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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said."
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July 21 2005

PTC file indecency complaint over 'The Inside'. A move which will probably surprise absolutely no one. The show was recently 'honoured' by the PTC as "The Worst TV Show of the Week".

This just makes me want to watch the show even more. Message to PTC: If you don't like it, don't watch it. I can't help thinking they get some kind of perverse pleasure out of watching shows that sicken them.
It cracks me up that they have video of it - "Ooh, look how indecent this show is - let's watch it again!"
LOL, Firefly Flanatic, exactly.
Hey, maybe this'll give our favorite new Tim Minear show a ratings boost.
I want to sue the PTC. I find their website very showing--don't they know there are children on the Internet? By falsely presenting themselves as a family organisation, they are specifically luring those to their site, who should not be exposed to the vileness they're so eager to show around.

So there. :-P
*sighs* If only 'The Inside' had a character drinking some rum and using a lash.

I could have gone with a "'Rum, Sodomy and the Lash' - PTC blast The Inside" headline. Back at work and very bored, hence the meandering.
My first post on a "The Inside" thread was a prediction that this would happen. I said I was looking forward to it at the time as a confirmation that The Inside was good.

I was happy when I saw it. If I were Tim, I'd be yelling, "yeaaah, #1 baby!"
Is it wrong that I want to bitchslap these people...hard?
Congratulations Tim! You're indecent! Woohoo!
See, the key is, they just tell their network of people what to protest. It's a total political intimidation game. I wish the FCC would ise up to it.
The PTC is not happy enough that the show got cancelled, but it also wants to spit on the last few episodes that are going to be aired? Classy.
I'm more interested in what the reaction will be like from groups such as the PTC when Rob Zombie's THE DEVIL'S REJECTS opens this Friday. After going to a sneak preview last month, I pretty certain a few heads will explode.
I saw a short clip of "The Devil's Rejects"...I suspect you are right. I guess news of Australian authorities trying to ban "Mysterious Skin" made it necessary for these goofballs to reclaim their position within the hierarchy of fundamentalist Christian paraphrase Giles, when you say heads will explode, I trust you mean metaphorically...I've lived on the Hellmouth too long...
If these "parents" were actually doing their jobs as parents, instead of minding everyone else's business, then they could sleep at night, knowing their precious children would never see the chewy goodness that is/was The Inside.
Wait'll they see the next episode - which, I believe, is the one Tim Minear was referring to when he called it the "feel good dead baby episode of the year".
That and the one with the 800 pound cannibalistic serial killer who dines on anorexic!
Of course, on a much more serious note, these clowns wield a lot of influence and the publicity alone may cause Fox to pull the show even sooner than they might have planned...
Has anyone noticed the balance of reality to non-reality shows in the "Best" and "Worst" shows of the week. It's (insert less provocative collective noun) like these people that are helping reality survive and killing imaginative tv! Bless their dear child-defending hearts.

[ edited by Mort on 2005-07-22 18:32 ]
Is it wrong that I want to bitchslap these people...hard?

That's just the violent influence of TV, loud rock music, and (do you play video games?) video games! People, when will the madness stop!
Maybe them focusing on The Inside will help the ratings. Fox doesn't strike me as a network that would yank a show because some Christian group doesn't like it. Look at all the reality crap they've shown. If anything, you'd think they'd be advertising that the PTC thinks the show's indecent and do a special showing of it's worst scenes!
"bitchslap these people", "clowns", "idiots", "pack of drongos"..I thought Whedonesque was the home of civilized discourse. Resding this thread I thought I was at AICN or CHUD. I'm no bigger fan of the PTC or Christian fundamentalists than anyone else on this site, but they aren't the only groups I have a problem with, so a question for the mods: are these the only groups one can freely express the wish to "bitchslap" on Whedonesque or is there an approved list of groups that are fair game?
Raising Waylon

I thought Whedonesque was the home of civilized discourse.

