Life and Living: The Commonalities Between Snakes, Knives, and Philip Seymour Hoffman

Flirting with death? From l. to r. - Jamie Coots, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cody Coots.

Flirting with death? From l. to r. – Jamie Coots, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cody Coots.

     Now, they say that Blondes have more fun, but personally, I don’t think that’s true. In fact, it appears that some rural Kentuckians are having far more fun than even Blondes do; (ready for it?) indeed, more fun than they can shake a snake at! (Cue sad trombone.) Why else would someone want to risk their life doing something, even after their own father has lost his life in the very same way?

     That’s what Cody Coots, the new pastor of the Middlesboro, Kentucky “Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name” church, says that he’s prepared to do. (1) For those of you, my fine young readers, that aren’t familiar with the story, we’ll climb into the proverbial Chronosphere, and like Jonathan LaPaglia on the late-nineties show, jump back seven days…

     Last Saturday, Middlesboro, Kentucky pastor Jamie Coots lost his life, having been bitten by one of the poisonous snakes that he and fellow attendees of the Full Gospel Tabernacle are so fond of messing with in the “name of Jesus.” (2) They believe that, according to bible passage Mark 16:18, if their faith is strong, that those pesky little snakebites won’t hurt them at all;

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
(Mark 16:18, KJV)

     Now, I’ve suggested in the days since that either the Bible is wrong, that Pastor Coots misinterpreted it, or that he wasn’t “anointed” in the first place. Indeed, during my initial flirtations with this topic on Facebook, one of my friends even suggested that the elder Coots had been “released from his calling,” to which I responded with a reference to Romans 11:29, which basically states that God doesn’t “issue recalls.” The debate, though, isn’t quite about that. The true crux of the issue here, in my own not-so-humble opinion, is once again, where faith meets religion, and religion’s never-ending propensity for the misapplication of faith…or does the “rabbit hole” go even deeper?

     Another friend once told me that the Bible is a “scary” thing. I don’t think so. The Bible, in and of itself, is just a book. This book cannot act of its own volition, can it? No. It requires a human element to use it, whether that be for good or ill. In that discussion, I likened the Bible to a kitchen knife. As everyone knows, a kitchen knife is a tool, designed and purposed to aid in the preparation of food for consumption. We don’t fear kitchen knives, do we? If I take a paring knife out and set it on the counter next to an apple, will that knife jump up, and cut my apple into several neat, little slices for me to eat? Likewise, will it jump up and stab someone? No, but it can be used to those ends! Once again, it requires the interaction of a person. In my opinion, some degree of accountability must be assigned to the person or people who are using the tool.

     Cody Coots has said that if he gets bitten by the snake, then he, like his father, will decline emergency treatment. He states that if he dies, then it must be “God’s will.” (Question: if there is a gun on the table that one knows is loaded and has a round in the chamber, and one picks up that gun, points it at their head and says, “If I die when I pull this trigger, then it’s God’s will,” and then pulls the trigger and dies, whose will was it actually that this person died?)

     Personal accountability. It’s something that, quite honestly, is fading fast in America. In 1968, then-Governor Ronald Reagan mused on this concept during a speech to the Republican National Convention when he stated;

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

     So, at what point do we hold a person or group of people accountable for their actions? In the course of asking this question, I’m reminded of the recent, tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Now, before anyone starts accusing me of trying to “capitalise on the death of a good and decent man,” please read on a bit.

     As a lot of you know, Hoffman was found in his West Village, Manhattan apartment back on the 2nd of this month, dead of a Heroin overdose. Several small bags were found, and Hoffman died with a needle in his vein. (3) Since that day, those following and commenting on the sad story, have done what people often do; play the “blame game,” and attempt to find some kind of meaning in an otherwise meaningless death. They blame the drug. They blame the pusher. They blame the stresses of celebrity life…but does anyone ever place even a smidgen of the blame for Hoffman’s demise…on Hoffman?

