Friday, November 21, 2008

Tastes like chicken

I didn't see any news of it, but last night's broadcast of NBC's "My Name is Earl" had a cannabalism joke that was fairly over the top for primetime. Not that I'm complaining, because I thought it was funny,- I like "sick" or black humor, but I'm wondering how NBC let it air without one of those annoying content warnings preceding the show? The joke was the character Randy finding a cooler containing transplant organs after a tornado strikes. He stupidly assumes its contents are steaks, and cooks and eats them. But, ha-ha, they're human livers he's eating! Yes, transplant organ cannibalism jokes, pretty sick, isn't it? If I were on a list waiting for an organ to be donated to save my life, I'd be mortified. I wouldn't want to explain that to a child. Because it would ruin the joke, mostly.

Cannabalism has been on television longer than I've been "Alive", and I laughed myself crazy as I watched the "Lifeboat Sketch" on Monty Python's Flying Circus, and over the years enjoyed Simpsons Halloween episodes with cannabalism-themed humor, and the episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" "The Pack"(season 1) had plenty of peeps eatin' peeps, and while off-screen, the show acknowledged, for the sake of authenticity, this wasn't some nightmare sequence, it happened in the show's meta-reality. I enjoy this stuff, but am not so stupid as to be led to think eating people is something mundane, or funny if it were to happen in real life, which it has, unfortunately. I'm not saying this is something we have to warn the viewers about, which the Simpsons used to do, but there's a place for tasteless content in a world that is willing to pay for it. I say "tasteless content" in reference to the eating of human organs intended for life-saving transplant procedures, not a light topic, but the writers could find other things to make light of in this venue, not that I was asked

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