Watching MuchMusic tonight I happened to catch the video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Can't Stop." I know what you're going to say and, yes, I swear I saw an actual fucking music video on MuchMusic, which is an anomaly given their round-the-clock schedule of playing second-tier reality shows and filler material that is thinly veiled attempts at fellating which ever pop star happens to big at a given moment. So, yes, I did see an actual music video amongst all that other shit and, while I was naturally in shock and finding myself having to stick fucking toothpicks in my eyes so that I wouldn't miss a single frame of one of the last music videos to ever play on a station that seemed to have a mandate to play music videos, I noticed on strang thing about the "Can't Stop" video that kind of bugged me afterward.
The video itself is actually quite well-done and has a very distinct visual appeal to it. What bothered me was one scene in which Flea, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist extraordinaire, wearing an oversized purple plush hippopotamus head, gives a hand gesture, which is digitally blurred out. The hand gesture, I can only assume, is the extended ring finger, standing alone and proud which means, "I just had anal sex with your mother." I know, it's pretty shocking. I don't make up what these hand gestures mean, I just play along. Everytime I fuck somebody's mom up the ass I am, in observance of proper etiquette, required to flash the hand gesture of extending my ring finger to them and, usually, sticking my tongue out and leering at the same time. It's quite the sight to behold.
But, in all seriousness, the hand gesture, though could not be seen by me through the digital censoring, was quite possibly, the bird. That's right, the middle finger standing alone on one's hand, proclaiming to the world, "I'm mad as hell and fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you over there too, you motherfucking fuckheads! Go eat a bag of bull semen!" Or something like that. Naturally, it's a good thing the hand gesture got censored out because I just don't think I could handle seeing that. It would just be too much.
Does anybody actually get shocked any more by the sight of somebody giving the finger? I mean, we live in a world where violence is in the news, it's on t.v., Dennis Franz showed his bare ass on primetime, Dr. Phil continues to have a career, and Barbara Streisand threatens world peace with the promise of a comeback tour. Is somebody giving the finger really that much of a faux pas that it has be digitally altered?
Well, yes, you stupid shithead, we have to censor that because we really need to protect the impressionable children of the world.
Wrong. You know what? There are probably some children who would see an image of somebody giving the finger and try it themselves, probably at very inopportune times too, like when they're taking communion in church or when they're servicing their priest (interpret that one how you will), or when an international dignitary decides to pay a surprise visit to their town or to just pop over for dinner out of the blue. And you want to know something else? Big fucking deal. It's a fucking hand gesture. Those same kids who are in that monkey see, monkey do mindset are too fucking ignorant to know that it means, "Fuck you, you fucking douchebag. Go shove a lightbulb up your ass!" You gotta love how I was able to work that link in. But back to the topic, it would then fall on the parents to make sure their children are properly educated as to if and when deploying the bird is appropriate. The kids are going to learn all about the finger by time they're in elementary school so, really, how long do you expect to keep them in the dark through censorship?
Secondly, the whole censorship of a stupid hand gesture becomes more a double-edged sword in the sense that when one is confronted by an image that is censored there is an added level of attention drawn to whatever piece of the puzzle is censored out. People expound on it. They go on the internet and find the uncensored, unedited image. They write a fucking blog entry about it. By censoring the image we are added emphasis to how important, cool, edgy, etc. the hand gesture is. Right now as I am writing this I'm flipping you off because it's just too fucking cool! I can't stop!
And finally, is there anything more adorable than a wee child flipping you off? Even when they're gesturing to me, "Fuck you, you fucking failed cumstain! Go fuck a giraffe!" even I can't bring myself to say anything other than, "Awwwww, isn't that just precious? He thinks he's big people!"