     This needle, like any other needle I suspect, would not have been able to simply jump up and enter Hoffman’s arm. His supplier didn’t dose him, nor did any other Tinseltown actor or agent. No, Philip Seymour Hoffman did this to himself, knowing full well the dangers of what he was doing. The sooner we acknowledge this, the better we’ll be at viewing things like this objectively. Of course, there will still be those select few who, like Coots and progeny, will blame their own and others’ ill-fated actions on everyone else, including their God.

 

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Faith and Religion: Faith Beyond Reason?

TLDR ADVISORY: The following article exceeds 1,000 words, and may be lengthy for some readers.

Bridging the gap...?

Bridging the gap…?

     Ah, another relaxing dies Solis. A cup of coffee, browser tabs open to the major news purveyors of the day, and what do we find? Blog fodder! (Huzzah, happy face!) Fox News aired a segment this past Friday, in which one of their hosts presented a ten-minute piece on whether a belief in God was “reasonable”. Appearing in the three-person interview were atheist Nick Fish and believer Dr. Alex McFarland, discussing concepts such as morality, along with the presence of theological and logical “holes” in each side’s argument for and against the existence of a God. (1)

     A little less than a hundred words in…can you already see my issue with this Fox segment? If you can’t, don’t stress. I’m about to expound on this in my usual candid and pragmatic fashion. The problem as I see it, my fine young readers, is this; discussions and debates such as this cannot be had in a mere ten minutes, especially when at least two to three of those precious minutes are taken up by the hostess, who really needed to just shut up and let these two chat! No, the debate between Atheism and Theism needs a far better venue than Faux News, and immensely more time than ten minutes.

     In 2007, ABC-Nightline’s Martin Bashir hosted a similar debate in which actor Kirk Cameron and his partner, author and evangelist Ray Comfort, debated the existence of God with Brian Sapient and Kelly O’Connor, two guests from the atheist “Rational Response Squad” organisation. (2) This debate lasted about an hour and a half, and in the end did little to answer the question in a definitive manner. Given this, one might ask the question, “Well, how long does it take to reckon out through discussion, the existence of a divine power, and whether belief in that divine power is a reasonable reaction to what we are able to discern with our five senses?” Honestly, this debate has been going on since science began disproving long-held church dogmas regarding the nature and workings of the universe, so the answer to this decidedly complex question might not be such a simple one.

     What I will do within the limited space of this article is present my own thoughts regarding faith, whether that faith is reasonable, and whether God’s existence can be proven, not necessarily in this order. Let’s start with what I believe, and why I’m persuaded to believe it…

     I believe in the existence of God. I believe that “he” created everything in this universe, both observable and unobservable. Why do I believe this? I believe this because I also believe what I’m seeing when I look up into the night sky, and see what astronomer Edwin Hubble saw; that there are billions upon billions of stars up there, along with a plethora of other galaxies that are moving away from us. I believe that our observations indicate that we live in an expanding universe and, if we press “stop” and “reverse” on the universal remote, that contraction leads right back to one single point; one “primordial atom” as described by Father Georges Lemaître back in the 1920’s – 1930’s. Science refers to this point as a “singularity”, and by my reckoning, that singularity had to come from somewhere. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the Big Bang. Scientific observation and theory strongly suggest that the universe started from a singularity; immensely dense, immensely hot, within which was contained the four basic forces that we now observe in nature;

  • Gravity
  • Electro-magnetism
  • Strong Nuclear
  • Weak Nuclear

     There’s another reason that I’m led to believe in the existence of a divine intervening force in the universe; the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law of physics states that in an isolated system, entropy must increase. Plainly put, order cannot come from chaos, only chaos from order. In order to get order out of chaos, there has to be an intervening factor, and I believe that this factor…is God. How else does one explain the level of order that we observe in our universe, especially when the universe is supposed to have started from an ordered singularity? By all rights, if the Second Law were to hold true, we shouldn’t even be here.

