the main purpose of religion is to bring groups of people together in opposition of people outside their group. etc. etc. etc....."

Agreed, but what does that have to do with the fact that this Family Guy episode, as described, is the most gutter-filled stupidity, truly the dumbest and ugliest garbage imaginable? Charles Darwin himself would undoubtedly be disgusted by it, as should be any educated adult.

Steve Hulett said...

Ah, but many uneducated adults make it a hit.

Speaking of uneducated (except for those years at Oxford), Rupert M. has no trouble with it, so why should you?

Anonymous said...

Well, gee, when you put it that way, if Rupert Murdoch likes it, it can't possibly be a base, disgraceful pile of moral rot, not unlike his brain.

Anonymous said...

Sure, some of the jokes on Family Guy and American Dad are crude and gross. But thats part of the reason why they're popular, because people LIKE crude humor sometimes. It tickles a particular funny bone, and while not something we should necessarily be proud of, it CAN be funny. Are these specific examples all that funny, maybe not, but you cant judge an entire show on a couple examples. Sometimes Family Guy is hilarious.

Regardless, I think the reason this has spiraled into a religion debate is due to the overwhelmingly religious slant the critic put on it, and the fact its a catholic website.

We could argue all day crude humor as a valid creative outlet versus something that causes society to de-evolve (an important discussion), but unless we get past whether or not it makes Jesus sad, we're never going to get anywhere.

Thats why Im talking about it.

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting when someone takes something that's purely a matter of taste and tells us who should and shouldn't appreciate it. I happen to have advanced degrees and think Family Guy is generally hilarious. And crude. And outrageous. And actually very clever sometimes. A lot of times their crudeness is not lowest common denominator stuff for the sake of it, but actually social commentary and purposeful attempts to push the envelope. In that sense, it's quite smart sometimes. At least in this educated person's opinion.

r said...

Religion is ubiquitous in almost every culture. I don't think it'll go away. People need rituals and, well, getting together in social groups to feel part of something. Then, there's the other aspect which is the fundamental tennets of each religion, based on ancient books. The list of religious texts is looong ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_texts)

, and the list of gods is in the thousands.

We atheist believe in one less god then todays theists.

As far as Family Guy goes, to each his own I guess...

rufus

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting when someone takes something that's purely a matter of taste and tells us who should and shouldn't appreciate it.

A matter of taste? Really? From the description of the show, you think it's simply a matter of "taste"? A matter of bad taste, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

"We could argue all day crude humor as a valid creative outlet versus something that causes society to de-evolve (an important discussion), but unless we get past whether or not it makes Jesus sad, we're never going to get anywhere."

I think that's exactly my argument about religion, in a nutshell. It trains people to take matters of personal opinion and ascribe them to God. And then we're all supposed to bow and scrape to the divine will of God, when indeed "God"'s opinion always coincides with whoever's doing the preaching. Again, everyone knows this, but saying this out loud is somehow PHENOMENALLY RUDE! 'Those RUDE atheists and agnostics! How DARE they question my opinions!!'

If only we could get the discussions about social policy, the right to marry, the right to use condoms, the right to see things and read things and broadcast things, etc beyond the argument over whether they'll make baby Jesus cry and back into arguments where you have to show a REASON why something is good or bad. We might stop screaming at each other as a nation and start rolling up our sleeves and fixing the problems.

As it is, religion seems to, more often than not, mis-call good things as wicked, and vice-versa. Love? WICKED! Sex? WICKED! Birth-Control? WICKED! Education? WICKED!

Women subservient? GOOD! War? GOOD! Government feeding poor people? WICKED!!!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11:04AM
I don't need a description of it -- I watch it. That scene was hysterical. Of course if you write it up with an agenda in mind you'll describe it in a way that completely ignores the tongue-in-cheek nature of it all. Do you really think they're espousing hitting women? They're making fun of it. Most of the characters are morons that we laugh AT, not hold up in high regard. But that's not how it's going to be described to you by people who have a self-serving agenda. Try coming up with your OWN opinions instead of eating all the tripe they feed you. I expect you won't like it because of prudishness so you wouldn't be able to get past anything in a strip club in the first place, but not everyone has your prudish sense. It's only bad taste to you. The fact is it is quite often very smart humor.

Anonymous said...

It's also an age thing. I'm sure a lot of people thought Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce were crude and not funny after growing up on, say, Jack Benny. In other words, while you may believe you have higher comic standards than people who laugh at Family Guy -- you may just be getting old.

Anonymous said...

n other words, while you may believe you have higher comic standards than people who laugh at Family Guy -- you may just be getting old.

Indeed. I'm not 11.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think age is the defining issue in this case, because the show actually contains a lot of smart humor. You can talk purely about age with stuff that's defined only by juvenile things like fart jokes for the sake of fart jokes, but this show isn't defined by that. This show gets on the nerves of people who feel it doesn't espouse their values. They just don't want to recognize that not everyone shares their values either. I love the show. I'm not 11. I have more degrees than you do. I don't hold your values. Deal with it.

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