No, it's actually the home of civilized disco. This is why Angel refused to dance at that party in season 1. I'll remove my drongos line, but I just needed somewhere to use the word "drongo" on whedonesque. Now I need to find another. Sigh.
[A] question for the mods: are these the only groups one can freely express the wish to "bitchslap" on Whedonesque or is there an approved list of groups that are fair game?

A reasonable question. Personally, I think the PTC is fair game to some extent because of its specific and long-held animus towards BtVS, AtS, and various other shows that this site supports, and because its activities, in particular calling for censorship of anything that doesn't meet its own moral code, strike at the heart of what Whedonesque is about.

However, your point about language is well-taken. I think invoking "fundamentalist Christian hypocrisy" is gratuitous, and has really little to do with the specific topic. And of course, we should all strive to avoid blatant insults, even for such as the PTC.

I honestly really haven't a clue as to what "drongos" means, but I like the sound of the word. Very evocative. And, with all due respect to your question, jaynelovesvera, "it's actually the home of civilized disco" is brilliant.
This is not part of the name-calling debate. I just learned something new today because of Mort, jaynelovesvera and SNT and had to share.

drongo [drong'gō]
Pronunciation Key
drongo , any of the insect-eating Old World birds of the family Dicruridae. Most species have black plumage with an iridescent purple or green shimmer and long, deeply forked tails. They have long pointed wings and stout, hooked bills ornamented with long bristles about the mouth. Most have ornamental crests or head plumes. Drongos range in body length from 7 to 15 in. (1838 cm); the tail in some species is as long as 28 in. (71 cm). Solitary, arboreal birds of forests, wooded savannas, and fields, drongos are most numerous in S Asia, but also occur in S Africa and NE Australia. Typical of the family is the king crow, Dicrurus macrocerus, found from India to Java and Taiwan. Drongos are powerful, aggressive birds and will drive off birds much larger than themselves, incidentally providing protection to more docile species that nest in the same trees. Members of some species follow cattle in order to feed on the associated insects. There are about 20 drongo species, classified in two genera, Dicrurus and Chaetorhynchus, of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Dicruridae.

So Mort, even if you weren't going to be taking it out of your post to avoid name calling you should probably change it for accuracy to reflect a family of birds found in the USA. ;-)

Just sayin'
Okay. I'm a Christian, and I don't like the PTC. Plus, I love "Buffy," "Angel," "The Inside," and many other shows their organization doesn't like. Further, I think the warning at the beginning of almost every "Inside" warning of graphic content should be enough to tell everyone that this isn't a sideshow for the kiddies.

Having said that, I see where they're coming from. It's pretty damn easy these days for kids to just flip through channels, and as easy as it is for people on this forum to be righteous and say "Well, why aren't these parents watching their kids more?" (ahem, petranef)...the simple fact is that it's harder these days. They just want some additional safeguards to help them, and I can't call that desire a wrong one.

When it comes down to it, even though I disagree with what the PTC members are doing, I can't bring myself to disagree with their motivations. No matter what I think of their organization, these people aren't evil. They're trying to do what they think is right, and for that, if for nothing else, they deserve to be treated with a certain amount of respect (grudging though it may be from some of you).

To all the people on this board who feel that men and women who are trying to protect children deserve your scorn and hatred, as if they were equivalent to "child molesters and people who talk in the theatre"...well, forget it. It's not even worth discussing. I'm sort of ashamed to share a fandom with you.

[ edited by BAFfler on 2005-07-22 00:06 ]
BAFfler, I was enjoying your opinion, different though it is from mine, up until the last sentence. I don't think anyone here has stated, or even implied, that "men and women who are trying to protect children" deserve scorn and hatred, only that the PTC as an organization merits a little. I love children. I have two myself. They're very nice. I also happen to find the PTC's take on what constitutes "family friendly" or "suitable for children" material wrong-headed, and I abhor the fact that they seem to wield influence out of all proportion to their constitutuency.