     Granted, this is all based upon my limited understanding of these scientific concepts, and my beliefs are based upon indirect inference. Then again, a lot of science is also based upon indirect observation and subsequent inference, isn’t it? We didn’t witness the Big Bang directly, did we? No, but we can directly observe certain aspects of its aftermath with tools such as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, thereby inferring that this is most likely what occurred.

     Which brings us to the next question; is my belief in God a reasonable one? I believe that it is, due to the fact that I’m basing my belief on not only the religious, biblical information that I was raised on, but also on observable, scientific principles. I also believe that, for my belief to be reasonable, it must be subject to the acceptance of new information as it’s presented. In other words, I’m “keeping an open mind”. The more I learn, the more info I have to go on. If new information contradicts what I believe, especially if that information is directly observable, I have to admiss it if I’m being truly reasonable. I believe that where faith becomes unreasonable, is when the believer refuses to admiss things like gravity, the speed of light through a vacuum, things that we can directly observe and prove. (See my previous article on “Young-Earth Creationism”.) In my not-so-humble opinion, willful ignorance is never a reasonable basis for faith.

     Can I prove that God exists, scientifically? No, no more or less than the atheist can prove that God doesn’t exist, and that’s where I think Cameron / Comfort got it wrong. By its very design, faith in God, Christ and salvation must come down to exactly that; a matter of faith. Faith is a leap, one that transcends the known and knowable. Much of science also requires this leap, due to the fact that things like evolution and the Big Bang cannot be proven, only inferred by indirect observation. So readers, I leave the final question to you; is faith beyond reason?

Parental Atrocities: Et tu, Lifetime? Tsk, Tsk…

Dance Moms ad poster, and owner / instructor Abby Miller

     In early September of last year, I wrote an article regarding what I then referred to as the “overt sexualization of small children,” which focused on the TLC reality show “Toddlers & Tiaras.” It would seem that the “powers-that-be” behind reality television did not take any socially productive lessons away from last year’s debacle over fake boobs, butts and prostitute costumes. Now, A&E Television Networks’ “Lifetime” has joined the disgusting fraternity of cable channels airing content that sexualises children for profit. Some of my fine, young readers already know what I’m alluding to; last Tuesday’s episode of “Dance Moms.”

     First, please allow me to present a bit of back story: Lifetime is a jointly-owned subsidiary of A&E Networks, ownership being divided amongst the Hearst Corporation (42.5% stake), the Disney-ABC Television Group (42.5% stake) and NBCUniversal (15% stake).(1) The show “Dance Moms” follows the exploits of dance instructor and school matron Abby Lee Miller, the owner / operator of the Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania as she instructs young girls in the art of dance.(2)

     On last Tuesday’s episode titled “Topless Showgirls,” the students were in a local dance competition, performing a burlesque routine taught to them by Miller, while wearing what a Fox News article on the matter describes as, “barely-there sparkly flesh-colored bras and panties to give the illusion of nudity.” In the process of training the girls, some as young as eight years in age, Ms. Miller could be heard describing the attitude she wanted conveyed by the girls as, “I’m hot, I’m mean, you can’t have me, you can’t afford me!” The article also noted that, while several of the parents expressed what was referred to as “horror” regarding the costumes and dance number being performed, not one of them took any action on those concerns. Miller stated during the episode that the parents’ concerns were, “…ridiculous because all they’re worried about is their kids and their bodies and blah blah. Once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. This is show business, kid.” Miller also went on to refer to the costumes as “stunning” and “harmless,” stating that “…everyone in the industry knows the girls are completely covered.”

