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Here's Another Fine Mess

You ever see that movie Sybil with Joanne Woodward as the psychiatrist and the Flying Nun as the woman with, I dunno, sixteen personalities or whatever? Pretty good movie, actually. Woodward was great, and this was the movie where we discovered Sally Field can be a pretty damned good actor.

There's a lot of stuff about punishments in that movie. A lot of stuff. The movie reminds you, in case you forgot, that the sort of punishments you choose to inflict -- and the severity with which you choose to inflict them -- says a whole lot about you. Yep. It sure does.

  • A Punishment Story: "Rejecting criticism the penalties will stifle free speech and homogenize radio and TV broadcasts, bill supporters said stiff fines were needed to give deep-pocketed broadcasters more incentive to clean up their programs and to help assure parents that their children won't be exposed to inappropriate material.... The measure, which passed 389-38, boosts the maximum fine from $32,500 to $500,000 for a company and from $11,000 to $500,000 for an individual entertainer." (Link)
  • A Punishment Story: "Federal regulators on Wednesday proposed $65,000 in fines against three San Diego television stations for failing to provide timely captions and graphics for deaf or partially deaf viewers about emergency information related to the 2003 wildfires.... Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell said it was the first time the FCC proposed such fines against broadcasters.... The proposal targets three San Diego-area TV stations for their coverage on Oct. 26-27, 2003, of wildfires that swept through Southern California, killing 24 people. More than 3,600 homes were destroyed and 750,000 acres burned, with San Diego County the hardest-hit area." (Link)

Half a million dollars for, say, an instance of nasty language, and one tenth of that amount for an alleged failure to fulfill a civic obligation, an alleged failure that could have cost people their lives. (Actually, a $25,000 fine against one station for 22 alleged violations,  a $20,000 fine against another for 12 alleged violations, and a $20,000 fine against the third station for 11 alleged violations.)

Sigh... in the immortal words of Sybil, herself, "THE PEOPLE!! THE PEOPLE!!"


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Jeesh -- the boomers had a protected childhood and all hell broke loose as they reached their late teens. All this cleanup almost should come under the header of "when will they ever learn?"

You know, that's an interesting point. I'm curious to see how it will go in a few years. I suspect that the differences in the two situations are sufficient such that it's really not predictable how this "protected generation" will go. The boomers were "overthrowing" an uptight culture. These days the culture is less uptight in some places but more reactionary in other places. It'd be nice to see the young ones coming up blow away all that reactionary stuff. Even Katie can't bar the door against the rising tide of the next generation. But I dunno. I'm not at all sure how it will go. Not at all sure.

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