I understand where you're coming from, but I think it's fair to say that there are many people who find it quite offensive to have a group routinely telling them what they can or cannot watch or read based on a code of morality that they may not share. I think one can wish to protect children and still find groups such as the PTC offensive, if not actually "evil."
"...because its activities, in particular calling for censorship of anything that doesn't meet its own moral code, strike at the heart of what Whedonesque is about." And yet just a few days ago I observed that a very nasty, unfunny post concerning Joss and Hermione from the Harry Potter movies was deleted and the poster chastised. I'm not suggesting it shouldn't have been deleted; I would have done the same thing. My point is that the PTC and Whedonesque both have a moral code each is willing to enforce with censorship. So do I, and most everyone I know. They are just different moral codes.

The difference is Whedonesque's code is enforced by the people who run the site, which is as it should be. The PTC doesn't run anything, they try to unduly influence those who do.
My point is that the PTC and Whedonesque both have a moral code each is willing to enforce with censorship. So do I, and most everyone I know. They are just different moral codes. The difference is Whedonesques' code is enforced by the people who run the site

No, with respect, I don't think that's the appropriate distinction here. Whedonesque is a membership site and members agree to abide by the rules of the site as applied by the moderators. That just isn't the case with TV.

And since this discussion now appears to be turning to Whedonesque policies, I'll be happy to respond to any further questions and discussion via e-mail.
SNT, I'm afraid we're going to have to agree to disagree. I understand the desire not to have a committee or a council or whatnot trying to dictate culture through censorship. Speaking as a proud American, that's not the American far as entertainment goes, we should vote with our dollars. And as I said before, I have no love for the PTC. It always seems to hate my favorite shows, so I'm not taking its side in this debate. But I would like, once again, to draw attention to these quotes:

--Andrew Tom: "Is it wrong that I want to bitchslap these people...hard?"

--Calledon: "...these clowns wield a lot of influence..."

--Mort: "It's idiots like these people that are helping reality survive and killing imaginative tv! Bless their dear child-defending hearts."

That's actually delivering scorn and hatred, my friend, whether it was earned or not. There's no implication's all stated in black and white. Further, I think that the people behind those posts would say that, in their opinion, the PTC and its people richly deserved all of that and so much more. Which is why, as I said before, I'm sort of ashamed to share a fandom with these people.

I too consider the PTC wrong-headed, and I don't like their strong-arming tactics any more than the people I've just criticized. I'm on board the "PTC Bad Express." But I think they're acting from good motivations, and I'm willing to give them their due for that. Do I agree with them? HELL, NO. Do I think that they deserve more respect than some people on this board are willing to grant? HELL, YES. You can disagree--strongly--with people on very important issues and still respect them as people. (If I couldn't do that, I wouldn't be able to interact with most of the thirty people who work with me every day.) The fact that these people seemingly can't makes me very disappointed in certain sections of the Joss fandom.
BAFfler: I'll reply to you via e-mail. Let's take this discussion off-board.
Sure...sorry about that. You hadn't yet posted your "cessation" when I started writing my post. Apologies. Off board it goes.
When it comes down to it, even though I disagree with what the PTC members are doing, I can't bring myself to disagree with their motivations.

Protecting children from an overwhelming amount of violence, gore, and smut isn't a horrible notion, in and of itself. I don't happen to think that's the PTC's sole motivation. From your first paragraph, BAFfler, you seem to agree that they tend to go too far. (Forgive me if I'm mistaken.) The PTC uses the "for the sake of the children" as a means of leverage to attempt to control what adults watch as well. Their attempts to get Desperate Housewives off the air (it reflects badly on suburban women, you see), etc. They only mention moving a show they don't like into a later time slot as a cover, when they are asked pointedly about that option. It seems a downright silly notion to suggest all television programming be kid friendly, and within the PTCs definition of quality Christian programming, at all times, in the off chance that one child, somewhere might walk into the room.