     Since the episode aired, various professionals in the fields of psychology and human behavior have expressed concerns over the relation between this type of apparent sexualisation of minors, and pedophiles / pedophelia. (3)

     This is show business, kid. During a 2006 interview on “Inside The Actors Studio,” comedian Dave Chappelle unabashedly expressed his opinion that the entertainment industry (“Hollywood”) environment was psychologically unhealthy;

     [Chappelle:] “So, let me ask you this; what is happening in Hollywood, that a guy that tough (speaking about Martin Lawrence) will be on the street, waving a gun, screaming “They are trying to kill me”? What’s going on? Why is Dave Chappelle going to Africa? Why does Mariah Carey make a 100M-dollar deal, then take her clothes off on TRL? Is it….a weak person cannot get to sit here and talk to you. Ain’t no weak people talking to you. So what is happening in Hollywood? Nobody knows. The worst thing to call somebody is “crazy.” It’s dismissive. “I don’t understand this person.” So they’re “crazy.” That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They’re strong people. Maybe that environment (Hollywood)…is a little sick.” (Chappelle’s critique of the issues in the industry received a standing ovation from the crowd at Pace University that night.)(4)

     Other celebrities have also voiced concerns regarding problems with the entertainment industry, and its penchant for child “sexploitation,” including veteran actress Allison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on “Little House on The Prairie.” Katherine Heigl has also voiced an opinion on this particular story, having taken to her own weblog at iVillage and stating that she;

     “…watched with open-mouthed amazement as girls as young as seven were encouraged to dress provocatively and shimmy around a stage doing a dance performance that could just as easily been a burlesque routine. I kept thinking all these girls were missing is a pole! I was also horrified by the way their instructor spoke to them when she felt they weren’t up to snuff. It was demeaning, belittling, and downright unkind.”(5)

     [SOAPBOX=ON] As with last year’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” episode, I once again find myself quite appalled at the depths that cable television and reality tv will plumb, all in the name of “entertainment.” I don’t find anything remotely entertaining in a woman (Abby Lee Miller) who appears to believe that it is perfectly acceptable, not only to parade young girls in front of others while scantily dressed, but to also convey ideas of sexuality to them that are in no way, age-appropriate! (“I’m hot, I’m mean, you can’t have me, you can’t afford me!”) “Have me”? “Afford me”? I wonder if Ms. Miller would care to explain to a seven-year-old exactly what “having” and “affording” actually mean in that context! In my not-so-humble opinion, Ms. Abby Lee Miller is one sick individual. She is not in an “effed-up situation,” she is an effed-up situation! How it is that any parent would entrust their young child to her care and tutelage, is mind-boggling to say the least.

     Also, Lifetime television must bear an equal amount of culpability in this instance. Like TLC last year, Lifetime has given us a real-time, high-definition video “how-to” guide on the sexual exploitation of our youth. It is no wonder that the entertainment industry in this country is a “sick” environment, as Dave Chappelle so astutely described it, when you have a major cable network partnering with a woman who is this nonchalant where the impressionability and vulnerabilities of young children are concerned! Shame on you, Lifetime! When Lifetime started out, it was a combination of the Hearst Daytime network, devoted to women’s programming, and Viacom’s “Cable Health Network,” which was devoted to health and wellness programming. My, how the times have changed, I guess! Lifetime has evidently done a complete one-eighty in the intervening 28 years.

     In closing, there are a few other peculiarities and thoughts that I have regarding this story. For one, I have yet to see a firm public statement from the Parents Television Council regarding last Tuesday’s episode of “Dance Moms.” Where are they on this one, especially in light of the rapidity with which they pounced on the “T&T” issue last year? (I put a call in to PTC President Tim Winter on this…a call that has yet to be returned.) Also, it should be noted that Disney (remember Disney? They own a 42.5% share of Lifetime…) has a poor track record of looking after the emotional and psychological well-being of its own stable of child actors. Now, they find themselves with a 42.5% tie to yet another issue of child exploitation. (Another “eyebrow-raiser.”)

______________________________

     PS: As this realisation was important enough to share on Facebook, it bears just as much applicability here…the realisation that this story, and the previous one regarding Jordan Powers, are related. In a society where the overt sexploitation of our youth has become so acceptable that networks such as TLC and Lifetime have no qualms in airing it, situations such as the one that Jordan Powers is in become all but an inevitability, due to the impetus and encouragement that is being provided to the predators…predators such as James Hooker.

Arts and Entertainment: Perpetuating The Predation?

An evil in Hollywood

     In the past few weeks, there have been several news items on CNN and Fox News, usually buried toward the bottom of the page, covering the long-standing problem of sexual perversion in Hollywood. Just today, Fox News posted yet another of these pieces, entitled “Are Hollywood Stars Enabling Sexual Predators By Not Naming Names?” The article goes on to narrate various celebrity accounts of “casting couch” incidences, of sexual advances, rapes and even Pedophelia as being a constant issue in “Tinseltown,” and having been so for decades.

     (SOAPBOX=FAST ON) Now, I usually delve into the specifics of a situation from off of the soapbox, before climbing up and doing the usual “pontifications.” This time however, I feel like we need to perform some sort of “fast attack,” and get right to the meat and potatoes of the issue.

     So, are Hollywood stars (or other industry insiders) enabling sexual predators by not naming names, like the title of the FNC article asks? Short answer: YES. I would even go so far as to say that, not only are they enabling these douchebags, but by not naming names and telling someone what they know, they are by their inactions, condoning and perpetuating the abuses. These Hollywood people know what’s going on, yet they keep their mouths shut, sometimes because they don’t want to lose that multi-million-dollar movie deal, or negatively impact their marketability in the industry. My fine young readers, that’s called greed. Not only is it being greedy, but also compounding one wrong with yet another; a lie. (A lie of omission is still a lie!)

     One of my favorite “righting of the wrongs” quotes comes from Elizabeth Gaskell, nineteenth century writer and equal rights advocate. In the foreword to Gaskell’s first novel, “Mary Barton,” Macdonald Daly recounts a conversation between Elizabeth and Edward Holland, in which she stated;

     “My poor Mary Barton is stirring up all sorts of angry feelings against me in Manchester, but those best aquainted with the way of thinking and feeling among the poor acknowledge its truth; which is the acknowledgment I most of all desire, because evils being once recognized, are half way on towards their remedy.”

     In the case of “libidinous lasciviousness” in Hollywood, I think there’s more to it than just identifying the problem. The evil has been recognised, but the source not completely identified. For this problem to truly be “halfway on towards its remedy,” these victims have to start reaching deep down in their gut, drawing up some courage and naming names.

     Now what I am about to do may leave a bad taste in some of my readers’ mouths. As this weblog is still a rather small enterprise, there’s not really much to lose by saying what I am about to say, so I’ll just come out with it; WE are part and parcel of this issue as well. Every time we rent or buy a movie. Every time we pump money into the Hollywood entertainment “machine,” we fund this issue. Oh, it’s not like we’re walking up to director or producer “so and so,” handing him a G-note and telling him to go make unwanted sexual advances on a young child actor or actress on our dime. No, it’s a more convoluted chain of funding than just that.

     So how do we as consumers and patrons help put a stop to this problem? I asked my spouse this question just today, because I had reached a point of “writer’s block.” We discussed a boycott of Hollywood, and how it would be tantamount to “mass punishment, bathwater and the baby” thinking. By depriving the entertainment industry of our dollars, we would be making the innocent pay alongside the genuinely guilty.

     So, what do we do? I wonder just how many of us would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Hollywood talent, and back these people up if and when they came out and started dropping names in the effort to clean house. (I know I would, and with the publishing of this article, I am!) What else? Every one of you, my fine young readers, that also spends a considerable amount of money on any aspect of the Hollywood entertainment industry, should be asking yourselves these questions. I know I am. This is one aged specter that needs to be exorcised from the entertainment industry, for everyone’s benefit.