Now, if they focused their attention solely on not "surprising" parents with inappropriate material where it is not expected, I would have no problem with them at all. Extremely racy commercials or gimmicks before football games, without warning, or during television programming specifically geared toward children. I could support that under the umbrella of "responsible network procedures". I'm scornful of the PTC because their actual motivations are very different from what they say they are.

There's no reason to be ashamed to share a fandom with us. We're not so different. This particular fandom has been the target of the PTC for some time, and it's gotten old, and people are sick of it.

(Sorry SNT - Since I'm at work with the phone ringing, it took a little while to write thisout , and I didn't see your follow up responses until I posted it. Delete entirely of so desired.)

[ edited by Angela on 2005-07-22 01:28 ]
Angela, I will exercise my moderatorly discretion and not delete your post. Largely because you said much more eloquently what I was fumbling to express above.

Seriously, I didn't mean that any discussion on this topic should cease - only that when it gets to be a call and response purely between two members (or if it relates to Whedonesque policies etc.), it should be taken off-site because it then feels like the participation of other members is being inhibited.
Ok, this is part of the name calling argument that I started writing a really long time ago (a birthday celebration interrupted me.) before SNT said to stop and I just am feeling very frustrated as to whether I can post it. SNT, delete it if you want, but I just want my say here...if only for a moment.

I am in the not liking name-calling or vilifying from either side group. I think it weakens the debate. (Satire and humor, however fall into a different category, imo.)

That, BAFfler, is why I had the same reaction to your first post as SNT. I was reading your post and was quite impressed with certain things about it until I got to the end and then was incredibly disappointed. Painting the people who said things vehamently against the PTC as people who "who feel that men and women who are trying to protect children deserve your scorn and hatred" is, in my opinion, a cheaper shot than any that were taken on this board against the PTC. I do not think people are upset that anyone wants to protect children. On the contrary, it is pretty obvoius they were objecting and angry that the PTC is trying to dictate what is on TV for everyone.

I too have a child that I have to protect from images, themes and language I do not want him exposed to. Some of those images, themes and language are things that the PTC would encourage. They have Extreme Makeover coded as good family viewing, for instance, even though in the description they back peddle. I would never want my son or certainly a daughter, if I had one, watching a show that presents plastic surgery as a casual solution to cosmetic problems other than deformaties. That does not mean I think I should protest it to try to take it off the air. There are adults out there who may be getting something valuable even out of a show like that and they have a right to watch it.

As an adult I want to be able to watch shows I find worthwhile. As a parent I want art and diversity of opinion, culture, and religion available on television. I want to choose what my son is allowed to watch, not have the PTC or any other organization of that kind to choose for me, especially if it is basing those opinions on ANY specific religious agenda. So no, I do not think that the PTC's motivation is to protect children. I suspect that their motivation is to use the protection of children as a way to get more control of what is on television in general and that makes me angry.

If the opinion I've expressed of the PTC in this post makes you "sort of ashamed to share a fandom with [me}" so be it. I do not feel the same way. You simply have a different opinion and I respect the opinion though not the way it was expressed.

OK, SNT you can slap me now.

[ edited by newcj on 2005-07-22 02:21 ]
The thing that I find most interesting is the hypocritical nature of the site. They are complaining very loudly that this programming was made accessible to children. And, well, sure. After a big fat warning, it was accessible to children for 46 minutes on one day in June.

But this site has made this available to children 24 hours a day, for the last few days, on their website, with the super-yummy "DONT PRESS THIS BUTTON IF YOU DONT WANT TO SEE PORN!"-type warning. Which, you know, if I'm a 12-year-old boy, what do you think I'll do? And there's no warning, no v-chip, on this site. No net nanny is blocking a "christian" site.

I just find that to be hypocracy, defined. Or perhaps irony. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

I mean, right? Why isn't there anotther site complaining about them, making this awful porn available to children, all day, every day, with one sweet click?

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