     ADDENDUM: After this article went to press, I had the unique opportunity to exchange some thoughts via email with Alison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on “Little House on The Prairie” and now serves as part of the grassroots policy board of Protect Dot Org. She shared that I seemed “unclear as to why everyone on earth doesn’t just jump up on TV and name the person who raped them.” (Thank you Alison, and again I apologise for not mentioning your courage in identifying and confronting your attacker.)

     I wouldn’t expect everyone to resort to that type of public “outting” of the perpetrators, however I would definitely encourage the establishment or shoring up of support systems and networks for combatting this most detrimental of issues plaguing the industry. Alison also brought up the fact (and yes, it’s a fact!) that several of these perpetrators who have been identified, don’t ever really feel the full sting of justice’s strap. That’s where our laws and punishments need to be changed and strengthened. (Don’t ask me how I would punish child molesters, because you might find my “burning barn” scenario a bit hard to palate!)

     Granted, there’s a lot to this issue that I personally am not aware of, being just a small-potatoes blogger from Central California. The point is that the more we all talk about this, the more open publicity it gets. The more we discuss the aspects, the more likely we’ll be to come up with viable solutions.

“We face the truth, we see it clear, with no disguise.” (Yes, “The More We Live, Let Go” c1991, Arista Records) 

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Further reading on this topic:

“Former child stars reveal sex abuse in Hollywood” (Daily News and Analysis, retrieved on Dec 14th, 2011)

“Recent Charges of Sexual Abuse of Children in Hollywood Just Tip of Iceberg, Experts Say” (Fox News, retrieved on Dec 14th, 2011)

American Rhetoric: Bachmann’s Bellyache

 

Michele Bachmann (l.) with late night host Jimmy Fallon on Monday night's show.

    It really says a lot about where we are as a culture, and what we devote our attentions to that people are actually taking Michele Bachmann’s candidacy seriously. It would seem to me that the more reasoned among us would have discounted her by now, due to her alliances with Tea Party neo-conservatives, her ignorant stance on waterboarding, her misconceived notion that she can fund government on little to no taxation and her penchant for the “dramarama.” Now, another in a long laundry list of played-up situations sees Michele whining about something which to her, is “no laughing matter.”

     Michele Bachmann it seems, was the unwitting victim of some Monday night shenanigans on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Now, everyone who has been following the news already knows what happened, but for those who do not, I’ll do my best to give you, my fine young readers, the “long and short of it.” When Ms. Bachmann was introduced by Jimmy Fallon, the house band, led by drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, “played her in” with the refrain from a song by a group named Fishbone. The name of the song? “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” Of course Michele, not being a fan or listener of Fishbone, was completely unaware of the lyrical content or title of the tune that was being played until after her appearance on the show.

     Since this stunt was pulled, host Jimmy Fallon has issued a short apology via his Twitter account. (1) We, ever the news-hungry populous have now become aware that this stunt was cooked-up sometime before Ms. Bachmann walked on-stage, as this was “tweeted” by the drummer to his fanbase before the show went to air. (2) Now, Michele Bachmann is demanding an apology from NBC, stating that if this had happened to Michele Obama, that she’d have received one by now. (3) (As of this writing, we haven’t heard anything from the network.) A few politicians have also weighed in on this, with congresswoman Nita Lowey (D, NY) stating that while she does not share Bachmann’s political views, “she deserves to be treated with respect. No female politician – and no woman – should be subjected to sexist and offensive innuendo like she was last night.”

     (Soapbox=ON) In my not-so-humble opinion, I think Michele needs to just let this one lie. The argument “if this had happened to the First Lady” is moot point. She’s the First Lady, while Michele Bachmann is just a candidate, therefore subject to far more scruitiny and vetting in the media. Aside from that fact, Bachmann’s far-right allegiances and leanings, and stances on such things as waterboarding are bound to bring some very intense ribbing from those on the other side of the political aisle. I think it would look a lot better for Michele to take the approach of, “It would be great if NBC would issue an apology, but I’m not going to sweat it excessively, this is politics and things like this, while regrettable and distasteful, are bound to happen sometimes.”

Parents Television Council: Bunny-hopping Mad at NBC?

Poster for NBC's "The Playboy Club"

     Just for a second, I am not The Cybersattva, having instead donned the glasses, wig and couture a la Dana Carey’s SNL alter-ego, the Church Lady: “Now, what could have possessed NBC to put “The Playboy Club” on tv at 10 o’clock P.M. Could it have been…maybe….possibly……SATAN!?” “YEAH!” replies Jon Lovitz as the guy from the Liar’s Club, “That’s it! That’s the ticket!”

     The Parents Television Council is beating a dying horse. NBC’s “The Playboy Club” has suffered horribly in the ratings since its premiere, and several advertisers have already pulled away from backing the show. The PTC has been campaigning against the show for months, stating that it “objectifies and degrades women.” Now, they’re closing in for the kill. The only problem with this, is that the show seems to have been doomed for failure even without the ministrations and pontifications of the PTC!

     I don’t really understand what business it is of the PTC’s that this show is on the air at all. NBC is airing “The Playboy Club” in the 10:00 P.M. time slot, which ideally is past the time when most young and impressionable minds should already be in a state of REM sleep, if we’re being good PTC-compliant “Stepford” parents. This means that the PTC is now attempting to control and influence the programming that consenting adults are viewing! What I find especially hypocritical is the idea that, if the PTC had their way about it, this is what we’d be graced with instead:

     Why are members of the PTC even up and glued in front of the “glass God” at that hour anyway? Shouldn’t they instead be lying in their beds, reading their bibles and going to sleep? “Early to bed, early to rise” and that whole thing? Why isn’t the PTC going after Nancy Grace and DWTS for their “pound of flesh?” My advice to the PTC? Stick to causes worth a damn, like shutting down “Toddlers & Tiaras!”

Wardrobe Malfunctions: By The Grace of Nancy!

Nancy Grace's "Northern Exposure" (image censored)

     I saw this item in the news this morning, and I just couldn’t resist! See, I woke up with a raging cold virus today. Oh yeah. Sinus issues, cough, temperature, the whole smash. I really needed something to make me feel better, or just take my mind off of the misery…YES! The news media delivers a small gem (well, actually a fair-sized gem by the looks of it, and yes that is a double entendre!) in the way of a wardrobe malfunction on last night’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

     Now fault me if you will, but I’ve always found Nancy Grace attractive. No, that low septum, high nostril thing she has going on isn’t severe enough to not be cute, and she has some very nice assets for a “rubenesque” woman. I was not however, planning on getting “winked” at, nor were several million other viewers I imagine!

     One would think that a woman would instinctively know that there’s a likelihood of “slipping the nipple” in a certain outfit. I’ve been married for over twenty years now, and I can tell you that a true “lady” knows what kinds of tops and dresses she can get away with wearing under certain conditions. Nancy Grace was doing more than a fair amount of “bouncing” on the dance floor last night, and even I as a guy could already tell looking at that dress that…

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, in an infamous "oops" moment.

     Ever since the infamous Janet Jackson Superbowl XXXVIII (ai yai yai!) Half-time Show incident in 2004, the term “wardrobe malfunction” has been an amusing part of the television-related lexicon. Since then, we’ve been treated to (or incensed by, pick your position!) these images of such notables as Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus and others. In at least some of these cases, one has to wonder if this fashion faux pas wasn’t on purpose, just to get higher ratings or more publicity. Either way, I have to wonder just what it says for media, and society as a whole that the number of these incidents is on the rise. (UPDATE) Meanwhile, Nancy Grace denies the whole thing, saying that what we saw were “pasties.” Yeah, right…